An Unconventional Restaurant Review: Izakaya Fujiyama

I know where to get some of the best head in Sydney: Ultimate foodie and Veteran newscaster, John Mangos, checks out Japanese restaurant Izakaya Fujiyama.

I know where to get some of the best head in Sydney.

It may not surprise some that it’s in Surry Hills, one of Australia’s most densely populated suburbs for massage parlors and brothels.

Let’s not beat around the bush (pun intended). It’s sublime.

Eye to eye contact.
Pink, succulent flesh.
Slender jawbone.

It’s not everybody’s taste, I get that.
But it’s mine.

I become overwhelmed with voracious consumption.

Call me kinky, but I like it Japanese style. That’s why I can recommend Izakaya Fujiyama when you have the desire. It’s located at 38-52 Waterloo St., Surry Hills, and the interior has all the loud hustle and bustle of central Tokyo.
Black walls.

It’s not always on offer but was on this day. Glorious and splendiferous Salmon head, otherwise known as “Kama”. Two magnificent halves and the tail thrown in for good measure. It was delicately grilled with soy and ponzu, and starkly presented with no unnecessary garnish, no squirts of mayo and no fuss.
By their own admission the menu is “not entirely traditional”.

Does one begin with the cheek, the collar or the gills?
For me, it’s the cheek, commonly regarded as the best part of the fish. It’s fluffy, moist and almost creamy in texture.

Some prefer the eyes but I don’t like the balls to get in the way.

To connoisseurs the head is considered a joy and a privilege. It’s one of the parts good chefs reserve for themselves and their friends. It’s luscious, tender and flavorful.

I think possibly also enhanced by the look you get when they arrive. Fish have very limited facial expressions. They can’t blink or cry.

Fish come with either a smile or a frown.

Eating the head is not for the faint hearted. It’s primal. It’s raw and the labyrinthine maze of fish responds better to chopsticks than a fork.

Humans mimic when it comes to head.
They either smile or frown.

As you can see from the specials menu (below), handwritten by Kenji Maenaka, this “resutoran” presents a range of traditional and modern dishes dictated by market availability.
Other dishes were equally delicious, especially the exquisitely tender ribs.

As for the cost of head. I don’t know. She paid. I can’t recall whether she smiled or frowned.


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