The Hubby & I had heard some rumblings around town that the kids from Chica Bonita were opening another restaurant in the hood. Oh don’t you love the buzz of anticipation! If you have been to Chica Bonita, you would rate the funky fitout, the straight up mexi-street food and give it props for bringing alive the little lane way, where it is nestled. If they applied the same formula to their new digs, then things should be good…real good. So for our first review of 2016, let me introduce you to Sunset Sabi.
Sunset Sabi is located where the Pony Room use to occupy, for those playing along. However, there is absolutely no sign of the Pony Room when you walk in…in fact the fit out is jaw-droppingly awesome. My eyes kept bouncing around the room noticing all the details and pointing them out to the Hubby. As a qualified Interior Stylist, this kinda stuff excites me, inspires me and sends my neurons into overdrive. The exposed brick work is subtlety framed by the clever extension of the wood booth climbing up the wall. The selection of tiles, finishes and the installation of the huge thin black framed glass window on the front facade…too good. But it continues, the different textured table top makes snapping food photos that much sexier and the serving dishes compliment not only the food but the table & chair, the staff uniforms.. I could go on and I really already have, ha! Round of applause and standing ovation. Please let us know who we have to thank and nominate for such a sensational fit out?!?
Now for the food. Sunset Sabi is sushi bar, cocktail bar and ‘funky kitchen’ as the crew describe their menu. It is not just your traditional style sushi that you get at Izumi or Waka, it is a mash-up of tradition with inspiration. There are no rules, only the rules of your taste buds – thats how culinary creativity works. Leave your inhibition at the door and get ready to savour new textures, flavours and freshness as Sunset Sabi’s food is fresh, creative and oh soooo fun! I described it to a friend as a shit hot Melbourne eatery vibe but in Manly. Love this town.
Our menu is designed to flow Izakaya style where we encourage you to share lots of dishes and sample something from every section. – Sunset Sabi
Even the names of the dishes are fun and make you smile. The Hubby and I agreed on our order of:
edamame & wasabi humus with sweet potato chips
baked sushi roll – prawn and scallop baked in a creamy spicy sauce
tea smoked trout, buckwheat soba noodles, pickled cucumber, edamame, mint, tamari, sesame
seared tuna – sashimi style
garlic chips, seeded mustard, bit-a-erb, ponzu
kingfish in mexico roll – 8 pieces
kingfish, coriander, cucumber, house kewpie, crunchies – inside.
avocado, pineapple cady, masago, jalapeno – outside
Each dish surprised, delighted and confirmed that Sunset Sabi will quickly be a locals favourite. The atmosphere is super buzzy, the staff are easy to converse with and the food is moreish and filling. Want to show off just how awesome Manly is to a friend visiting??… Take ’em to the Sunset. And another bonus for locals, the menu is revolving and setup to keep their regulars intrigued.
One could dine on a budget or celebrate in style with the temptation of the bar menu which of course has been made and selected to pair with their menu. Sake?? Oh yes, Sunset Sabi have that covered too. They have a house selection of sake and Japanese whiskeys & beers to palate.
According to my Google search, Sabi means “things whose beauty stems from age. It refers to the patina of age, and the concept that changes due to use may make an object more beautiful and valuable“. Even the detail in the name gives me goosebumps. We will be back!
They are open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday from 4pm with dinner menu starting at 6pm.