Level 1 Chifley Plaza
Sydney NSW 2000
02 December 2009
SMH Good Food Guide 2010
Azuma restaurant first opened its doors on Falcon Street in Crows Nest in 1996.
At that time there were only 28 seats, no liquor license and no menus! However it was Sydney's first late night Japanese restaurant and was blessed with success almost instantly.
Keen to deliver exceptional Japanese cuisine to more Sydneysiders, Azuma moved to a larger location on the same street in July 1998. The new Azuma had room for 40 and its popularity again grew with the addition of a liquor license.
In March 2002, Azuma was given the opportunity to move into Chifley Plaza in Sydney CBD. Master Chef, Kimitaka Azuma, described this relocation as "a big step", but welcomed the challenge and the opportunity to educate Sydney in "authentic" Japanese cuisine.
The success of Azuma restaurant along with the reputation of Kimitaka Azuma went from strength to strength in its new location. Azuma has become well know and loved amongst critics, restaurateurs, gourmands and Sydneysiders alike. Soon after moving to Chifley Plaza, Azuma was awarded Best Japanese Restaurant in 2003 and 2004 by The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald respectively.
In the mean time, Azuma continued with great success, being awarded in 2008 and 2009 with One Chefs Hat from Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide. Such accolades encouraged Kimitaka and along with the passion again to deliver to Sydneysiders with a new and dynamic Japanese dining experience, the decision was made to expand Azuma.
Azuma has experienced much success over the nearly 13 years, largely due to Kimitaka’s passion and skill as Master Chef and to the loyal support Azuma receives from the people of Sydney. Azuma prides itself on the freshest and highest quality ingredients, innovative and traditional cuisine matched with attentive polite service.
With the support of its loyal customers Azuma will continue to flourish.
Kimitaka Azuma was born in 1954 on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu. He was raised, with his two brothers, by both his parents and grandparents in a bustling household where there were many mouths to feed.
Kimitaka entered the world of Japanese cuisine when he was only 16 years old. The strict almost feudal culture of his senior co-workers attracted him at an early age. As he served his apprenticeship Kimitaka came to be regarded as family to his co-workers. His natural skill and technique in the kitchen was quickly recognized by his peers and superiors.
The young Kimitaka was passionate about his new career. He would often work past his assigned hours, arriving early each morning and leaving late into the night. His superiors ordered strict obedience. "The answer always had to be 'Yes'! I could never contemplate saying 'No'. The way of the Japanese culture meant that if a superior said that the sky was red – when clearly it is not – I still had to agree!" It was in this environment that he first realized his dedication, diligence and passion for cooking.
At the age of eighteen Kimitaka moved from his home town to further his career; he worked in Tokyo for 2 years and then spent 1 year at the Akamon Japanese Restaurant in a Bangkok, Thailand. Returning to Japan, Kimitaka based himself in Miyazaki, a well known "foodie" district. Here he worked at the Royal Hotel for 3 years and then for 4 years at the Century Heian-kaku. It as here that Kimitaka was appointed Master Chef of Japanese Cuisine and Executive Chef.
In 1990 Japanese tourism in Australia was booming, and as a result Japanese cuisine was introduced to Australians. Japanese chefs were highly sought after, Kimitaka, seeing the need, brought his team of 4 Chefs to Australia. Kimitaka, attracted by Sydney's fresh produce and growing restaurant culture, made the difficult decision to make Australia his new home. He enjoyed the pleasant climate, culture and the Australian people. Also the opportunity to deliver to Australians a cuisine they seemed to know little about was overwhelming. Kimitaka received his Australian Permanent Residence in 1995.
At that time Japanese cuisine in Sydney consisted of only Sushi, Tempura and Teriyaki Chicken. His passion and independent spirit convinced him to open a Japanese restaurant with no Sushi or Teriyaki on the menu. In 1996 he opened his self-named restaurant, Azuma, in Crows Nest Sydney. The menu was of authentic Japanese cuisine, dishes that had not been seen in Sydney before.
Since the opening of his first restaurant Kimitaka has relocated to a much bigger, more sophisticated location in the CBD. His menu now includes sushi, sashimi and is well known for his signature Azuma Nigiri. He has opened two Ramen noodle shops called TonTon and most recently, in late 2008, the opening of a second Azuma restaurant, Kushiyaki – Azuma, took place. His passion to deliver new and dynamic Japanese cuisine that is both traditional and innovative drives him to expand his business, in the hopes that all Sydneysiders will be able to enjoy the experience of "real" Japanese.
Kimitaka's philosophy has always been to use the freshest ingredients to create simply delicious food. "While these days, we can see the development of modern-fusion Japanese cuisine I think it is a shame to use too much sauce or overcook the products." His cuisine says: "Simple is best!"
Master Chef Kimitaka Azuma displays a dedication not known to many. His skills and techniques in the art of Japanese cuisine are renowned not only in Sydney and Australia but around the world.
|Seasonal Appetisers:||White Sesame Tofu with Citrus Dip in Agedashi Sauce|
|Azuma-Style, Japanese Amuse-Bouche:||Pacific Oyster and Salmon Roe with Citrus Soy Sauce|
|Prawn Marinated in Nanban Sauce|
|Grilled Saikyo Silver Cod Fillet|
|Blanched Spinach with Sesame Dressing|
|Assorted Sashimi Raw Fish:||Tuna and Salmon (Served with Soy Sauce & Wasabi)|
|Azuma Unique Sushi:||Tuna and Salmon|
|Chawan-Mushi:||Steamed Savoury Egg Custard with Prawn, Scallop and Shiitake Mushroom|
|Assorted Tempura with Prawn and Vegetables:||Prawn, Fish, Potato, Capsicum/Bell Peppers, Asparagus|
|Premium Wagyu Sirloin Steak:||Served with Garlic Soy Sauce|
|Seared Tuna:||Served with Daikon & Citrus Soy Sauce|
|Udon Noodle:||In Broth Soup|
|Seasonal Dessert Selection:||Raspberry Sorbet|
|Menu||The Restaurant - Dining Area||The Restaurant - View||Sake!|
|Michael Lip||Michael Zheng||Jeffrey Chen|
|White Sesame Tofu with Citrus Dip in Agedashi Sauce|
|All Four Amuse-Bouche||Pacific Oyster and Salmon Roe with Citrus Soy Sauce||Grilled Saikyo Silver Cod Fillet||Prawn Marinated in Nanban Sauce &
Blanched Spinich with Sesame Dressing
|Tuna and Salmon Sashimi|
|Tuna Sushi||Tuna and Salmon Sushi||Salmon Sushi|
|Steamed Savoury Egg Custard with Prawn, Scallop and Shiitake Mushroom|
|Assorted Tempura - Prawn, Fish, Capsicum, Potato, Asparagus|
|Premium Wagyu Sirloin Steak with Garlic Soy Sauce|
|Seared Tuna with Daikon & Citric Soy Sauce|
|Udon Noodles in Broth Soup (with Chilli Flakes)|
|All 3 Desserts||Rasberry Sorbet||Chocolate Mousse||Crème brûlée|