PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Tucked inside the cosy timber-lined room are Sushi on Stanley's warm staff - cutting, frying, steaming and rolling together ingredients to make its renowned fresh sushi. Since opening nearly a decade ago, the restaurant was the first Asian eatery established on the quaint street then predominantly studded with Italian restaurants.
Japanese paper parasols pop out flanking a collaged collection of souvenirs on the wall. A long linen scroll painted in Japanese calligraphy peeps between old black and white photographs and antique sketches. The arrangement gives colour to the simple décor of cream walls and timber floors and absorbs interest of this solo lunch noticing evermore quirky relics. The chirpy waitresses chatter over the constant sizzle and flare of frypans as they swivel between tables with orders. The timber tables are shuffled around like puzzle pieces as diners come and go, some stopping by quickly to pick up their favourite dishes which have remained the same price for years. The waitresses grace guests with stained black wooden trays holding a perfect fit of bowls, plates and platters. The puzzle of shapes each holds bright colours of food so fresh, the stirfry is still sizzling.
This tray beholds a bowl of bright vegetables encased in light, bubbly tempura crust beside a small rectangular platter of teriyaki chicken bound in a sweet, thick glaze – a special recipe designed by the sushi bar's two owners. An artful arrangement of freshly made sushi and soft slivers of sashimi sit together by a mound of fluffy rice. With salad, steaming miso soup, sauces and delicate cubes of fresh fruit, the tray of goodies is so plentiful it seems the entire food pyramid is present.
Sushi on Stanley is a much-loved institution tempting back its crowd of Darlinghurst regulars. It's a perfect stopover for affordable and casual dishes that focus on fresh flavoursome ingredients enjoyed in a room emoting community spirit and artistic cool.