Transport yourself to the busy backstreets of Shinjuku at Golden Gai in Windsor. The vibe is electric, with the dark and moody space lit up by signage you’d see adorning the streets of Tokyo. Adding to the atmosphere is a clear emphasis on Japanese pop culture with kawaii (cute) toys and manga collectables littered around the place.
The menu, which includes vegan and gluten-free options, is divided into starters, skewers, izakaya, substantial shares, sushi and sashimi. Spanning traditional eats like salmon sashimi, miso soup, tempura veggies and pork gyoza to inventive dishes like sushi tacos, truffle croquettes, seafood japaella (a fresh take on the Spanish rice dish) and nori fries, the menu certainly delivers. You’d be remiss to skip a happy ending (dessert) with matcha creme brulee and yuzu sorbet on the cards. You can order sake by the carafe or the bottle, and they’ve got your favourite Japanese beers on tap—including Golden Gai’s own lager which is made with sake rice and sorachi ace hops. If cocktails are your bag, you aren’t going to be able to pass one up here. The Hakushu Sour, made with green apple and Hakushu Japanese whisky, earns top points for the sour strap garnish. If it’s time for a wake up call the JR Expresso Martini with double espresso, Yamazaki Japanese whisky and Kahlua is for you. The well-rounded drinks menu is finished off with plum wine, sparkling, white, red and rosè wines, spirits, mocktails and teas.
Open from 5.30pm every day, bookings are recommended.
Image source: Instagram.