$1000 sushi to be served in Bondi's 'shrine by the sea'

Hiroyuki Sato at his Hakkoku restaurant in Tokyo. With only six seats and a six-month waiting list, the sushi shrine is ...
Hiroyuki Sato at his Hakkoku restaurant in Tokyo. With only six seats and a six-month waiting list, the sushi shrine is one of the hardest restaurants in the world to land a reservation. Photo: Supplied

Icebergs chef Monty Koludrovic is on a mission to create the world's best sushi restaurant in Bondi.

For two days in October for Sydney Good Food Month, Koludrovic is set to host acclaimed Tokyo-based chef Hiroyuki Sato for a $1000 per-person sushi experience at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar.

"We did an event with Hiroyuki last year but to protect the integrity of his product it was a limited menu compared to what his Tokyo restaurant offers," said Koludrovic. 

Bondi Icebergs featuring Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on the top floor.
Bondi Icebergs featuring Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on the top floor. Photo: Edwina Pickles

"I felt we could have done more, so I put it to him, 'What if we build your restaurant in our restaurant and we offer the same experience you provide? But, instead of being on the fourth floor of a Ginza office building, guests will look out over the ocean?'. 

"At that point I realised that we could potentially have the best sushi restaurant in the world for the two days Hiroyuki will be here."

With only six seats and a six-month waitlist, Sato's Hakkoku sushi shrine in Tokyo is one of the hardest restaurants in the world to land a reservation at. Prior to opening Hakkoku in 2018, Sato was head chef of three-Michelin-starred Sushi Tokami.

Chef Hiroyuki and the sushi from his famous Tokyo restaurant Hakkoku.
Chef Hiroyuki and the sushi from his famous Tokyo restaurant Hakkoku. Photo: Supplied

A seat at the Hakkoku sushi bar costs ¥41,000 ($544) for 30 courses of sushi. A significant part of that cost is due to the quality and price of the seafood used. Bluefin tuna, for example, sells for around $125 a kilogram at market, but that price can easily double for prized catches. 

Koludrovic says that he will by lead by Sato in terms of what seafood is used at the Icebergs-Hakkoku dinners. 

"I won't stand in the way of imported seafood for this one, especially as it will be near the end of bluefin tuna season in Japan," he said. 

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"The menu will feature 20 to 30 courses and possibly start with a handroll of chopped tuna collar. When Hiroyuki served the roll to me in Tokyo, he told everyone I was dining with to 'shut up' as it likes it to be eaten within 10 seconds."

The $1000 dollar price-tag also includes premium matched wine, sake and beer, and luxury return transfers.

"We're doing the luxury car transfers to bring Japanese hospitality to Bondi," said Koludrovic.

"At one sushi restaurant I visited in Tokyo, the whole restaurant team walked us out of the building and stood on the road waving as we drove away in a taxi. It's all about feeling like you're in good hands - and I think that should start from the moment you walk out the door of your own house."

Hiroyuki Sato at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, October 15 and 16, 6:30pm. Visit goodfoodmonth.com.au for more information and tickets.

Highlights of Sydney Good Food Month presented by Citi

Shannon Martinez at Mary's Underground

One of Melbourne's best vegan chefs is crafting an evening of elevated Creole and Cajun food at Mary's new Circular Quay good-times restaurant. Expect to be transported to the bayous of Louisiana accompanied by big brass band sounds.

October 10, 6pm, Mary's Underground, 7 Macquarie Place, Sydney

Young Chefs Lunch presented by Citi

Taste the work of the next generation of culinary talent at waterside institution Otto as some of the country's best young chefs prepare a four-course Italian lunch under the guidance of Otto executive chef Richard Ptacnik. Sit back and relax for a long Sunday lunch.

October 27, 12.30pm, Otto Ristorante, 8/6 Cowper Wharf, Woolloomooloo

Thomas Frebel at Automata 

Thomas Frebel was head of research and development at Copenhagen's Noma restaurant before relocating to Inua in Tokyo and taking on the role of head chef. He brings his renowned skills to Chippendale's two-hatted Automata intimate multi-course meal. Automata chef Clayton Wells will join Frebel on the pans.

October 26, 1pm, Automata, 5 Kensington Street, Chippendale

All tickets available from goodfoodmonth.com.au

Nick Bonyhady