Sushi master Hiroyuki Sato has taken over Bondi Icebergs Dining Room and Bar with a tasting menu that costs more than a flight to Japan.
"We wanted to have the best sushi restaurant in the world for the three days Sato-san is here from Tokyo," said Icebergs executive chef Monty Koludrovic. "That meant zero concessions on quality."
The southern half of Icebergs' dining room has been transformed into a 20-seat sushi temple for six Good Food Month events priced at $1000 per person. Two custom-built sushi counters have been installed to showcase Sato's skills with raw fish and rice, while a local ceramicist was commissioned to craft bespoke serving plates.
It's a higher ticket price than Sato's Tokyo restaurant, Hakkoku, which has a six-month waiting list for 30 courses of sushi worth ￥41,000 ($544). Before opening Hakkoku in 2018, Sato was head chef of Ginza's Sushi Tokami, where he earned three Michelin stars.
"The ocean view at Icebergs is a step up from Ginza office blocks, though," said Koludrovic.
"As our seafood supplier Narito Ishii said to me last week, 'When you're eating the fish, and you can see its home, the fish will taste alive.' I knew we had something fun on our hands with these events, but I didn't realise how special they were until Narito said that."
Ishii has spent the past 10 weeks sourcing Australia's best seafood for the soldout events.
Tuesday's opening lunch featured 25 pieces of sushi, including Newcastle yellowtail, Coffs Harbour cuttlefish, Tasmanian black lip abalone and Queensland swordfish belly.
Japanese seafood also starred, such as Hokkaido scallops, monkfish liver and the prized northern bluefin tuna.
In addition to high-end sushi, the $1000 ticket included matched sake, wine and luxury car transfers.
"The car transfers were a vital element," said Koludrovic. "To be the world's best sushi restaurant, Japanese-style hospitality had to start the moment guests walked out their front door."