Dexter Kim

Sydney’s local Nikkei food landscape has a new addition, with Callao opening its doors to the public in the heart of Barangaroo.

The venue is the latest addition for the team behind Wild Sage and Alegre Bar and Dining, which continues to grow its CBD portfolio.

The 104-seater has encompasses a dining room and terracotta bar as well as an open kitchen for diners to observe.

Former Bar H talent Jihwan Choi has taken on the had chef role, and says the menu has been informed by the merging of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines.

“The first Japanese immigrants adapted traditional dishes by incorporating local ingredients.” he says.

“Peruvian staples like potatoes, corn, and fresh seafood found their way into Nikkei recipes. We have paid homage to Nikkei with Peruvian spices, herbs, and sauces, combined with traditional Japanese dishes.”

Guests can choose from a set menu or a la carte, with the menu split into snacks, crudo, antichucho, wood-fire, steaks, sides, and desserts.

Seared bonito tiradito is teamed with ponzo leche de tigre, wasabi, apple, and nori, while beef tartare is dialled up with aji amarillo emulsion, smoked oyster mayo, pickled daikon, cured egg yolk, and potato crisp.

Everything from king prawns to octopus, short rib, mushrooms, and cod are cooked over fire, while the steak section lists Kagoshima A5 full blood, Wagyu chuck tail flap, and a black Angus sirloin.

The Nikkei influence extends to the beverage program in the form of an Old Fashioned made with Shinobu Daimyo-No whisky with yuzu, lemon juice, and carob syrup and an extensive bottled beer section with brews from Japan and Peru.

Wines are mostly local, with some international drops from France, New Zealand, and Italy also available.

Callao is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.