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FOOD & DRINK

Robata

The San Telmo Group's playful take on modern Japanese barbecue heroes skewers cooked over charcoal and cleverly reworked classic cocktails.
By Libby Curran
September 29, 2021
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By Libby Curran
September 29, 2021
  shares

UPDATE Wednesday, September 29: During lockdown, a special Robata At Home menu is available for delivery every Friday and Saturday, featuring dinner boxes, add-on dishes, bottled cocktails and sake, along with a range of merch. Order here by 5pm for next-day delivery.

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The team behind South American restaurants San Telmo, Pastuso, Palermo and Asado has switched continents entirely for its latest venture — Robata Japanese Grill.

A playful, minimalist space with futuristic elements and neon lights aplenty, the restaurant takes its cues from the streets of Tokyo. It's embracing the art of charcoal grilling as enthusiastically as the rest of its stable, though with Japanese techniques and traditions at the forefront, and a custom-built robatayaki grill taking centre-stage in the kitchen.

An izakaya-style menu by former San Telmo Head Chef Stephen Clark is headlined by a slew of yakitori and kushiyaki skewers, cooked over charcoal. Choose from the likes of chicken meatballs with cured yolk and tare sauce ($7), Skull Island prawns ($14), and pork belly dressed in yuzu kosho (a type of chilli paste) ($8). Other snacks run to the likes of various sashimi and a soy-laced beef tartare ($19), while bigger bites might include a tonkatsu pork cutlet matched with cabbage and mustard ($42), and the Rangers Valley skirt steak ($47) with shio koji (a fermented grain marinade). Add a side of charred broccolini and shiraee (smashed tofu salad) ($10), and a sparkling sake and sakura sorbet ($8) for dessert.

An expertly curated drinks lineup stars an abundance of top-notch drops, ranging from Coedo craft brews to bottles of local chardonnay. The bar's pouring a strong spread of imported sake and Japanese whisky, while cocktails include the likes of a shochu-infused espresso martini ($21) and the sake martini with salted plum ($21).

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