Time Out says
A modern izakaya comes to Newtown, fusing Japanese knife skills and ultra-marbled steaks with Vietnamese flavours
Izakaya food is, at its core, drinking food. Kaiza Izakaya, a new arrival in Newtown, runs with the informality and snack-ready portions at the heart of this Japanese form of dining – but makes a decisive call on forgoing some of its other traditional elements.
For instance, it's not sticking to only Japanese flavours. The chef at its helm, Jason Nguyen, is combining a childhood watching his Vietnamese father cook for the family with his culinary education in Tokyo for a menu that melds Japanese technical acuity with the flavours drawing from the five elements of Vietnamese cooking: salt, sweet, bitter, spice and sour.
Come for Coffin Bay oysters tartened with a spicy nuoc cham, or a Wagu beef nigiri made of crisped rice (the kind you find at the base of a clay pot), and thin slices of snapper served with chili-lime dressing. There's a wagyu sirloin (with a marble grade of at least five, if you were wondering) dressed up with kombu soy butter and kizami wasabi, a version of the Japanese root that's chopped up and marinated in soy.
The menu is informal, easily divisible and has a casual elegance that makes it as smashable with a complex cab sav by sommelier Theodore Nguyen as well as with an imported whiskey, sake or a beer of your own choosing (it's BYO, too).
Check out Kaiza Izakaya at 95 Enmore Road, Newtown.