I have a tradition with one particular friend- we always celebrate each other’s birthday together (preferably on the actual day). I don’t even know how it started – actually, that’s not true – I suppose we met up in first year uni and then decided to make it a thing, with the idea that our birthdays will always be enjoyable that way.
So this year, it was her idea to go to Azuma for high tea. Azuma is a traditional Japanese restaurant, and some might know its little off-shoot Azuma Patisserie that used to be in Regent Place in Town Hall.
The restaurant in Chifley Plaza has a very modern interior, with quite a calm ambience – and a window facing the street below. The choice of the day was the Tokyo High Tea – $32 per person.
Our chosen drinks were an earl grey tea and a green tea latte. I thought it interesting that it came in a plunger, rather than a tea pot – which I think would have been a nicer touch. I don’t know where they source their tea from, but it was good – and the latte had a good matcha flavour.
In place of the more traditional sandwiches – there were two types of sushi. A salad sushi roll with asparagus, avocado, cucumber and red shiso leaf on top – which was overall, nothing special.
Of more interest was the sushi roll topped with spicy salmon – filled with cucumber and avocado, covered in tobiko – or fish roe. As someone who enjoys eating - I am also rather picky (very picky, some might say). This means that I’ve never eaten sashimi or fish roe. However, I decided that there was no time like a birthday to try something I would never usually eat. The salmon was…not as bad as I thought it would be – but I wouldn’t go out of my way to order it. The roe was basically unpalatable – I don’t know how people eat it – crunchy fishy spheres, ugh. Each to their own I suppose.
Anyway, on to more tasty things. A scone with strawberry jam and a piece of vanilla chiffon cake was served separately.
The sweet tier had a chocolate fudge brownie, which had a rich chocolate flavour, and was indeed very fudge-y.
Next up was a green tea swiss roll – the cake was spongy and light, and the green tea filling had a good matcha flavour. Basically, Azuma does their sponge and chiffon cakes very well.
There was a small dish of fruit, topped with a very soft champagne jelly – which was a refreshing change from all the cake-like desserts, which I found were all a bit sweet.
Finally, the creme brulee. It was almost perfect – the custard was smooth, and you could see the vanilla seeds, however, it had no toffee crack at all – which was a bit of a let down, especially since there was caramelisation.
Overall, a pleasant experience, and we both left nicely full. So if you’re looking for high tea with a twist – definitely give Azuma a try!
Azuma Japanese Restaurant
Level 1, Chifley Plaza
2 Chifley Square
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 02 9222 9960