3 Ronin is a café and restaurant located in a heritage house in Spice Alley, Chippendale. It is named after a samurai without a master. A very cool name for this eatery which serves Japanese inspired cuisine and booze. It has been operating as a café, but the bar and dinner service has only just commenced. They’ve got a great thing going on here and we believe this was one of our best dining experiences this year with absolutely everything on point.
3 Ronin has a casual vibe, with an awesome sound track playing whilst we dined. The waitress Jackie provided friendly service and chef Johnny Lo from Tequila Mocking Bird and Esteban served up hit after hit, and barman Mark made some phenomenal cocktails. The old fashioned was a good version of a traditional old fashioned, all flavours in sync. The Manhattan / Rob Roy again was well made with the liquor of choice; the Nikka Black, well balanced with sweet vermouth, bitters and maraschino cherry, with nice smokey flavours and slight bitterness.
But the drink highlight of the evening was the ‘Honey and Spice’, a standout cocktail, one of the best we have tried in Australia. They used honey chai infused whisky, manuka honey, egg whites and home made falernum. There was a lovely sweetness to the cocktail, rich honey flavours and egg whites softening the tone slightly. We will undoubtedly be ordering this cocktail again!!
We really enjoyed all the food on offer at 3 Ronin, approachable ingredients made into quality dishes with the flavours of Japan, one of our favourite cuisines.
To begin, there was an Edamame hummus with burnt miso oil puffed nori, The puffed nori was incredibly light and crisp, the edamame hummus in contrast a nice thick dip that was well seasoned with burnt miso oil.
Following this was a super fresh and a very good version of a kingfish crudo. The Kingfish had been cured in kombu for 4hrs, giving the fish a soft texture, the flavour enhanced with shiso and japanese herbs.
Their Wagyu rib finger Sansho pepper was perfectly seasoned and the star is definitely the beef, the flavour enhanced by a touch of salt, tare(sweet soy) and rayu(chilli oil) the crisp fried shallots on top adding nice texture. This is a perfect bar snack we could have ate a million of these.
For the vegetarian options, the Yaki Tofu had good spice with a nice hum, the tofu had a nice firm texture and their King oyster Mushrooms were combined nicely with yuzu marinade, almost tasted pickled, a good zesty flavour, mellowed nicely by the mushroom puree, seved with Ajo Negro(black garlic) and puffed rice for some texture.
The highlight of the night was a Wagyu rump cap. It was sensational, one of the best steaks we have come across, it had a nice crust, created by deflecting the flame of the blow torch off charcoal and was served rare, the knife cut through the meat like butter. This was served with a biltong butter, which was out of this world. The biltong butter had us in two minds, whether to add the biltong butter to the beef or not since either way the beef was incredible and you could eat the butter on its own!
The sides were also quality, charred shingiku, was delicious. An asian leafy green, the char made this side extremly tasty and moreish. The tomatoes with yuba (tofu skin), umebashi (pickled Japanese plums) and green shiso were nice and refreshing.
Overall, our visit to 3 Ronin was a great experience. We enjoyed, the food, service, the cocktails and the atmosphere, there is an internal dining space, bar seating and an outdoor dining area. 3 Ronin is great for a meal or a bar experience. They have an extensive range of Japanese spirits, including whisky, gin and brandy. There is a selection of beer wine and a great cocktail list. The food is so good, a bite to eat is a must, they have a la carte and a set menu option. We can recommend this enough.
26 Kensington St
Daily: 6 am – 3pm 5
& Wed – Friday: 5pm – 11pm