One of my favourite cuisines is Japanese. One of my favourite dining concepts is tapas. Put them together and what do you get? Big Stone, a modern Japanese tapas restaurant in North Sydney! I love the quirky touches inside the restaurant, from the hand painted murals to the pot plants hanging from the ceiling in wicker baskets and the gorgeous light fixtures over the bar.
I do not like the taste of octopus, so takoyaki has never been something I’ve enjoyed. However, I quite liked Big Stone’s ‘takosen’, which consisted of a takoyaki sandwiched between two thin prawn crackers. The octopus worked well with the two sauces, which provided sweetness, as well as a wasabi kick, and, combined with the crunchy prawn crackers, was a great way to start the meal.
My sister was continuing her quest for soft food that she could eat comfortably with her new braces, and this silky smooth crab custard was just the dish. While tasty, she would have preferred more crab pieces in the custard, and also for the dish to be larger!
Chorizo is a staple of Spanish tapas, and the chorizo we had at Big Stone was excellent – perfectly cooked with just the right amount of fat and a spicy punch.
Another favourite tapas dish is garlic mushrooms, and these were fabulous. The garlic and chilli infused oil was so full of flavour and I really liked that so many different varieties of mushrooms were used – enoki, shiitake, oyster and shimeji – as they added such different textures and tastes to what in other restaurants can be an ordinary dish.
The garlic prawns were cooked in the same oil as the mushrooms, and were much larger than the prawns that you usually get in a traditional Spanish tapas. I prefer smaller prawns as they tend to be more tender, but this dish was still very tasty and featured plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
Lamb is one of my favourite meats and these char grilled lamb cutlets were lovely – perfectly cooked, juicy and with great flavour. I did not particularly like the cous cous accompaniment, as it was a bit soggy and did not really add anything to the dish.
The paella arrived steaming and loaded with seafood, chorizo and chicken. I would have liked a bit more flavour in the rice, but I was happy with the crispy baked-on bits of rice that I collected after scraping the base and sides of the pan, which is really the best part of the paella!
The pick of the desserts was the chocolate fondant, which was incredible and had all members of the table diving in for seconds and thirds. The rich, liquid chocolate centre oozed out as soon as the cake was cut, and was fantastic with the peanut ice cream.
- One of my favourite tapas restaurants – love the fusion of Japanese and Spanish techniques and elements
- Service was very friendly and prompt
- Definitely order the garlic mushrooms and the chocolate fondant – amazing!
194 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
T: (02) 9956 6100
W: Big Stone