The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

A new izakaya in Newtown

February 24th, 2010  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  9 Comments

Tomato salad, Iiza

Here’s how it happens.

A few weeks ago, Dan Hong, the award-winning chef of Lotus (and self-confessed sneaker whiz), passed by a new restaurant being set up and sent out this tweet:

Izakaya opening soon in newtown!! Win

Gomae Ae, Iiza, Newtown

As an izakaya-convert, I instantly wanted to know more. I didn’t know Dan at all, but I quizzed him for details and he kindly tweeted back the co-ordinates of this new Japanese joint he’d noticed.

Camembert tempura, Iiza, Newtown

So, the lowdown: you can find Iiza near Industrial Strength and the vego Thai place on King Street, where it has been opening its doors for less than a week.

I’m still getting acquainted with the menu (which is served by waitresses swishing to your table in sandals and traditional costume), but so far, my definite favourites are the Goma-ae Beans with Black and White Sesame Dressing (a plate-off between greens dressed in sweet black sesame and its nutty white equivalent – a match I’m happy to call a delicious tie) and the Vegetable Skewers, which are drizzled with a honey-sweet sauce you have to actively stop yourself from dipping your finger into.

Skewers, Iiza, Newtown

I’m looking forward to testing out more of the menu (including the dessert section – which features a curiosity-spiking dish called a Japanese black sugar brûlée).

Who says Twitter isn’t useful?

Iiza, 184 King St, Newtown NSW (02) 8095 9260,

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  1. Fantastic news. Another Japanese is more than welcome in our neighbourhood

  2. Nathan says:

    Oh maaaaaaaaaan…

    First Cafe Ish mk II and now this?


  3. leetranlam says:

    John, yes, I think this could be a nice addition to Newtown’s main drag! I’ve only been twice in the opening week & it’s very hard to eat a lot of izakaya food on your own, but I’m looking fwd to trying more of the menu with other people.

    Nathan, I know, Sydney is really smiting you with all these new foodie joints. Enjoy the lime-and-salted sparrows while you can, when you come back here, we’re going on a MEGA eat-a-thon!

  4. The Hongs are a talented bunch. Angie Hong runs Than Binh on north king and in cabra. Yumsville!

  5. leetranlam says:

    Elo, I had no idea! Makes sense though, what a culinary-savvy genepool. Btw, I hope it didn’t make it sound like it was Dan’s resto, it was just a place he noticed and tweeted about. I’ve gone back to make that clearer, so no one gets confused!

  6. hmmm interesting LTL! nice one! perhaps we should do the VCT, ZD, LTL, HS meeting there? xxx

  7. leetranlam says:

    Oh, I like your style of thinking, Ebony! I’m still quite impartial to Cafe Ish, izakaya-style (the cabbage has me hooked!), and I think I’d like to brainwash everyone into enjoying it first! But for next-dinner-after, yes! x

  8. looks like interesting food. thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  9. Tabitha says:

    When-oh-when will LTL go to Japan!

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

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This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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