kimyōna izakaya


by Jimmy Wright

Goros, 84-86 Mary Street, Surry Hills 2010

Opening night Thursday 4th December 2014

Goro’s is a theme pub and it’s a big one.

I was fooled for a bit. On arrival I asked one of the marketing types helping with hosting the evening who Goro was and whether I might meet him; to be told that he’d just popped out and would be back later. Odd I thought, that the owner should have popped out from his own party. But hey there was free flowing Mango Beer, a little sweet, but deliciously refreshing along with 12 different Sakes to get through so I got stuck in.

The story of Goro’s is a far fetched and complicated one starting in Tokyo and gets to Sydney via, Beijing, Moscow and Paris. I read the website three times and still don’t get why the marketing team bothered concocting the story.

After a few Mango Beer’s I tried the Riverside Summer Ale which was much more my thing; a good mix of barley and wheat hops with a citrusy finish. Our hostess reappeared and after having had chat with a few of the other guests I challenged the existence of Goro. She protested for a moment or two but soon acknowledged he was about as authentic as the cocktail list which is a classic-Japanese twisted confusion.

I suggested that a sample of the ‘Unusual Negroni’ consisting of Four Pillars Gin, Campari, Ume-Shu (Sake infused with fruit) and bitters might allow me to ignore the little white lie earlier on. Less than five minutes later I had a generous drink served with a rare golf-ball ice cube placed into my right hand. It was one of the better Negroni variations I have sampled in Sydney. Others should take heed that a drink like Negroni is best served with a long-lasting ice cube like this rather than the machine ice that dilutes the alcohol a disappoints incredibly.

Goros, stumbling distance from Central Station, is huge with five seating zones serviced by one large bar area. It’s easily big enough for 300+ people, so I wouldn’t recommend it for an intimate occasion. My suspicion is that it will attract the after work and student crowd and do okay. But at about $10 for the average beer and $15 for some average Karaage chicken they are going to have to do some deals to keep Sydney coming back. The $15 Bento Box at lunchtime should be a Friday winner.

Goros, as his dear friend Mr Kobayashi might have said, is kimyōna izakaya (weird pub) and not really my cup of tea. However there were a couple of absolute standouts; The King Oyster Mushroom Steam Bun was the best thing I ate all week and the vegetable Gyoza at $12 for 8 are super tasty and value.

Want to try a taste of Japanese in Sydney? Try Goros TWEET THIS

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