Sugarcane Coogee Beach[Invite + personal visit] Transporting itself from Surryhills to Coogee is Milan Stribac’s Sugarcane Restaurant and the new beach side restaurant is already winning accolades (Telegraph’s Top 50 Restaurants in Sydney Guide). Sugarcane Coogee is a restaurant that dishes up Thai/Modern Asia with a slew of Malaysian and South East Asia in the Mix. From Rendangs, Pad thai to various curries and Balinese fried rice, Sugarcane Coogee will have you transported to the various regions where the dishes originate with Milan’s twist. Also here, a freshbar where resident fresh seafood expert, Yoshi Fuchigami (ex-Catalina) is station dishing up sashimis, raw scallop eats and beef tatakis. It’s a very pretty venue in an area of town that’s really starting to flex its culinary muscles.
Sugarcane Coogee is a good looking affair with a very pretty fitout by the team at Giant Designs. The look is a mix of contemporary and Asian influences – the hanging plants here add a certain colour and green appeal while the vernacular language of cane and warm woods adds warmth. Up the other end, Sugarcane has a small alcove space that can accommodate about 20 for private dining/birthday and other special occasions.
“I want the restaurant to have a casual feel where you could walk in off the beach, have a few snacks and a drink, and feel comfortable in your beach gear”,
Here at Sugarcane Coogee, they’ve added a raw bar to the mix, from these deliciously fresh scallops, sushi platters, oysters and beef tataki dishes.
From their small and fresh eats part of the menu comes, a lovely salt and pepper squid dish while the large easily shareable lettuce cup dish is a fresh aromatic melange of eastern thai/vietnamese eaten a crispy lettuce cup. With the modern restaurant menu they have, it can be hard to gauge what you’ll get on your plate so it’s a delight as each plate arrives ladened with aromats and colour. It’s all going to be amply full flavoured.
The mains at Sugarcane are designed to be easily shareable and there’s an extensive vegetarian menu here (which all come in under $20). Tofu stirfry surprised with delicious velvety bite despite the “firm tofu description” and a sweetly umami chili jam sauce. Curiously, the beans in the dish we’ve never had and were velvety and firm at the same time.
Their Crispy Chicken dish is a large mound of crunchy deep fried chicken dripping in a savoury, quince orange sauce that impresses as it arrives tableside. This, a bowl of steamed fried rice would please in itself. Their succinctly described “Wagyu Rendang” a meltaway serve of beef rendang, complex and somewhat less densely coconut cream ladened and spicy then you’d expect.
The duo of desserts we’ve had at Sugarcane. A rich thai butterscotch completes the banana cake dessert and the combination of warm banana cake and peanut butter icecream with that butterscotch has shades of reeses pieces in its flavouring. The strawberry parfait is pretty and sits surrounded by a large mound of pistachio crumble – its very crunchy and reminiscent of a breakfast dessert.
Sugarcane Coogee also has a solid cocktail list of about 10 – most with an Asian twist to the names and taste profile to match the Asian eats here. Ingredients like Kaffir Lime makes this menu as does an array of tropical fruits in their Mekong Hurricane.
Well priced, affordable, pleasing modern Asian is what you can expect out of Sugarcane Coogee. With the much of the menu shareable/family style, diners will be able to experience a good selection of their eats. This is very good and its not a surprised that they’ve struck a chord with local diners.
56 Carr Street, Coogee
Hours: Tues-Sun 5:30pm-12am