Buzzy, fun and Nippon-trendy, Sake’s wall of brightly-coloured sake barrels, cherry blossom wallpaper and abuzz tatami dining area make for a frolicsome night out eating in Sydney. It’s more suited for a group of friends rather than an intimate dinner for two, though it will suit anyone searching for Japan’s elusive umami, particularly with sushi guru Shaun Presland at the helm. After slicing sashimi for Sushi e at The Establishment, Presland was poached by Nobu Matsihusa to open Nobu Atlantis in the Bahamas, and it’s easy to see why he’s a darling of the foodie world. Presland is a master at his craft, and the menu is a testament to his background of learning the ins and outs of the cuisine at a 350-year-old traditional wooden inn in Japan. Sit at the sushi counter to watch his nimble nigiri and sashimi skills. Everything tastes exemplary, though it’s worth venturing beyond sushi to Presland’s tartare trio of salmon, tuna and kingfish, devilishly tender pork belly or miso cuttlefish, grilled to perfection and marinated in sweet miso sauce. The name might be a hint, but don’t forget to drink and dine – along with 14 sake and shochu cocktails, the bar is most famous for its Kozaemon sakes, which are exclusively sourced from the 300-year-old Nakashima brewery in Japan, served chilled or warmed for $3-6 per tasting glass.