Celebrity chef Neil Perry is adding five new dishes to the popular Japanese restaurant’s menu.

When Perry’s Rockpool Group merged with the Urban Purveyor Group (the owners of Saké, among other venues) to form the Rockpool Dining Group late last year, it was only a matter of time before Perry took an active interest in Saké’s menu.

A self-declared Japanophile and a regular visitor to Tokyo, Perry is no tourist when it comes to Japanese cooking, and his new dishes balance washoku — traditional Japanese food — with Saké’s contemporary approach.

Perry’s devotion to Australian ingredients and sustainable practices also shines through on the new menu, which aims to showcase the work of Aussie producers.

“We want our loyal customers to fall in love with Saké all over again,” Perry says. “We’re offering them another reason to keep coming back by taking them on a journey of rediscovery.

“My new additions focus on tradition while still being contemporary and fun and ‘heroing’ everything that is celebrated about Japanese cuisine: produce, quality, seasonality and freshness.”

Perry’s signature dishes include:

  • Cape Grim short rib bo ssam — A Japanese twist on a traditional Korean dish with the addition of red miso and chilli, and a smack of umami from dashi-simmered confit garlic.
  • Glacier 51 Toothfish with miso butter — The ultimate choice in sustainability, Glacier 51 Toothfish is glazed in a classic Japanese miso marinade, wrapped in a bamboo leaf, roasted, unfurled in front of the guest and drizzled with miso butter.
  • Scampi tartare — Slithers of exquisite scampi are marinated in soy, dotted with trout roe, sprinkled with togarashi and served on a texturally delicious konbu rice cracker.
  • Nori crisps tuna & kingfish — Jewel-like cubes of Marine Stewardship Certified tuna and kingfish are marinated in white soy and mirin, lifted with a touch of togarashi and served with green onion and a light sesame dressing.
  • Ginger garlic chicken — Crisp-fried free range chicken, chopped Asian style, and sprinkled with charred spring onions.

Perry’s new dishes will be complemented by new seasonal cocktails featuring traditional Japanese ingredients. Highlights include:

  • Japanese Shoemaker — Matches Amontillado sherry with rich and fruity loganberry jam and yuzu to form a sweet and sour style of drink with salty and nutty overtones
  • Sesame Yaki — Red rice sake forms the body of the drink and bitter vermouth, Italian cherry liqueur, vodka and citrus bitters complete the balance. A drop of aromatic dark sesame oil ties it all together.
  • Maple Leaf — House-made grenadine is spiced with shichimi and shaken with shiso, white rum and egg whites for a silky smooth consistency and a lingering spicy, herbaceous finish.

“The focus is on developing cocktails that resonate with and contrast Japanese cuisine, which offers many rich, savoury and salty dishes that contain lots of umami,” Rockpool Dining Group national premium beverage manager Ryan Gavin says.

“We have replicated that savouriness in the cocktail offering. There is also a strong focus on using traditional Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, sake, shiso, shichimi and umeboshi.”

The new dishes will be added to the menu at Saké Restaurant & Bar (45 Eagle Street, Brisbane City) this Friday 17 March.