CBD offices might not have returned to pre-pandemic levels of occupancy, but that hasn’t slowed Sydney’s seemingly insatiable appetite for restaurant launches.

Japanese restaurant Kazan Dining opened its doors on Wednesday, June 8  at 25 Martin Place, already home to recent arrivals Aalia, Botswana Butchery and White + Wongs.

It’s the first Sydney foray from the team behind Canberra It-restaurant Inka. But some might remember co-owner Kiehyon Yoo as the opening GM at Toko, which recently closed in Surry Hills ahead of a move to the CBD.

The signature sushi selection at Kazan.
The signature sushi selection at Kazan. Photo: Louise Kennerley

“Kazan was a Japanese emperor known as a peace-maker and an artist,” says Yoo. “It’s also the Japanese word for volcano.”

The circular restaurant mirrors a volcano, the ceiling acting as its central design feature.

The interior design is a riff on kumiko, a traditional Japanese woodworking technique featuring ornate geometric patterns. Yoo says they had to tread carefully with the rebuild so as not to disturb the Harry Seidler-designed building.

There’s no such restraint in the kitchen. Chef Shinya Nakano, a Kyoto-trained sushi chef who also worked at Kisume in Melbourne, has been given licence with the food.

“We’re doing a Japanese take on Cantonese fish cooked with ginger and shallot,” says Yoo. “The snapper is steamed with sake. And there’s a slow-cooked Angus tenderloin finished on the robata grill with a slice of foie gras on top.” 

Meanwhile, the hunt for a Sydney home for Inka continues. Yoo is reluctant to reveal where it will head, but the Inka team has been spotted touring prime harbourside locations.

Open lunch and dinner Tue-Sat.

Shop 8.01, 25 Martin Place, Sydney, 02 8080 8074