Salaryman’s inner city concrete bar and dining space is urban and trendy featuring a giant image of a Japanese woman and paint deliberately dripping down walls. It’s a very cool space with a large open kitchen and a comfy looking lounge area by the bar.
The drinks menu doesn’t have as much Japanese beer as I was expecting. I opted for the only one on the menu, the Orion Rice Lager. As it only comes in a 500 ml can the bar tender seemed shocked when I ordered it, but it went down very easily.
The menu does star an excellent selection of Japanese snacks, charcoaled meat plates and of course, ramen.
To start with we order the confit duck cigar with a delicious plum sauce ($14). These are crispy, cooked perfectly and it’s a very generous size for an appetiser!
In Japanese, Okonomiyaki is the word for a savoury pancake. The name comes from the word Okonom meaning “what you like”. If you like prawn toast you should definitely try Salaryman’s prawn toast okonomiyaki ($16). Topped with a range of Japanese garnishes and a creamy mayo dressing this is a great dish.
The spicy karaage chicken bun with pickled daikon ($9) is packed with flavour and is also a very generous size. This dish is however quite oily and with the buttery bread it can fill you up quickly.
If, like us, you have gone a bit overboard on the appetisers make sure you save some room for the ramen.
We tried the Duck Shoyu Ramem ($25). It’s a huge bowl but it’s filled with goodness. The duck was unfortunately a little overcooked but the ramen still hit the spot. Served with rye noodle, picked shiitake mushroom, sweet onion, shoyu egg and bean sprout there are some great Japanese flavours in this dish.
The are a couple of other interesting ramens on offer including the Udon Carbonara ($20) and a Spicy Chicken Tantanmen ($20) as well as a range of charcoal meats and fish dishes to choose from too.
If you have room for desserts you could share a Salary Man sundae for two ($16) or the Yuzu curd Taiyaki, blood orange, vanilla ice cream dessert ($14).
The final say:
Standout dish – Salaryman’s prawn toast okonomiyaki ($16)
Positives – Great Japanese bar food and generous sizes
Negatives – Duck was a little overcooked in ramen and I would have loved to see more than one Japanese beer on the menu
Opening hours – Lunch – Friday Only 12pm till 2.30pm
Dinner – Monday to Saturday from 6pm till late
52-54 Albion Street Surry Hills