Windsor, I hope you never stop surprising me. I took one step forward and two steps back to read the sign again. Sash Japanese Pizza, it read. Japanese Pizza? You can find it at 113 Chapel Street, Windsor. Open just a week ago, it operates from 5.30pm to 11pm every day.
A perfect blend of restaurant and bar, co-owners Dave Nelson and Kyle Stagoll have not only brought their vision of fusion Japanese cuisine to life, they've given it an air of excitement, backed up by flavour in every bite.
A mecca for the unexpected, this is the home of rice based pizzas, AKA Sushizza. Crispy yet slightly chewy, we ordered the Kingfish, Yuzu Mayo and Onion Pizza, and I have to say, these rice based pizzas are going to be my new food fad. Other toppings include Hoisin Duck, Sticky Pulled Pork, Ebi and Eggplant. There's enough on the menu to satisfy the vegan and vegetarian.
Starting with the tacos, we had the Tuna, Prawn and Kingfish. It seems the spicy tuna is everyone's favourite. But I can't go past a good prawn; this taco being the Peruvian Prawn Salsa, with perfectly cooked succulent prawns. The Kingfish, lime, chilli and coconut tacos fought well for its place in the favourites stakes. These delicious fillings came encased in a crispy taco that shattered with every bite.
To be honest, tapas style, I enjoyed the variety of ordering a few starters. Joining the three flavours of tacos, the Chilli Mayo Prawn Sliders in their light and fresh, puffy black buns, slid down my throat more than pleasantly. You can't go wrong ordering seafood, especially when it's perfectly cooked.
Next came the Spanner Crab and Pumpkin Pizza with beetroot, caramelised onion, feta, pine nuts and balsamic pizza on a signature traditional base with seaweed. Are you counting? This makes three full pizzas, three shared tacos, two pork sliders, and last but not least, the Eggplant Poke Plate; not served in a traditional bowl, but on an open plate.
It would be an understatement to say we got a little excited, considering there was only two of us eating. Yep, you heard right, washed down by a couple of House Hakashu Cold Sakes, as they don't do the warm sake. "Dessert?", she cried. Thank you lovely Belinda (waitress), but we just can't fit a thing in! In fact, we couldn't finish all the pizza and in the last few slices, it came down to scraping up most of the toppings, and wolfing them down without the base.
In hindsight, we would probably have been better off ordering the 'Give it to me' at $59 per person (minimum of 2) which would have been portioned more suitably, encompassing a large variety off the menu. I wish I had room for dessert, but it just means it gives me an excuse to come back again, not that I need one.
Being a cocktail bar, Sash is not short of a drink with their signature cocktails like Japanese Spritz (sake, yuzu, aperol & sparkling rose), Geisha Girl (cranberry, plum yuzu, gin & lemon juice) and White Mountain (sake, peach liqueur & lime), along with other popular drinks, cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, wines, beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
On the night, Kyle Rose from Chin Chin was slinging cocktails around as he headed up the bar. Tatted and with smouldering good looks, you'll probably find him scorching a few marshmallows with a blow torch while creating one of his delicious concoctions.
With a sleek fit out by Black Milk Designs, and amazing, huge, deliciously-coloured street art portraits on the walls by Mr Steve Cross (Instagram: @mrstevecross), Sash has thought of everything, down to opening up the back wall with a full glass window, looking out onto Artists Lane. Good food, good service, friendly staff, great art; you'll find it all here at Sash.
Check out the website for more information and Facebook is a great way to stay updated with what's happening. They're also a great source of food porn to salivate over, till you can get in to Sash. My pictures taken on an iPhone in low level lighting are no comparison or competition to the amazing food pictures you'll find on both sites. Bon Appetite!