Paper Planes
178 Campbell Parade
Bondi Beach, Sydney

We were out and about in beautiful Bondi Beach for Flickerfest recently and searching for somewhere interesting to dine - without a booking.

Fortunately it was early enough to find space in most restaurants - and even more fortunately we found Paper Planes.

It's Japanese food with a few twists as well - and yes they do have paper planes there too!

We grabbed an "outside" table in the laneway and sat back and enjoyed what turned out to be a lovely meal.

We started with edamame beans with sea salt - although you can have them with chilli salt as well. Aren't these such a great nibble starter for a Japanese meal! These ones were nicely cooked and had plenty of sea salt on top. They disappeared quickly.

We then moved on to a serving of salmon tartare nachos - quite a unique dish that we all loved even though we weren't 100% sure what it was when we ordered it. The inner bowl, that was resting on a bed of ice, had the salmon in it which was mixed with wasabi miso dressing, chives and tobiko.

Surrounding the whole lot were prawn crackers to heap the salmon mixture on to - like you would with nachos. These were so nice - extremely light and fresh and delicately tasty with a slight bite to them.

Quite possibly the dish of the night for us was the chilli salt calamari with yuzu aioli. In fact this was so nice we ordered a second plate after we had finished all our other dishes!

The calamari was so light and tender - and there was certainly plenty of it to for an entree!

We seemed to literally fight over this dish which probably explains the need for a second serving later on in the evening.

We are huge fans of crispy chicken when it has been done well. So with this in mind we eagerly chose the crispy kara age chicken that came with a side bowl of lemon ponzu and was garnished with shallots. The chicken was nice and crisp on the outside and juicy and tender inside. We weren't disappointed.

We then had sashimi in three varieties - tuna, salmon and kingfish. It came beautifully presented on a leaf draped across a bowl of ice. It also had wasabi and pickled ginger with it. We love sashimi and this was delicious.

It's hard for us not to get a few crispy things when having Japanese food and tempura is always a must. We tried the seasonal vegetable tempura that came with a light soy and daikon dipping sauce and a sprinkle of seaweed salt. It was light and crisp and so tasty.

The next dish of tempura soft shell crab with chilli salt and coriander served with fresh lemon and wasabi mayonnaise was just as good. The crab was so juicy and tender - again lovely.

Paper Planes was a wonderful discovery for us. We hadn't planned where to go before Flickerfest but we were so glad we found Paper Planes and gave it a go.

The food was light, fresh, very tasty and beautifully presented. Service was friendly and there's a nice relaxed but interesting feel to the place. We'd certainly go back again.

As for Flickerfest - one of Australia's top short film festivals - it was again brilliant. It's a festival that has become very popular and understandably so based on the films we saw. We even heard from some of the film makers about their motivation and inspiration - which was very interesting.

Well done to the organisers!

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