A fresh approach

Northsider discovers a new take on Japanese cuisine in Milsons Point…

Order takeaway direct with Oishi Billi. Click here for the menu and more!

Oishi-Billi’s James and chef Simon

A gastronomic revolution is happening on Alfred Street South. The team at bustling Japanese eatery, Oishi-Billi, are on a mission to create the very best takeaway dishes you’ll ever eat.


“We want to make takeway food better and bring the restaurant experience to delivery,” Oishi-Billi’s James Lee tells northsider.


Having spent his career in high-end hospitality, including a stint as GM at dining institution Saké, James has teamed up with former colleague and passionate chef Simon Cai, along with superstar foodie Amy Chow, to serve Japanese delights including expertly-crafted sushi, deftly-sliced sashimi, rich slowed-cooked curries, truffle oil laced edamame and a one-of-a-kind miso soup packed with nuggets of seafood. There’s clever vegie and vegan options too, combining flavours and textures to create plant-powered dishes with a delicious Japanese twist.


“We want to bring the restaurant experience to takeaway food.”

While there’s a handful of tables in the mural-adorned venue for dine-in, dishes have been created to enjoy at home or as a picnic, perhaps in Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, the harbourside spot that cemented James and Simon’s decision to locate their eatery in Milsons Point.


“It’s just so beautiful!” James says. “And the warmth of the locals is very special too. Everyone is so supportive, recommending us and bringing their friends in. We love it when they tell us that our food brings back memories from trips overseas, that our dishes remind them of Tokyo.”


Clockwise from top right: Sashimi Garden Fresh Japanese Salad; A melody of vegies, fresh fish, miso dressing, spicy mayo and a teriyaki glaze, Oishi-Billi California Rolls with Crab and Salmon, The Intimate Sushi and Sashimi Set that comes with miso soup and edamame, and Roast Pumpkin Bao Buns.


“Covid has made all of us reset how we live as part of our community and I think it’s made us all think more about food as well,” James continues. “That’s why we don’t want to be a restaurant that tells people what to eat. We want to give people what they want to eat and that’s why we love feedback and input on our menus. It makes everything fun!”


“I love making food for people to enjoy,” Simon enthuses. “We’re always learning from our customers and how they like to eat. All the feedback from the locals makes the food even better!”


The team have a focus on sourcing the best quality fresh ingredients. And from the jewel of freshly grated wasabi on the side of the plate to the house-blended soy sauce, homemade yoghurt and freshly fermented seasonal pickles, it’s clear everything about Oishi (which means delicious in Japanese) Billi has been created and served with a generous helping of love.


“This is your shop, we make food for you,” James concludes. “We’re having a lot of fun and can’t wait to keep delivering just what locals want.”


Oishi Billi, 1/102 Alfred Street South, Milsons Point



WORDS: ANNA GORDON PHOTOS: NATHANIEL FAY