Posts Tagged ‘Japanese food’

David Jones Food Hall’s Sushi Bar

Every now and then I go to David Jones on Market St on a Thursday night to do a bit of shopping.

Inevitably, I end up in the basement in the Food Hall when I’m done with my shopping.

This is the place in the Sydney CBD for high quality gourmet produce, such as marble grade 6+ wagyu beef, fine cheeses, good pâté, spatchcock, rabbit and just about anything else that you often can’t get at your local supermarket or butcher.

The also have several dine-in “bars”.  One of my regulars is the Sushi Bar.  Tonight, as usual, I had sashimi.

I opted for the large assorted sashimi platter, which comes with 22 pieces; a mix of salmon, kingfish and tuna.

It often depends on the day, however usually it is quite good.  Last night it was very good.  It ticked all the boxes in Nick’s trademarked sashimi tasting guide: Read more

Mitzu

You may have guessed, I have an almost unhealthy obsession with sashimi, and to a lesser extent sushi.

Since my office moved to North Ryde, I’ve been meaning to try Mitzu, the sushi train joint at Macquarie Centre.  At first look, the idea of a sushi train inside a shopping centre doesn’t exactly instil a lot of confidence.

I went there on my own yesterday, and I have to say it was one of the better sushi train experiences I’ve had.  I eat at sushi train places every now and then, but more out of convenience than seeking brilliant, fresh food.  I’ve never eaten at a sushi train that can compete with a proper Japanese restaurant that specialises in sashimi & sushi such as Toko in Surry Hills or Kokoroya in Maroubra.

As far as sushi trains go however, Tomodachi at Broadway & Rhodes are quite good, as are Sushi Rio on Sussex Street and Makoto in Chatswood.  Mitzu was probably at this same level.  The produce was nice and there was a nice range to select from.

The salmon and kingfish sashimi was cut well, and was good quality fish.  It did taste warm and not too fresh, no doubt a result of the standard sushi train problem of the food going around in circles for quite some time before it’s eaten.

Next, I decided to try the salmon aburi (grilled salmon on a bed of rice, basically salmon nigiri but slightly seared).  This was quite nice.  The fish wasn’t flaky and falling apart like it often can be when salmon is cooked.  This was a nice recovery from the not so great sashimi! Read more

China Doll

Once in a while a restaurant comes around that totally blows me out of the water.  Tonight this happened.

My friend Kurt has been raving about China Doll being his favourite restaurant for years, and though I’ve taken it on board, I’ve never acted upon it.  Tonight, Mikey & I finally did.

The restaurant is in Woolloomooloo in Sydney, on the wharf in a picturesque surrounding.  There are a number of nice looking restaurants all lined up along the wharf, somewhat reminiscent of Opera Quays.

Upon being seated, the waitress asked if we’d dined here before.  She then proceeded to explain to us that they recommend sharing all the dishes to get a broad taste of what is available.  This idea worked very well.

Before I continue, I do have to apologise for the quality of these photos.  I don’t like taking cameras to restaurants, so I’ve been using my iPhone which, to put it kindly, has very poor low light abilities.

We started off with the chilli salt squid and the sashimi of Hiramasa kingfish & ocean trout with blackened chilli dressing.

Fantastic is all I can say.

Both were absolutely divine, and I doubt could be improved upon.  The chilli salt squid was cooked to perfection, Mikey did find one piece that was a little bit chewy, but when eating squid to only find one piece a little chewy is really quite amazing.

The sashimi was prepared to spectacularly.  The blackened chilli dressing was a very nice, refreshing, almost zesty flavor enhancer, and a welcome change to the standard (but still quite nice) soy & wasabi mix. Read more

Taiyoh

My uphill epic battle to find gastronomic solace in my new work suburb of North Ryde in Sydney took us to one of the better places today.

Kev, Craig and I paid a visit to a place we’d been meaning to for some time now, Taiyoh on Coxs Road for lunch.  It’s a tad too far to walk from the office, so Kev drove us down.

The menu was comprehensive, and had all the favourites, along with some specialities of their own.

We decided to go with edamame (salty steamed soy beans) and beef tataki (slightly seared raw slices of beef) for entrées, and a deluxe sashimi plate and spicy salmon roll for our mains, accompanied by Asahi to drink (bottled). Read more

Akaneya

Akaneya on King St in Sydney has long been one of my regular haunts.

The food is good, it’s not too expensive, and it used to be close to where I worked, which meant the occasional lunch, but more often I’d go there for a quick dinner, and quite often takeaway when working in the office late.

I have several friends who also independently love this place.  I went there last night for dinner with Jamela and Stu, two of the aforementioned friends.  This is the second or third time we’ve been there together, and it’s becoming almost a tradition!

We started off with edamame (salty whole steamed soy beans) which was still nice and warm when served, I hate it when it’s served cold.  I always find edamame so addictive, to use an old marketing cliché, once you pop, you can’t stop!

For other entrées, we also had the gyoza which is nice but pretty standard, the deep fried soft-shell crab which is always lovely, and nasu dengaku which is grilled eggplant with an interesting miso based sauce.  I’m not usually a big fan of eggplant, but this is one of the exceptions.  It’s always piping hot when you get it, too hot to eat straight away, and the sauce and the flavour is exquisite, enough to overlook the texture of eggplant that I don’t usually like!

Next, on to the mains.  I had the sushi & sashimi combo, which is quite a large wooden boat filled with different types of, you guessed it, sushi and sashimi!  It had two different cuts of kingfish sashimi, two different cuts of salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, scallop sashimi, salmon nigiri, kingfish nigiri, prawn nigiri, beef tataki nigiri, cooked tuna sushi and salmon sushi.  What a mouthful!  It was also served with miso soup which I never drink anyway so I can’t rate it.

The sushi and the sashimi were quite pleasant, as they always are at Akaneya.  It didn’t taste as fresh and amazing as Kokoroya in Maroubra that I raved about on this blog recently, but it’s still a good, dependable tasty meal. Read more

Kokoroya

It’s very quiet at work this week, and there are only three of us IT folk actually in the office (out of maybe 20 normally).  We decided this Friday to take a longish lunch and my friend Kev drove us down to a restaurant that he has been raving about recently in Maroubra in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Kokoroya.

Japanese food would probably have to be at the top of my list of favourite types of food, and I figured it would be difficult to please me.  The way Kev has been talking about it though, I did have high expectations.  I never expected my expectations to be so amazingly exceeded however!

This being one of Kev’s favourite restaurants (and I can understand why), we ceded the ordering to him, and he did a fantastic job.

The deluxe sashimi platter consisted of salmon, tuna, kingfish, prawn and scallop sashimi, and each were so fresh, and so divine that I think they would have to more than top my nicest sashimi experiences (even beating sashimi bars at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fishmarkets!).

The tuna was absolutely amazing, like the rest of the sashimi, it was so tender, the way that sashimi should be.  It all tasted so fresh, and was cut so perfectly that I seriously do not have the vocabulary to describe it. Read more

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