75 Military Rd, Neutral Bay. Sydney.
Telephone: 02 99537317
Minimum charge: $15 per person
BYO: $2 per person
Military road has a whole plethora of Japanese restaurants. We were in uncharted territory after having been rejected from a restaurant we had failed to book beforehand. Nevermind. This unexpected find is equivalent to the pleasure of finding a $100 bill in a old pair of jeans.
We choose this restaurant purely because it was bustling to the brim with Japanese and Chinese clientele. Told ya – can’t go wrong.
Perusing their menu it looks like they have all the standard fare. You have your teriyakis, hot pots, tempura, dinner boxes, sushi, sashimi. What attracts the eye is their wall peppered with white paper proclaiming their specials. Soft shell crab ($12), oyster sushi ($3 per piece), grilled salmon head ($8), beef udon ($14), grilled kingfish ($10), grilled squid ($8), beef tongue ($7), white bait tempura ($8), snapper head in sake ($10), tempura prawn rolls ($8), sea urchin ($13), eel sushi (4 pieces $12, 8 pieces $22), chicken soft bone ($7), kaisen nabe ($28 per person).
My parents aren’t fans of sashimi – I know, blasphemy as far the prince consort is concerned. So we went for cooked options. I have to say, eyeing other tables devouring the sashimi (the people that is, not the wood– it looked fresh and mouth-watering. I’m sure it is.
We had a plate of sea urchin. If you haven’t experience the pleasure before you must. Soft, cold, melt-in-your mouth experience. A unique taste, very hard to define. Have it with a squeeze of lemon to accentuate the flavour.
Agedashi Tofu. Beautifully done. We relished the smoothness of the tofu.
Eel sushi. You must try this! Huge sushi rolls with raw salmon and egg within, topped with a generous portion of sweet eel.
The Kaisen Nabe or hot pot came as a pleasant shock. The platter of raw ingredients was massive. The platter had king prawns, sting ray, salmon head, minced pork, udon, octopus, tofu, bean sprouts, Chinese cabbage and Chinese greens loaded to the max. It was indeed an intimidating sight. Basically the hot pot of sweet soup sits on a gas burner and you start throwing in what you want into the boiling soup. My dad proclaimed it as the best hot pot he has ever had. Yes, I know – a mighty claim indeed. All ingredients were obviously fresh. Even the mince was marinated well and had a sweetish taste. It was touch and go here and there, but between the three of us we managed to finish it all. A word of warning – a portion for 2 people is more than enough for 4 people.
The bill came back as $112 for 3 people with a bottle of the restaurant’s own wine. Extremely good value for the quality of food we received. Service is friendly, cheerful and efficient. Will definitely go back and try out their other delicacies on offer.
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