Yayoi Garden is the fine dining branch of the Yayoi restaurant chain that specialises in Japanese teishoku or lunch sets. I can see how this location would be popular for business lunches and it’s a quick walk from Circular Quay. The interior looks modern and sophisticated as well as spacious.
Almost all of us ended up ordering the Unagi Hitsumabushi as it was basically the cheapest thing on the menu ($26) but also eel is always good. There is also a Wagyu Tataki Hitsumabushi as well for the same price. This is not your usual unagi don though. Unagi Hitsumabushi is another way of consuming eel originating from Nagoya. The grilled BBQ eel is served on a bed of rice accompanied by seaweed and some dashi broth is served on the side for you to pour over the rice. You can pour as much of the broth on as you like and they do give you a lot.
The broth is very light and accentuates the flavours of the dish. Of course it tastes good without the broth too. They also provide you with a rice paddle so you can scoop out the rice onto your bowl instead of just using your spoon.
It is not a very big dish so I wished there was more! Each piece of eel was delicious with a slightly sweet and savoury flavour from the sauce. The rice was also flavoured as well with the seaweed.
Yayoi Garden was pricey but we all enjoyed our food here. The ambiance is very quiet and it would be great for special occasions.