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. Continue reading →
Salt Meats Cheese is the best name ever for an Italian restaurant. They have been expanding their locations and just opened one in Cronulla. I went to the one opposite the Broadway shopping centre. I made a reservation for Saturday night but when we showed up they actually weren’t that busy. We decided to share a pizza and a pasta so that we could try both.
I swear this was the Chorizo Pizza but I don’t see it on the menu anymore. It had a tomato sauce base with roasted red peppers, fior di latte and chorizo. The crust was thin with a nice chewiness to it. It was a good pizza but probably not the best I’ve ever had. Continue reading →
I came across Papa Do’s Chicken on Zomato while I was browsing and noticed it was located in Cabramatta. I don’t usually go out that way so I thought it’d be a good excuse to go there and check it out. Papa Do’s is located in Dutton Lane Plaza and the restaurant was larger than I expected and very spacious. The front of the restaurant was opened up so you could people watch easily.
Our server was super friendly and helpful! She gave us a rundown of the whole menu since it was our first time there. We went during lunch and they had some interesting looking dinner items that were not available at that time. In addition to fried chicken, they also serve brunch items like Chicken and Waffles, noodle dishes, smoothies and desserts. Continue reading →
Sushi is my weakness and it’s really hard to say no to sushi. So when in Japan, you gotta get some conveyor belt sushi or kaitenzushi as it is called. They are so common in Japan I wish we had some back in Vancouver again! There was a time back in the day when we had them if anyone remembers… Also, it is very common in Sydney as well. While we were in Akihabara, we decided to Google a conveyor belt sushi restaurant and found Ganzosushi located close to Akihabara station. It was small restaurant where you seat yourself at the counter and most of the other diners seemed to be dining solo. This meant it was pretty quiet so it was just my friends and I chatting.
We didn’t actually know too much about the prices of each dish but there were a few signs that showed some of the prices of certain items so we guessed that most things were around that price or 125yen-250 yen. Ganzosushi had a lot of good reviews on Yelp so that’s how we found them. Continue reading →
Boon Cafe is part of the Chat Thai group and you may walk past this cafe without knowing it since it’s situated inside a grocery store. The grocery store offers some cooked items that are ready for takeaway. Unlike other cafes, Boon Cafe is also open for dinner so you can come for breakfast, lunch and dinner! In addition to Thai food, they also serve snacks, drinks and pastries (more on the Pandan desserts later!).
I was trying to order something different than the usual pad thai so I decided to go with the Padt Mee Kha-Ti which was stir fried thin rice noodles with tamarind, tofu, coconut milk, garlic chives and shredded omelette. I was surprised that the noodles were so pink! I was also expecting thicker rice noodles similar to pad thai noodles but these were really thin and more like vermicelli noodles. Portion was also on the smaller side and the flavour just tasted alright. Should’ve stuck with the pad thai!
After watching a movie at Westfield Parramatta, we went to Bay Vista for some dessert. This place was super busy on a Saturday night and there was loud music playing. You get a seat and then once you’re ready, you order at the counter. You can also help yourself to water there as well. The menu is very extensive covering everything from cakes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream and drinks.
We decided to get the Cool Ibizaice cream bowl with mango, passionfruit and vanilla ice cream, peaches, pineapple, whipped cream, passionfruit sauce and yogurt chips. Continue reading →
I know we have a Saboten location at the Aberdeen food court but it never looked particularly appealing to me. I guess I never felt like snacking on some deep fried pork cutlets and I didn’t understand the appeal. Also, I prefer fried chicken! We were in Yokohama and stumbled across Saboten in a shopping centre as we were trying to decide what to eat. Saboten serves set meals featuring tonkatsu as well as rice bowls.
There is a sheet at the table with detailed instructions on how to eat tonkatsu.
Step 1: Ground black and white sesame seeds four or five times and add three ladles of tonkatsu sauce for dipping
Step 2: Choose from Yuzu dressing or Sesame dressing for the sliced cabbage.
We had a going away lunch for my co worker at Palings Kitchen and Bar. It’s located in the Ivy precinct near Wynyard station and it was my first time there. Palings is located on the first floor and the restaurant has some covered areas but the middle area is open air. Interestingly enough, the menu features western dishes as well as Thai dishes.
We started off with some Friesto share. These were perfectly crispy and the portion was huge! It came with some aioli for dipping and we devoured this in no time. Continue reading →
For my first authentic ramen experience in Japan, I went to Ichiran. This ramen chain specializes in Tonkotsu ramen. I didn’t actually know much about Ichiran except that everyone seems to go when they’re in Japan. They only serve one type of ramen here and I was surprised by that because I’m used to having a variety to choose from. However, that does make the ordering process a lot faster!
As usual, you order from a vending machine like the one pictured above. You insert cash and then select one of the options and then the machine will print an order ticket for you. If you need to add sides, you will need to insert money again and get another ticket. The ramen is very affordable and only costs 890 yen. There is also an option to order a set which comes with ramen, a chashu rice bowl and an egg. Continue reading →
Matsuya is one of the fast food chains in Japan that specializes in gyudon. Apparently this is a popular lunch option for salarymen who want to come in, have a quick lunch and then get back to work. Another similar chain that specializes in gyudon is Yoshinoya. Gyudon is a Japanese dish that is literally a bowl of beef (gyu) on rice (don). The beef comes in thin slices and is usually cooked with onions in a mildly sweet soy sauce. As with many other quick service restaurants, you order at a vending machine and then when there is a free seat at the counter, you sit down and hand over your order ticket to the server. There is water, utensils and a small variety of condiments on the counter for you to serve yourself.
I had the most basic bowl which was the beef with onions on rice and it also came with miso soup. I found the beef to be very tender and mildly fatty. Similar to what you would use in hotpot. You can also get the bowl in different sizes as well. It was quite delicious considering it was so simple!