There aren’t that many places to get yakitori in Sydney, especially if you’re looking anywhere even moderately west. Yakitori Jin, a tiny restaurant tucked away in Haberfield, stands on its own as an accessible, high-quality inner-West izakaya.
The assorted today’s sashimi ($26) was quite good. It featured thick cuts of salmon, kingfish, somewhat-fatty tuna, and scallop, and worked out to be quite good value for money, especially in view of the tuna.
The pickled white fish was nice.
Hiding on the special’s board was o-toro sashimi, which was on offer for 4 pieces for $28, or 6 pieces for $42. $7 a piece is honestly quite cheap for this kind of fish. Chu-toro is also on offer for the slightly more price conscious.
I wasn’t a big fan of this salmon tataki thing. I thought that the marinade was too strong, and the flavours too intense, drowning out the flavour of the salmon.
The ebi chilli mayo ($18) was so good that my ebi-hating partner even had more than one piece. The tempura batter was light and crunchy, and the sauce complementary rather than overpowering.
The chicken karaage ($13) was economical, though I thought the texture and cooked-ness were a bit overdone. The rest of the table liked it though.
The home made yaki gyoza were good, though the prize for the best gyoza I’ve had in Sydney still goes to Nakano Darling.
The scallop with miso butter (2 for $12) were good, though expensive. The scallops were tender and cooked well, and the miso flavours complimentary to the seafood.
And now to the yakitori and kushiyaki.
The wagyu tri-tip ($10 each) was juicy and tender. Much larger in size than ones you may get at competing restaurants.
The negima (chicken thigh and leek) ($6 each) has always been my go-to, and Yakitori Jin’s did not disappoint, offering up juicy pieces of thigh and chunky umami leek glazed with tare.
The enoki mushroom with pork kushiyaki ($5 each) was a bit difficult to eat in view of the long fibrous strands of enoki, but ultimately very juicy and tasty.
The chicken wings ($5 each) were slightly crispy on the skin and extremely juicy inside. A bit of a mess to eat with colleagues, but absolutely delicious and my partner’s favourite.
Of all of the things we ordered, this was one of the only things we didn’t really like. The mune mentai mayo yakitori ($6 each) was a bit drier than the chicken thigh and wing based yakitori, owing to the use of chicken breast. The spicy mentai mayo added a degree of wetness texture-wise which was welcome, however flavour-wise was not.
These dry-aged salmon tail skewers ($8) were also a bit fishy and not excellent.
I can actually highly recommend giving Yakitori Jin a visit. It’s not a cheap meal – we spent $75 per person including a 300mL bottle of sake and 0.75 beers each – but quite good.
PS It’s worth making a call if there are no open bookings online.
SUBSEQUENT VISIT – MAY 2022
My partner and I enjoyed our first visit to Yakitori Jin so much that we went back, about a year later. We rarely make second visits to restaurants, given the variety and quality of food on offer in Sydney.
We were treated to this sesame-seasoned cabbage just for sitting down.
The bluefin tuna tasting plate ($28) consisting of 2 pieces each of toro, chu-toro, and akami was appropriately priced and served with some good quality wasabi.
It is physically impossible to keep my fiancé from a good croquette, and only a fool would try. These crab flavoured cream croquettes ($12) were in fact quite creamy and potato-y, crab flavoured but lacking for some more crab, in my opinion. She loved them.
The Miso-marinated black cod lettuce wraps (2 for $12) were good, with nice oiliness of the cod really coming through. Satisfied my toothfish cravings, or at least kicked them down the road for a couple of months.
My partner wanted none of the gizzard (tare) ($4). It was fine. Gizzardy.
I didn’t think I would enjoy the sasami ume mayo ($6 each), and I was correct. Every time I’ve had yakitori tenderloin I’ve been disappointed by the dryness, and I truly believe that thigh is the best kind of flesh for grilling by yakitori. Though the plum and mayonnaise helped moisten these skewers, it would’ve just been better as thigh.
The Wagyu Tri-Tip Skewer with Mustard Miso ($12) was seriously good. Thick cut, tender, juicy. A bit on the pricier side but definitely worth trying.
The Fremantle Octopus Skewer ($9) was tender and creamy, but I probably wouldn’t pay $9 for it again.
We enjoyed the kamameshi ($22) which is essentially a bowl of rice topped with flying fish roe, pickles, seaweed, and shallot. Fragrant and flavourful, full of umami goodness and the textural fun of popping-candy like flying fish roe.
The Meat ball with mild boiled egg ($7). Who would’ve thought such a thing would be so good? Loved the silky texture of the egg over the meat. Can definitely recommend it.
The chicken skin (tare) ($5) was not better than negima. I would be happy for a 60% negima meal.
The wing (tare) ($5) I feel should’ve been priced at greater than $5 beacvuse it was huge, juicy, meaty and delicious. At the same price as a skewer of skin.
A year on, it’s still good. One of my favourite places in Sydney, and thankfully not on the wrong side of the bridge for us mere mortals.
101 Ramsay St, Haberfield NSW 2045
(02) 8057 2780