My partner was keen for some Japanese and I some Korean – from the outside, Hiroba’s little shop hugging the wall of Strathfield train station seemed like the perfect compromise.
Following in the tradition of Korean people serving Japanese food, Hiroba offers an extensive Japanese menu with the addition of some Korean restaurant staples. The Japanese izakaya style decor and Japanese translations on the menu provided an illusion that did not last long, shattered as soon as we unexpectedly received banchan upon ordering.
We initially pondered ordering a sushi or sashimi set, but decided on a la carte nigiri instead, making sure that our food was all thriller and no filler. The salmon, salmon belly, tuna, and snapper nigiri was all good and fresh, with thick and generous pieces of each. The tuna I thought was a bit expensive, coming in at $8 for two pieces, whilst the rest was reasonably priced ($5 for two pieces).
The mixed tempura (medium size) came with three tempura prawns and a mixture of what was mostly tempura tubers. Though freshly cooked, i thought the quality of the tempura was only middling, and felt that it was not as light and airy as good tempuras can be. We were saddened by the lack of variety in the tempura vegetables, with mostly root vegetables on offer. The only thing that really stood out was a single piece of tempura enoki – otherwise all of the tempura vegetables were quite samey.
I didn’t really like the flavour of the Ox Beef Soup, though if I’m being honest that could very well be more of a personal preference. The entire soup had a smoked taste, owing to what looked like sliced silverside beef on the inside. The overall theme of this soup could be described as wholesome feeling but not great tasting, though I did catch the chef having his own sit down meal of this soup. I assume the chef wouldn’t eat something not good, so it’s probably just our own preference that led us to not like this.
While the sushi at Hiroba was indeed good, would I go back again? Probably not. Strathfield holds a huge untapped potential of East Asian cuisine, and Hiroba just didn’t stand out enough for me to go back. I’d rather try something new.
1 Albert Rd, Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9763 1222