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Japanese

Simulation Senpai – Tramsheds Forest Lodge NSW Restaurant Review

The story as told is that Chase Kojima (of Sokyo fame) goes to the fish markets every weekend of the pandemic to handpick the freshest and best seafood for his new pop up takeaway sushi restaurant.

Simulation Senpai is open for business only two days a week (Friday and Saturday) and for only 3 hours on each of these days (12:30PM-2PM and 5PM-6:30PM). It is online pre-order only and takeaway only (food-court style seating available), but within these strict limits is world class sushi and sashimi at a reasonable price.

Chase Kojima was there to greet his customers when we came to pick up our order on a Friday night. We ate in surprisingly luxurious food court style seating, and I’m told there is a nice park outside for lunchtime picnicking.

Hoseki Bako

The Hoseki Bako ($55) is, as advertised, a box of treasures. It features an assortment of fresh sashimi on Masshigura rice. Every single morsel is unique and delicious. The salmon roe and sea urchin were both perfectly creamy and sweet. The scallops were sweet and delicate, and all of the fresh sashimi was as well. The tartar of tuna and salmon added an additional dimension of texture to the meal and worked well with the rice. The seafood to rice ratio was just perfect.

Zenbu Don

The Zenbu Don ($65) is a true tuna fantasy box of tuna (akami), medium fatty (chu-toro) tuna, and fatty tuna (toro) on rice. The fatty tuna just melts in your mouth like a dream, and is the best fatty tuna I’ve had outside of Japan. The red portion of tuna (akami) was also the best I’ve had in Australia. I often find akami a bit too metallic tasting, but this was not the case at Simulation Senpai. I think the Zenbu Don is really the star of the show and I encourage anyone missing toro to give it a try. Again the fish to rice ratio is perfect.

Yuzu Mango Tapioca Pudding

The Yuzu Mango Tapioca Pudding ($6) is a surprising winner, with a mild, not-too-sweet flavour to cap off the sashimi. The cartoon label doesn’t do the complex flavours justice.

I simply cannot recommend Simulation Senpai enough. Chef Kojima has truly set the new standard for fast fine dining. I was initially nervous about spending $130 on food court food, but one taste of the toro was enough to put any doubts out of my mind. It is the best sushi I’ve had outside of Japan, and you need to go while you still can.

Simulation Senpai. Instagram. Facebook.
Tramsheds Pop-Up Kitchen, 1 Dalgal Way, FOREST LODGE NSW 2037

Simulation Senpai Pop-up Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Café Japanese

Meet Mica – Surry Hills NSW Restaurant Review

I think I have a type. Meet Mica is another Asian-fusion cafe in Surry Hills.

Meet Mica Breakie Rice Bowl

The Breakie. Rice. Bowl ($18) was extra good. Don’t let the name fool you though, it’s more of a congee than a normal bowl of rice. The wetness was very welcome, and in fact I think it could have done with a bit more soup. The Chashu melted easily in the mouth. The onsen egg was perfect, and the mushrooms added an extra dimension to the dish. Overall a legitimate 10/10 dish which I would recommend to everyone.

Meet Mica Teriyaki Dog Roll

The Teriyaki Dog Roll ($12) was not bad. A lot of okonomyaki-style toppings and an egg omlette over an Arabiki hot dog sausage. The bread to filling ratio was reasonably good, however still weighted a bit heavily on the bread side. The excess bread was used to mop up the matcha from the dessert dish.

Meet Mica Matcha Lava Toast

The Matcha. Lava. Toast ($20) is perhaps iconic to this cafe, and indeed iconic to the brunch section of Zomato where it holds the lofty position of thumbnail of a number of recommendation lists. The wet matcha lava is certainly aesthetically dramatic (you can probably find a video online), however in our opinion falls short on the taste component. The bread and matcha itself was somewhat bitter, not at all sweet. I can only describe the texture of the matcha sauce as dry, despite it being reasonably wet. The dish was saved by the condensed milk, gelato and especially fruit, which added a crisp wetness to an otherwise arid dessert.

Meet Mica Hot Chocolate
Meet Mica Sunrise drink

The sunrise ($8) was yum but not much fluid with a lot of ice for the price. The Hojicha soy latte and hot chocolate were also good.

I would come back to Meet Mica and eat the Breakie Rice Bowl again. The other two I would skip.

Thanks for listening to my TED talk.

Meet Mica
Shop 5/492-500 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 8018 7370

Meet Mica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Asian Fusion Café Japanese

101kissa – Chippendale, NSW Restaurant Review

This is a story about a lobster roll and a spicy crab omelette in an inner-West restaurant with chairs for smaller people than myself but an adequately sized booth bench to compensate.

Peg will tell you that I often have trouble deciding where to go for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. The choice for breakfast this time around was between 101kissa and some other Asian inspired brunch place in Chippendale which I obviously can’t tell you about because I didn’t go. What ultimately won me over was 101kissa’s promise of a lobster roll, which wasn’t on the menu but which was advertised on their Facebook page. After having been baited for so long by Bare Witness whose lobster roll disappeared from their menu just as I wanted to eat it, I knew I had to try.

The Lobster Roll ($12) ended up being a bit of a disappointment. The bread was soft but there was just too much of it. The egg was warm and fluffy and delicious, but the actual lobster component was cold and it was hard to distinguish any presence of lobser by taste or texture. It felt to me like it was just cold sauce with some solid bits, and I had to take their word for it that it was lobster.

The spicy crab omelette was a real treat. Not content with serving just a delicious, fresh soft shell crab, they have also added a generous amount of blue swimmer crab meat to the mix. The egg was again fantastic, the brocollini fresh, and the nori and croissant worked together to provide a stable background. I was glad that the dish was not oversauced, which was a problem I have come across a few times when having seafood at brunch. Overall it was just perfect.

A special mention needs to go to this matcha soy latte. While I didn’t expect it to come iced, I’m glad it did. They actually frothed it and iced it at the same time, which is not something you see frequently. The flavours of the matcha mixed up with soy were very complex and need to be tried to be understood. I got it without sugar but I’m sure a little touch wouldn’t ruin it if you need it. The dual paper straws were a nice touch as paper straws don’t always last long enough to finish the drink.

The service and overall vibe of the place was also very good. The one guy in charge called all his customers ‘bro’ and creater a very friendly, chilled-out environment.

Would I recommend 101kissa to a friend or colleague? Definitely. I’m recommending it to myself. I want to go back as soon as possible.

101kissa
94a Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008
0412 246 338

101kissa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Café Japanese

Cafe Kentaro – Surry Hills, NSW Restaurant Review

Kentaro is a Japanese-themed cafe in Surry Hills. Its menu and name are suspiciously reminiscent of Orantek in Redfern. It remains unclear if these similarities are a product of convergent or divergent evolution.

We were seated on either end of a very long table outside, presumably due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. These restrictions did not apply to the diners sitting next to each other inside the cafe. I cannot comment on the decor as we did not go inside.

Matcha Mille-feuille

Matcha Mille-feuille – Good. Matcha slightly bitter. Girlfriend enjoyed the brown sauce but misidentified it as vegemite.

The Pork Katsu Sandwich

The Pork Katsu Sandwich was very good. Light fluffy bread with fresh, juicy katsu. My only critique would be that it was oversauced on the rightmost piece and undersauced on the leftmost piece. There’s probably no way to prevent this. The sandwich was very reminiscent of the one that I had from Oratnek a few months ago.

Hojicha milkshake

The Hojicha milkshake was actually amazing and I want four more. Very nice. Not too sweet. Braved it even though I didn’t have lactase on me.

Overall rating: I would recommend to a friend or colleague.

Cafe Kentaro
+61 2 9699 2665
616 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Cafe Kentaro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato