Categories
Japanese Korean

Tomoya – Strathfield NSW Restaurant Review

Tucked within one of the entrances to Strathfield Plaza is Tomoya, a Strathfield rendition of the classic Korean-run mixed Japanese and Korean diner. Tomoya follows the widespread tradition of Japanese cuisine served by Korean people, providing authentic East Asian food at a relatively affordable price compared to many fully-Japanese eateries.

We visited at around 2PM on a Monday afternoon, at which point the place was absolutely packed. The two waitstaff rostered to tackle this problem looked like they were completely run off their feet tending to Korean and Chinese aunties and uncles of varying shapes and sizes talking about classic Korean and Chinese auntie and uncle topics – we heard the words “James Ruse” mentioned more than once from a neighbouring table.

It took a while for the extra-busy staff to take our orders, and even longer still for banchan to be served. Looking around the room it seems like they have made a conscious decision to only serve banchan once the food is being served also. This doesn’t make that much sense to me, as it means that we lose out on banchan-eating time whilst waiting for our food.

This Chicken Katsu Dolsot ($19.50) was quality. It was the only Japanese-ish dish that we ordered within our mostly Korean meal, and quite a good one at that. The chicken was moist and tender within its blanket of crumbs, and the dish was just adequately sauced so that every bite had flavour. The bottom of the rice was crispy as expected, and this was overall a well priced and well tasting dish.

I’ve always wanted to try Haemul Sunbudu Jjigae (soft tofu spicy soup with seafood) ($21) but I’ve always avoided it as a kindness to my partner, who doesn’t really like most seafoods. I seized the opportunity today, however, and ordered, knowing that even though she wouldn’t want it she would be happy with her non-seafood based chicken dish. Unfortuantely for me it appears that Tomoya has recently hiked up its prices, with this particular dish previously being sold for a whole $5 cheaper on menus available online. Perhaps it is merely COVID related inflation, but I doubt we will ever see prices come down again.

The soup, to be honest, was really only OK. There was a heavy focus on tofu and octopus legs, with a couple of pipis and mussels thrown in, as well as half a crab. The flavour was quite light – not as spicy or sour as I had expected, and the soup in general felt a bit watery. As this is my first time having this kind of soup I must admit that I don’t have anything to compare this to. What I do know is that I probably won’t be ordering this again from this particular restaurant.

The seafood and shallot pancake ($21) is actually one of the best I’ve had in recent times. There is a distinct seafood scent and flavour that permeates the entire pancake, from the first bite to the last, that is present even in parts of batter with no seafood. The batter itself is extremely crispy on the outside, whilst retaining a degree of softness and palatability on the inside. The shallot is generously distributed, adding a fresh umami flavour to the mostly octopus based seafood. This is a really good quality seafood pancake, but it’s a shame that, similar to the stew, this has also increased in price from its previously advertised price of $18.

VERDICT
Overall I think the food at Tomoya is pretty alright, but the experience is significantly weighed down by how understaffed they are. Recent significant (10-20%) price hikes across the menu are also quite disappointing, and unfortunately take Tomoya outside of that sweet spot in terms of price and quality that Korean-Japanese cuisine can sometimes hit.

4/5 , good variety, good pancake.

Tomoya
Strathfield Plaza, 34/11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9746 8877

Categories
Japanese

Kazuki Japanese Kitchen – Hurstville NSW Restaurant Review

We are frequent flyers to Kazuki Japanese Restaurant in Hurstville, and I find that it is a reputable and reliable source of Japanese food for delivery to Kogarah.

The Eel box ($24.50) is a full featured bento with eel, prawn, tempura vegetables, agedashi tofu, edamame, potato mash, and salmon sashimi. It is a good set with plenty of different flavours and textures to amuse the mouth.

The chirashi sushi don ($19.50) is my favourite thing to order from Kazuki. It is a bowl of mixed sashimi on rice, including really fresh and sweet scallops, salmon belly, tuna (akami), cooked prawns, raw octopus, tamago, and a small serving of cucumber and carrot. It feels super healthy and fresh, and you can’t go wrong with it.

The soft shell crab roll ($11.50) is a bit expensive for the quantity that you get, but not bad overall.

VERDICT

Judging from the four times we’ve ordered from Kazuki over the course of two months, I can definitely recommend them to a friend or colleague.

5 octopi

Kazuki Japanese Restaurant
176 Forest Rd, Hurstville NSW 2220
(02) 9579 1053

Categories
Japanese

Kibuna – Mascot NSW Japanese Restaurant Review

Look. This is a difficult one. I’ve been to Kibuna numerous times since I’ve moved to the area. Some of their food hit well, some of them miss.

I’m a stan for their Okayama crumbed oyster. (not pictured). It is a must get.

Their soft shell crab roll is only ok.

The spicy teriyaki chicken don got me through a night shift once, it was the only thing to live for at the time, but it was not perfect.

I once had ox tongue that I thought was ox tail (what a surprise).

The swordfish collar was a daily special and a bit fishy for me.

Their ramen (not pictured) is a bit forgettable. I’ve had their pork negi chashu ramen, chicken yokozuna ramen, and their pork spicy tantan ramen and none really wowed me.

Overall a good place and I will be eating here again, hopefully eating in rather taking away. Skip the gyoza.

4/5

Kibuna
1123 Botany Rd, Mascot NSW 2020
(02) 8338 8688

Categories
Japanese

Ichiro’s – Mascot NSW Japanese Restaurant Review

This is a limited, relatively low effort review of takeaway ordered from Ichiro’s in Mascot.

Egg on Salmon Don ($17) – This was a donburi consisting of diced salmon, plenty of tobiko, and a poached egg on rice. The fish to rice ratio was adequate, and the egg was creamy. It was not bad.

Octopus Karaage ($11). One thing I’m learning about my palate is that I quite like octopus Octopus – not in the minced-up or cut-up takoyaki form, but actual pieces of bite sized, chewable octopus. I really liked this octopus karaage, and can give it a strong recommend.

3.5/5 – it is not the best, but there is not much to complain about

Ichiro’s
14 Etherden Walk, Mascot NSW 2020
(02) 9669 2299

Ichiro's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Japanese

Manpuku – Kingsford NSW Restaurant Review

We dined in early July 2020, just as COVID-19 social distancing restrictions had started to be eased in NSW. I was very impressed by Manpuku’s commitment to hygiene and social distancing, and even looking back on our visit four months later the care that they took to protect their patrons and staff was outstanding.

Okonomi sticks (2 for $7) , with bonito, sauce, mayonnaise were way too sauced and tasty for me. Good portion size for price, but I wasn’t a fan.

Gyoza were completely non-memorable

Karaage Curry

The Karaage Curry ($18) was the most special Japanese curry I have ever eaten. The chicken karaage was stock standard, good. What was special was the curry sauce, which had beef meat and offal stewed inside it, giving it a complex and beefy taste. The serving was quite large, and the ratio of curry sauce and chicken karaage to rice was perfect. I can recommend it.

Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou to Jonetsu Komete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen

Manpuku’s self-proclaimed specialty ramen is the Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou to Jonetsu Komete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen. This name does not actually describe the ingredients, which is a ramen with soy based chicken and pork broth. They say that they are the only store that has this ramen, however I guess any restaurant could say the same if they strung together random words in a row. I didn’t think the ramen tasted really special. Their curry was more suited to be called a specialty.

4/5

I’d take a mate here for the curry alone

Manpuku Kingsford
482 Anzac Parade, Kingsford 2032
02 9662 1236