Our friends Catalina and Bas are back in Sydney, after spending a few months back home (ie, Holland). We met them for dinner on Saturday in Asakusa, one of the several Japanese restaurants in Newtown that have been in my wish list for a while.
The restaurant is on the family run style, meaning not so fancy decor and budget-friendly prices. And a much appreciated bonus of attentive service. The menu is extensive, making it difficult to choose something without feeling you’re missing out on potentially tastier dishes.
All I knew is I wanted seaweed salad and some sashimi. Alvaro spotted the deluxe sushi platter (sushi with egg, eel, prawn, tuna, salmon, and sashimi, California roll, salmon avocado maki), we ordered one to share plus the salad, which was great and IMO good value for the money. The platter was good, too, particularly the sashimi and nigiri sushi. I found most of the makis a bit too big to eat graciously and average in flavour. There was only one piece of eel sushi, which made it difficult to share. Thin strips of daikon were a welcomed refreshment for the palate, but we would have liked more gari on the side.
Sesame seaweed salad ($4.50)
Deluxe sushi ($42.50)
I washed my food down with hot sake, which arrived in a cute little bottle but wasn’t very good quality, judging by my very limited expertise in the subject.
Hot sake ($5.50)
Catalina ordered several small dishes, a very clever thing to do when torn between so many choices. A bowl of miso soup started her meal, followed by korokke (Japanese potato croquettes) and satsuma-age (fish cakes in ginger sauce). She invited us a bite of each, the croquettes had a nice flavour and texture but the fish cakes were a tad too oily for my taste and I think too fishy for hers.
Bas had the prawn & vegetables tempura and the mixed seafood chilli sauce. Both looked good, I had a taste of the seafood dish, which was very flavourful.
Prawn & vegetables tempura ($8.20)
Mixed seafood chilli sauce ($19.00)
Of course Alvaro wouldn’t call it a night without ice cream. They had mochi on the dessert blackboard but unfortunately they had run out. I had already screwed up my diet big time so I ended up sharing two flavours of ice cream with him. The green tea one was better, with more noticeable flavour than the red bean, which tasted more like regular vanilla ice cream with a few beans mixed in.
Red bean and green tea ice cream ($4.00 each)
119 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 8530