Monday, January 4, 2010

Samurai Japanese Cafe

Didn't feel like cooking last night so hubby and I went to Samurai Japanese Cafe in Balmain for dinner. I had learned of this restaurant whilst browsing some recipes online for wasabi ice cream. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the restaurant it was no longer on the menu :( I was so disappointed since I was so looking forward to trying such a unique flavour of ice cream!

Overall, most of the food we ordered here was nice and good value for money. The food on the menu is mainly hearty almost home-style Japanese, with some sophisticated elements, but it's mainly comfort food.

Service was efficient and staff were friendly.

Antique-style prints of Japanese scenes decorate the walls of the restaurant whilst soft glowing lanterns shielded by pretty painted parasols gave it a funky feel with a warm welcome.

For entree we had salmon sashimi, ebi gyoza and seafood okonomyaki. Salmon sashimi was beautifully presented to us on a bed of salad leaves and tasted wonderfully fresh.

Salmon Sashimi $9.00

A short time later our Ebi Gyoza arrives. These prawn dumplings were delicately wrapped in rice paper and each mouthful was tasty :)

Ebi Gyoza $8.80

Our Seafood Okonomiyaki arrives next and it's a round mayo and tangy Okonomiyaki sauce lattice patterned delight. Cutting it into quarters the texture is soft and crispy with plenty of prawns and fish. The taste is both tangy and creamy all at once.

Seafood Okonomiyaki $11.50

My favourite dish, the salmon tataki is next and it's delicious. A row of rectangular shaped salmon sashimi sits seared on the outside atop a bed of onions and covered in Samurai’s unique mayo miso sauce and scattered atop are deep fried noodle shards. The sauce on this dish is nice and the salmon is soft and the noodles crispy and the sauce liberally doused on it so that its flavour upon soft crispiness. Lovely!

Salmon Tataki $17.00

The next main to arrive is the Kakuni- stewed scotch fillet in ginger and soy, accompanied with wilted spinach. This dish was somewhat disappointing in that the meat was quite dry and I struggled to swallow the meat without the help of a few mouthfuls of water. Whilst the sauce was nice and flavoursome, I didn't like the fact that the meat wasn't smooth and melting in my mouth. Not to mention, the mains didn't arrive at the same time. This dish came out 10-15 minutes after the salmon tataki.

Kakuni $14.00

Desserts were next and the sake pear with green tea ice cream and red beans (blackboard dessert special) arrives looking gorgeous with a paper umbrella. Unforuntately, the sake pear was not particularly sake-ish, tasting more like an unspiked sweet simmered pear. It was still very light and refreshing as a dessert and a great way to end the night. The green tea ice cream was bursting full of green tea flavour and the red beans were candied with a sugar syrup.

Sake Pear with Green Tea Ice Cream & Red Beans $7.00

For dessert, hubby ordered tempura green tea ice cream drizzled with syrup. This Japanese version of the Chinese deep fried ice cream was somewhat of a let down. The tempura batter didn't taste very crispy and the ice cream inside the tempura batter had melted to the point that it was a pool of green liquid once the batter that encased it was broken through. Still prefer the Chinese style of deep frying an ice cream....

Tempura Green Tea Ice Cream $4.50

Samurai Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

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