Tag Archives: Japanese

@ ! Restaurant, Crows Nest

21 Nov

I have been quite addicted to Groupon vouchers lately, mainly because of the various restaurants being advertised. One of them was @ Restaurant. Located on Pacific Highway in Crows Nest, it joins a vast number of Japanese eateries already in the neighbourhood. I’ve walked past the shop many times before but noticed one day it was under renovation and wondered if it is operating under a new owner and yes it was! Ex-Merivale Chef Atsushi Saito of sushi e and Sushi Choo have moved into the premises bringing his famous sushi skills with him.

With my voucher in hand, thinking no booking is required on a Sunday night, the place was filled with a mixture of Japanese families, flatmates and couples. I didn’t read the fine print and needed to call ahead to book to use the voucher. Undeterred, we decided to try their normal menu offered as I was in the mood for some Japanese. Specials of the day are written on the window and on the back wall which consists of the freshest fish of the day, personally sourced by Chef Saito at the fish markets in that morning.

I was suffering from a hangover and for some reason beer is what I have been craving for afterwards. Noticed that there was a Sapporo bullet can and it was an immediate win!

Sapporo Silver – $12.50

The slices of snapper were sliced generously and were seasoned with white soy and lime dressing. Never had white soy before and it was slightly sweet with no strong saltines you would get out of regular soy.

Snapper with white soy – $12

Next up was the Wagyu thin skirt steak. This dish was very textural with tender tataki style pieces of Wagyu topped with crunchy potato shreds.

Wagyu Think Skirt

I took a risk in ordering the cheese gyoza as Mr Dough isn’t a big fan of cheese. Much to my surprise he really enjoyed it! The gyoza filled with bococcini style cheese and chopped chives, deep-fried so that the cheese was all molten inside.

Cheese Gyoza

I was also a bit sceptical about the prawn skewers on the menu as I thought it was very simple. The prawns were amazingly springy and had just the right amount of chilli sprinkled on top.

Grilled Prawn Skewers

We played Russian roulette with the hot peppers as we didn’t know which one would contain the most seeds. Chicken mince was stuffed in hot peppers, tempura style and the dish reminded me of Chinese style fish paste in capsicum but this had the heat to back it up.

Stuffed peppers

Another special of the day was tempura cuttle fish legs. I love cuttle fish legs purely on the basis that it is crunchy and meaty.

Tempura Cuttle Fish Legs – $12

We toyed with the idea of trying some sushi to finish and Mr Dough was adamant he could finish it. And of course since he is famous for his sushi!

The small sushi set arrived  and I was immediately impressed that the prawn sushi was a fresh prawn made in-house and not one of those frozen packets that most sushi train uses. The sushi rice was nice and warm with just the right amount of vinegar. Each sashimi slice was quite thick and fat and you could definitely taste the freshness of the fish.

Small sushi set

For my next arrival, I must sit on the sushi bar and befriend Atsushi so he can just whip up any type of sushi he feels like!

@ ! Restaurant (At Restaurant)

477  Pacfic Highway

Crows Nest NSW 2065

+612 9437 5285

Sushi Counter, Crows Nest

1 Jul

I don’t know about you but I am a sucker for deals. My inbox is jammed full of emails from cudo, spreets, living social, catch of the day etc. I particularly like the dining deals which come my way as it would give me an excuse to try a restaurant I normally wouldn’t go to. This brings us to Sushi Counter on a cold Friday night. Armed with the Living Social voucher in hand for deluxe sushi for 2 plus sake all for $35, I was ready to stuff my face with sushi. I have been before but every time we feel like Japanese, we always head to our local Hana-Jurin.

Sushi Counter is situated half way down the stretch of restaurants on Willoughby Road. The restaurant gives you the option to sit down at their long; you guessed it….sushi counter with a few tables on the side for larger groups. Dining with a living social voucher we were given a special living social customer menu along with their normal menu. First we had to choose between a deluxe sushi set for 2 or 4 assorted hand rolls each, then the special menu offered living social customers a chance to order extra items such as miso soup, beef tataki, various hand rolls, salads at a special price instead of the regular normal menu price.

Sake to warm my belly on a cold winter night

Mr Dough’s obligatory miso soup

I am obsessed with tofu at the moment, I can’t get enough of it. When I am feeling lazy and cooking for 1, I just pop a whole tray in the steamer with some soy, ginger and coriander and voila instant dinner! I love Japanese cold tofu with the grated ginger, daikon and bonito flakes. Topped with a dipping sauce of mirin and soy, I am in heaven!

Living Social special: Cold tofu

Living Social special: Beef tataki

When I ordered the gyoza, I was expecting pan-fried version but much to my surprise it came as soup dumplings. The filling was not your traditional pork and cabbage but instead pork and prawn. I quite enjoyed the bonito soup it was floating in and reminded me of Shanghai dumplings of which I am a very big fan of.

Gyoza

We ordered the next dish purely because of its simplicity. In a way it was like a Japanese version of a tartare with the quail egg binding the minced salmon, tuna and avocado together. You mix it up with the wasabi, dash of soy and it is scooped into ready-made cones.

Minced salmon, tuna and avocado

Ready to pop into mouth!

Our deluxe sushi for 2 was just that, deluxe. There was a great selection of sushi with: kingfish belly, tuna, salmon, scallop, seared salmon belly, flying fish roe, uni and california rolls. My only complaint was that I wish the sushi rice was slightly warmer.

Deluxe sushi for 2

 

In the end we paid an extra $35 for our meal and Mr Dough was very pleased with my bargain find. Content, we piled on our jackets for the walk home, back to my inbox to see what other foodie deals are waiting for me.

 

Sushi Counter

64 Willoughby Rd

Crows Nest NSW 2065

+612 9966 4556

Lunch & Dinner: Monday – Saturday