No photos for this one, sadly, my camera was out of batteries. It’s a nice little place in Newtown, and seems to be quite popular. We had a table booked for 8 and it’s a lucky thing we did or we wouldn’t have got in.
We started with an entree of gyoza, which are fried dumplings with gyoza sauce. They’re very nice, simple without being too greasy in the way chinese fried dumplings can be, and the sauce is strongly flavoured and sets them off perfectly. We had a lot of mains, more than we needed in the end, but it was great to taste the range of things on offer. First to arrive was yakiniku, which is basically little strips of beef in sauce. It was very subtle, with plenty of juices and served with salad, but it was quickly outshone by the beef teriyaki that arrived soon after. The two plates looked almost exactly the same, but the beef teriyaki had a much stronger flavour which left the yakiniku tasting rather bland. Previously I would have said teriyaki was nothing special, but having tasted Asakusa’s teriyaki, I can see why people like it- it’s worlds beyond your average food court versions. The chicken katsu was also very nice. Although it seems rather like glorified chicken nuggets with tomato sauce, it’s well worth ordering- the crumbing is delightfully crisp and the sauce is quite piquant, surprising you because it looks so much like tomato sauce but definitely isn’t!
We also had udon noodles, which were good but tasted too much like a stir fry my dad makes for me to think they were particularly special and the others seemed to enjoy them more than I did. We also had a plate of mixed sushi and sashimi. I’m not a huge fan of raw fish, but I quite enjoyed the vegetable options; the fishy ones were consumed with glee and gusto by my dining companions. Finally we had a hot pot, which in the end I decide was more value in terms of amusement than flavour. Not that it wasn’t tasty, oh no, it was quite delicious with a lovely savoury broth and a variety of vegetables and meat stewing away- it was simply that by that point most of us were stuffed and we had more fun fishing out tempting tid bits than we cared about eating them.
In terms of atmosphere, it’s nothing special- your average Newtown restaraunt that is fairly noisy, busy, and more focused on getting people in and feeding them than on decor. That said, what you are fed is really very nice, simple and subtle tastes with a few sharp flavours to set them off. Service was also nothing special, but also not bad. You could catch the eye of a waiter when you wanted one easily enough, but they didn’t hover over you. Prices are also pretty reasonable, it cost the 8 of us around $25 a head including drinks. Overall I thought it was a decent night out. Nothing special, but good food and solid service, which is all you can ask.
119 King St
Ratings (out of 5 snorts)