Tanpopo, Neutral Bay

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 Tanpopo Volcano Roll – spic tuna, cucumber, avocado and flying fish roe ($13.00)

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Camembert cheese tempura ($10.00)

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 Salmon lover sushi ($15.00)

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 Tanpopo Carpaccio – Ocean troout with capers and mixed leaves ($15.00)

The Food Zoo experience: I was surprised how busy this little Japanese restaurant was! After a 15 minute wait we were eventually seated although the table had been available the entire time and clearly not reserved so that was quite confusing. The Tanpopo carpaccio and the Tanpopo volcano roll is a must! My favourite was the Tanpopo volcano roll which was just flooded with mayonnaise goodness (although some may disagree and say it’s just too rich)!

Tanpopo

3/81 Military Rd
Neutral Bay NSW 2089

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Wagaya, Haymarket

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Dynamite roll ($9.80)

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Seared tuna sushi with garlic mayonnaise ($11.80)

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Seared salmon and scallop box sushi ($13.50)

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Japanese style chicken pizza  ($8.90)

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Seared beef ($9.90)

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Crab chawanmushi ($6.90)

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Wagaya Salad ($8.50)

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Ox Tongue x 2 servings ($7.50 per serving)

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Seared salmon sushi ($9.90)

The Food Zoo experience: Loving the trend of touch-screen ordering! Food is often served within minutes of ordering (bear in mind, you can’t change the order if you’ve made a mistake!) And gone are the days where you wave your arms around like a crazy woman for the attention of the waiters. At the press of a button you can order food and drinks, request service and even get the bill! There’s a huge (albeit weird) range of items on the menu – hot pot, Japanese style pizza, sushi, sashimi, ramen, soba, udon, fried rice, fried noodle – you name it. A little bit of something for everyone! My favourite was the ox-tongue (so thick, delicious and grilled/seasoned to perfection!) and the iced green-tea latte. Dessert is the standard Japanese icecream (green tea, sesame or vanilla) so we opted for something with more selections… Watch out for the Passionflower post coming up!

Wagaya

Level 1, 78-86 Harbour Street
Haymarket, NSW 2000

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Toraya, Chatswood

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a while but I’m back from my holiday and still alive! Unfortunately I got sick on holidays so wasn’t able to enjoy all the food and flavours of Asia. Alas never fear, there’s always next time…

So a few nights after getting back, the boy and I decided to dine at Toraya – one of our frequent dining spots in Chatswood Mandarin Centre. Toraya is casual dining yet the food a bit exquisite so I guess that’s why I’m always back for more (even though I think it’s quite pricey!)

Green tea

Complimentary seaweed

A little complimentary seaweed just to get your appetite working if you’re not too hungry.

Tontoro – lightly salted grilled pork neck skewers ($7.50)

These skewers are perfectly grilled and still sizzling hot when served! It’s the first time I’ve ever ordered Tontoro – a nice balance of crunchy and slightly fatty pork neck which I can definitely see myself ordering again in the future!

Soft-shell crab ($15.80)

The boy’s usual favorite – soft shell crab – was quite a disappointment this time. It didn’t seem battered enough and was soggy to eat. I’m not sure whether it’s always like this since we usually order the spider roll (soft-shell crab sushi roll) so we’ve never really noticed. I guess we won’t be ordering the dish by itself again.

Wagyu steak ($26.00)

My all time favourite! The steak usually comes out while still cooking with steam coming from the hot-plate but tonight it was already finished cooking by the time it reached our table. Nevertheless, it was still perfectly cooked (medium rare… yummmmmmy), sprinkled with radish and shallots and served with potato roe mash and fried lotus slices on the side.

Miso soup ($3.50)

Yummy miso soup – another favourite!

Rock’n Roll ($15.00)

California roles made awesome with oven-baked scallops and a generous topping of creamy mayonnaise. What more could you ask for? My favorite dish and ordered every time!

Black sesame and Green tea ice-cream ($6.00 each)

Black Sesame Pudding ($6.00)

I was greedy for dessert and between the boy and I we had three desserts!! The black sesame and green tea ice cream was deliciously creamy whilst the black sesame pudding had a strong authentic flavor however I’m not really one to appreciate real big chunks of black sesame bits in my pudding.

The wait-staff seem to be so busy but they are always very nice when you actually get their attention. And sure ,the place is a bit expensive but still worth a try – I know I’m definitely going back sometime soon ^___^. Hope you enjoyed my post!

Toraya Japanese Restaurant
Mandarin Center
61-65 Albert Avenue
Chatswood, 2067
T: (02) 9884 9620

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Azuma Kushiyaki, Sydney

The long awaited Sugarhit at Azuma Kushiyaki! Well it was more like a light dinner followed by some heavy dessert!! This restaurant is the second Azuma restaurant (original at Chifley Square) which is supposedly cheaper and offers more variety.

The black interior gives a cool modern vibe without losing the traditional Japanese presentation. Pretty plates, cups and chopstick holders really add to the dining experience.

Assorted Sushi 10 pcs ($29.80)

Freshly chosen sushi of the day. It’s not cheap for ten pieces but the servings are moderate beautifully presented =)

 


Seared Tuna Salad served with Vinaigrette ($16.00)

A little disappointed with the size of the tuna salad and also I expected the tuna to be a bit more raw (i.e. seared like beef tataki) so the texture wasn’t as nice, smooth and chewy. On the other hand though, the vinaigrette really nice and flavorsome.

Spider deep fried soft shell crab ($11.00)

 yummy yummy. I think it’s pretty hard to make a horrible spider roll when there’s so many ingredients to distract your tastebuds. Nevertheless the presentation was really nice and consistent so consider it was a job well done.

Sugarhit 2010: Selection of Eastern and Western-influenced desserts and sweets with drink selection ($20.00)

So Sugarhit included ALL of the following:

– Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis: loved it! panna cotta was so smooth but the strawberry coulis just tasted like jam
– Belgian Chocoalte  Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis centre & Freeze Dried Raspberry Flakes: I’ve had conflicting opinions on this one. Some saying it’s too rich and the raspberry flakes too sour but combine them together I think it makes a good dessert (though there wasn’t much ‘cake’ in the mousse
– Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart: my favourite of the night. The thick green tea ganache filling was awesome!
– Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart: I am 100% not a wasabi fan… so one bite and I couldn’t bring myself to finish the rest…
– Petit Almond Financier: cute but wasn’t my favourite
– Freshly Baked Macaroon: I think I had an orange flavoured one (they change every night) and although it was teeny, the flavour was really strong yet fruity which went well against the rich tart and chocolate mousse =)

 

Being silly and just playing with my food! hehe

Sugarhit wine: Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora

So just based on the sugarhit, my verdict is… I love it!! Just two important things to remember:
~ Make a booking (especially for sugarhit!)
~ Required one sugarhit per person (there is no other dessert menu available for SIFF)

Azuma Kushiyaki
Regent Place
501 George St
Sydney 2000
T: (02) 9267 7775

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