It was after work last Friday in the city and I had some time to spare before I met up with some girls at Zeta Bar, The Hilton for some Friday night festivities. Wandering around my patch of the city, I was looking around for a place that I could grab a solo nibble but without it being a heavy, weighty meal. I’m a little self-conscious about dining alone and found travelling in Japan last month a real relief – they really do accomodate the ‘individual diner’ and while many places have their usual tables of two, four and more, there’s usually a discrete bar table set along one wall for the ones who do want a quick bite without having to get takeaway.
It was then that I noticed Sushi Tei Kitchen on Liverpool Street. I had by-passed my old haunt Makoto sushi train due to a decline in quality, and noticed this little gem. I stepped inside and was immediately greeted by the friendly calls in Japanese – no matter how many times I dine in Japanese restaurants, it never fails to make me smile.
The interior is very modern and very clean. Noise level was medium, and I didn’t notice any background music. I was surprised to see the place three quarters empty on a Friday night at 6.30 pm. Especially as all the sushi on the conveyor belt was $3! It’s the same price as the crazily busy Sushi Hotaru in The Galleries Victoria, where you’re squished together like sardines and there’s even an ‘express aisle’ where you’re shooed away after 30 minutes.
I was seated at the bar a couple of seats down from some other people, which was a refreshing change. There are also booths and larger tables for groups. Compared to Sushi Hotaru, I found the portion size here larger, there was more of a selection, more exotic variations, and most importantly, the sushi fresher! I guess a lot of people don’t come down all the way to Liverpool Street as The Galleries is more central, and nor is Sushi Tei Kitchen located in an area with a lot of pedestrian thoroughfare. The quality of the sushi is the same as their very-well known Mother, Sushi Tei in Chifley Square, which is excellent.
Even if you’re sitting at the bar, you can also order from their large a la carte selection. The menu is the size of my upper torso.
Unfortunately I dug in too quickly and forgot to take photos to start with. Here you go!
The menu called this ‘half-broiled’ salmon – I found this interesting as I’ve only had grilled or blowtorched salmon before and it usually has a characteristic ‘smoky’ aroma. This one lacked it, it tasted like it had been blanched very quickly and the chilli powder on top added a bit of kick.
This salmon you could see and taste that it had been a little grilled. And my favourite topping, Kewpie mayonnaise. Do you know there are whole aisles of Kewpie mayonnaise in the supermarkets in Japan?
And grilled salmon wrapped around an inside-out roll with soft-shell crab and seafood stick. Another of my favourites! I also had a green tea, which came out quite hot but the tea bag was very good.
By this stage I was at that stage where you’re feeling very comfortable and could stuff yourself to the extreme, but I didn’t feel like it that night. Besides, I was heading off to a girls’ night! Time to go. Because it was a quiet evening, I was invited up to the till to pay, rather than the usual of jotting down your dishes and ripping off the sheet for you. With each dish at $3 and my green tea at a surprising $1, my total bill for dinner came up to $10. Bargain!
It’s a shame that this establishment isn’t more centrally located, but I’ll most definitely be back. I do love my sushi trains! :)
Sushi Tei Kitchen
127A Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9232 7288