A couple of years back now, my family and I discovered what we now know as ‘Little Japan’: a little avenue of cafes and shops on the opposite side of Artarmon to the main strip of shops. While there are a variety of odd cafes and restaurants, the place is unmistakably popular for the small Japanese grocer on the street corner, the bustling ‘noodle-shack’ style ramen shop, and two more up-market Japanese restaurants, Sushi-Ya and their new connected tapas wine bar, Izakaya Jubei.
A friend and myself were thinking of going to Izakaya Jubei, but when I asked my older sister, who has been there, she said that the menus were essentially the same (the food comes from the same kitchen), but you would be getting smaller, tapas-size dishes of sushi for the same price as a full plate of the same sushi next door at Sushi-Ya. After a brief consultation and agreeing that we were somewhat ravenous, we decided to visit Sushi-Ya, an establishment that we’ve both visited before but thoroughly enjoy.
Seating is both inside and outside. I prefer to get a seat outside on their covered verandah rather than inside, as the inside can get fairly packed if they’re having a busy service. Friday dinner was very popular with some local families, many bringing along toddlers and feeding them sushi – how adorable!
The menu here is very extensive, but between the two of us we selected a variety of four dishes to share across the a la carte and sushi menus. We started off with a bowl of Edamame beans, because truly they are just so much fun to gnaw on and pop open – they would be a much better bar snack than beer nuts!
Unfortunately silly me forgot to note down the prices of the dishes as I thought they would be on their website, however I realised this morning that their website doesn’t have any prices…
Next that arrived was something which caught my fancy and I was curious to try; the Smokey Mango Roll: smoked salmon wrapped around a roll of avocado, mango, and Japanese mayonnaise with basil and balsamic sauce. What the menu didn’t say was that the roll also had a tasty addition of a cube of cream cheese in the roll, and the two of us greatly enjoyed how different this sushi was. Who would have ever thought that a dab of pesto would ever go with sushi??
Both of us are epic fans of their Soft Shell Crab Sushi Roll, however there was a mix up and out came just Soft Shell Crab, two small soft shell crabs, halved and lightly coated in tempura batter and deep fried until the shell was deliciously crisp and the crab meat inside soft and tender, served sitting in a light soy and topped with salad. Neither of us complained, as there was a lot more crab here! We devoured this with relish.
The last dish to arrive was probably the least impressive, the Creamy Croquette, being three deep fried scallop cream croquettes served with a thick Japanese-style barbeque sauce and cabbage salad on the side. While the croquettes had been crumbed nicely, there are no other word to describe the inside simply than ‘creamy mush’. As tasty as the ‘creamy mush’ was, neither of us could pick up the most remote hint of scallop flavour.
Between the two of us, these four dishes left us satisfied, and with my friend’s can of Coke, the total bill came to just under $45, to give you an idea of the pricing. A lovely little restaurant to visit for some quality, authentic Japanese and beautifully presented food.
10 Wilkes Avenue, Artarmon NSW 2064
(02) 9411 1377