Thursdays are usually the weekday where supplies in the refrigerator are running low. With The Sister and I both often having events on both days over the weekend, we do the grocery run on Thursday nights, but then what about dinner on Thursday itself? No one is really in the mood to cook after an exhausting grocery shopping debacle, so the simple solution is to eat out, then do your grocery shopping before you go home.
We’ve dined at most of the restaurants around our Chatswood haunt, and I needed somewhere new to review. It was a warm day and I felt like sushi (as I often do), and The Sister suggested Toraya, a Japanese restaurant in the Mandarin Centre complex. I wasn’t fussed and so off we went.
Toraya is located on the third level of the centre, on the food court level.
Despite the fact that you’re now in a restaurant, it still has quite a food court feel from the plastic chairs and tables. Service is quick and efficient, with the waitress happily giving us clarification on certain menu items. I was interested to see that at certain dining times you can get a complimentary gyoza or other small menu items with your meal.
I had ordered a simple Salmon and Avocado Roll ($8.50), which was presented in it’s usual way – inside out.
There was a lot more rice than I’m used to, and the salmon was a bit chewier than I would like. I was a little surprised by the presence of fish roe on the top of the sushi rolls, as usually it’s black sesame seeds. I’d never had black roe before and found the taste a little stronger than the usual orange roe.
We had ordered the Torikara (or chicken karaage) ($8) to share between the two of us and I was a little surprised to see the pale-ness of the chicken when it arrived. It wasn’t very crunchy for chicken that had been fried, and the coating was rather floury. The chicken could also have done with being marinated for a little longer.
I wasn’t too impressed with my sushi or the chicken, but The Sister’s Kamo Namban ($14), which was an udon noodle soup topped with slices of duck and leek saved the evening. The soup was clear, light, and relatively flavoursome, and duck was perfectly tender and still a little pink.
Personally this isn’t a place that I would consciously make the effort to come by again, but they did do a quite nice udon noodle soup.
Toraya Japanese Restaurant
Mandarin Centre, Chatswood NSW 2067
(02) 9884 9620