Izakaya dining is one of the most fun experiences you can have at Yebisu Izakaya inside Regent Place on George Street Sydney as their menu serves a wide range of pub food that is based wholly on Japanese cuisine. Dishes are more for snacking while drinking but there’s no issue with ordering a bit of everything that can easily turn into a feast. Make sure when your drinks arrive even if it’s water, hold them up like brave samurai warrior after a fierce battle and shout “KAMPAI!” at the top of your lungs. (Kampai in Japanese means cheers)
Mini Spread of Yebisu Izakaya Menu
Lines are CRAZY at Yebisu Izakaya even on a week night.
We were greeted by a lovely Japanese waitress and she explained the menu as well how to use the touch screen to order. One highlight about technology is once you have finalised your dishes and beverages, you can go to the section where it indicates “total bill” and it will show you the total amount you spent. It’s a friendly way to keep track of your wallet so you don’t leave crying…haha.
Touch Screen Menus have landed at Yebisu Izakaya.
Hard Copy Menu just in case we ain’t IT savvy.
The takoyaki curry cheese fondue ($10.80) can melt any ones heart even on Valentine’s Day. It was quite a thick creamy mixture with cheese and seafood pieces served with takoyaki balls that were flawlessly golden brown all around. The bite-size takoyaki balls married so well with the fondue. There was definitely a bold curry flavour and a touch of sweetness from the cheese. Cheese is the spice of life as one would say.
Takoyaki Curry Cheese Fondue ($10.80)
I gave a lot of attention to the grilled cheese seafood gyoza ($12.80) as it similarly tasted like a pizza with a slab of tomato paste in the center that was buried by melted cheeeeeessssssse. Best part of this dish was pulling apart the filling with chunks of prawn and the CHEESE BABY THE CHEESE SAUCE.
Grilled Cheese Seafood Gyoza ($12.80)
Look at the cheeesssseee melt….THINK ABOUT THE CHEEEESE!
Complimentary wet towel when you get in a cheesy situation.
There was a whole variety of alcoholic beverages but we picked the fruity drink that was the fresh peach calpico chuhai ($9.80). It’s an easy sweet way to start the party as the fresh mashed pieces of peach swirled around the entire cup and the chuhai was strong and diluted well with the un-carbonated calpico.
Peach Calpico Chuhai ($9.80)
We opt for one of the simplest and tastiest dish salomon chazuke ($9.30) that consisted of nothing more than a grilled salmon piece and green tea with some herbs and to garnish fresh straws of spring onions.
Salomon Chazuke ($9.30)
My tongue was so spellbound by the teas flavour blending with the salmon base making it a light broth. Now the real hidden treasure was the Japanese rice because it had soaked up all that broth and fish flavours.
Spotted a salmon piece in our Salomon Chazuke.
The Japanese wagyu beef skewer ($7) didn’t need to be heavily tossed and turned with salt as its natural flavour, obviously coming from the fat was incredibly rich to showcase on its own. The beef was exquisitely marble for peak juicy flavour and grilled to perfection that turned out to be an A+ for us.
Unfortunately I wasn’t into the chicken breast ($4.50) as it didn’t captivate my tastebuds due to the lack of flavours, however the ume sauce gave it a sting which was slightly zesty but sadly didn’t match my jam.
The chicken meat ball ($6) that was almost the size of a corn dog comprises a mixture of flavours and textures. When I popped the wobbly poached egg it was like watching a horror film. It oozed out slowly and my face would look traumatised when the chicken meat ball was dunked into it. There was a happy outcome to it as it tasted garlicky, slightly salty but covered with egg yolk added that delightful sweet palate.
Left to Right: Wagyu Beef Skewer ($7), Chicken Breast ($4.50) & Chicken Meat Ball with Poached Egg ($6)
Very popular at Yebisu Izakaya!
Apparently every hour there’s a sake trolley that comes around just to remind you how you should party like if you were in Japan.
We don’t usually have sake but tasting a shot of Nanbu Bijin Sake sure introduced us to a whole new world of flavours. There was a clean fragrance and flavour that reminiscent to green pears that easily made us want another shot. As for the Uonuma Sake this is best well known for their style to be dry but light texture with a crisp clean of savory taste.
Nanbu Bijin Sake & Uonuma Sake
There was a lot of heart and soul in the Tom Yum Goong Roll ($9.80- 4P) as it looked garden-fresh with tempera prawns rolled in a swimming pool of fish roe and decorated with all sorts of greens including lettuce and coriander with large dollops of Tom Yum sauce. Definitely the most unique flavour roll I’ve come across but I would much prefer my tastebuds to try something more traditional in this case. Overall great efforts if you like all things chilli.
Tom Yum Goong Roll ($9.80- 4P)
Our final main had arrive and we were already up in the air like we just don’t care after a few sake shots, but the show much go on and for today’s sushi plate ($19.80) was a pleasant way to finish. This to share plate included four pieces of salmon and avocado roll, salmon nigiri, tamago nigiri, scallop nigiri, tuna nigiri and yellow tail nigiri. It was an easy way to finish as all the nigiris flavours naturally came from the fish itself and yes it was mighty fresh.
Today’s Sushi Plate ($19.80)
That spread of wine and sake. Need a wall like that at home 😀
If you’d like to watch what’s happening in the Yebisu Izakya kitchen then sitting at the sushi bar area would be the best seat in the house for that experience.
Yebisu Izakya is a great place to chill for small to large gatherings or even after work humans. If you’re not in the mood for alcoholic drinks and prefer eating then this would be the spot as there menu is so extensive, you’d want to order it all as it is catered to share. Price wise is fairly okay however we’d suggest to go with at least four people if you’d like to try a bit of everything but overall fantastic hang out as the decors and atmosphere feels like you’re in Japan.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
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HAPPY 2015 FOODIE FRIENDS! Can you believe it’s mid of January already?! By now you may have noticed Nessy Eater’s been busy indulging desserts and summery meals on Instagram. The Food Gods knew that they’d needed new volunteers to take up the festive Christmas feast and so they immediately decided to choose me. OH the pain I had to endure and retire my typewriter during the holiday season. But sometimes when you’re giving a task during Xmas by the Food Gods and it involves your stomach and gingerbread man, it’s automatically a food hall pass. This hall pass was cherished and used judiciously for it is not an easy thing to obtain. The hall pass is something to be prized and by verbal consent from the Food Gods and Santa, Nessy Eater has permission to share great foods with you kids. What are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
It’s my second visit to Crossroads Bar at Swissotel Sydney and just before I had retired my typewriter and crisp white paper, I managed to spot a really good deal on Groupon. For $79 for two people, you get Christmas Weekend High Tea plus a cocktail for each person. Before treating your tummy to savoury foods and sweet delights, I wanted to quickly inform you that this deal was ALL YOU CAN EAT high tea. I repeat High Tea BUFFET. DON’T PANIC IF YOU’VE MISSED OUT! After a quick investigation like a detective I found out through the Swissotel’s website the high tea buffet is still on but not Xmas themed though. I’m sure it would be still as good and it is normally $79 per person. That’s CRAZY! I saved $79! This by far was the best deal that I’ve ever purchased from Groupon.
Are you drooling?
Before thunder and lightning strikes to my typewriter I think it’s now time to share the Christmas spirit with you. Within a 5-star luxury hotel the Swissotel does get a thumbs up for their modern and elegant interior, however their service and overall management did not make it to a two-star. We were disappointed by the lack of service and management skills. For example when we arrived, staffs at the Swissotel looked like they wanted to wrestle with guests in UFC style. You could see it in their eyes they were very frustrated and sad, especially when there was one main bartender, a supervisor and three waitresses serving around fourty five plus guests. Waitresses responded with a robotic tone and left unhappily after we made our beverage orders. I guess Santa’s been overworking his helpers. Anyways moving on to rainbows and unicorns.
Our festive fare started with Christmas pudding. This traditional pud is made from vine fruit and butter, eggs and a splash of vanilla custard. Each handmade pudding was the size of a baseball and half a tennis ball. What does it taste like? Think fruitcake. It’s not everyone’s taste as it’s an acquired taste, it’s cream sauce with dried fruits in it. I think it err needed lots of cream to tone it down.
Strawberry cream caramel kept vanishing every time I was forced to return to the dessert bar. Lightly greasy but it’s wrapped around a creamy center that won’t disappoint. The half sliced strawberry made this dessert refreshing. I like the chance to play around with the wobbly jelly like texture of the cream caramel before I devour it. It gives me time to mingle before I say good-bye to it for the second time. If you’re craving for that caramel sauce to take home then you need to ask Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich for a favour.
Strawberry cream caramel
I managed to somehow not shatter the blackberry pavlova into a million pieces before it made it back to my table. The fun sized pavlova looked like snow ball meringues. It was extremely light and airy. Being able to taste it for the third time, it was one of those fabulous treats to go along with a cup of tea.
As Christmas traditions go, starting a marvellous high tea with a shot of eggnog is another great way to celebrate the festive season. The shot was very satisfying as there was an egg-rich dairy punch flavour. It can be very boozy and super rich if there’s more eggs added, but thankfully not.
Festive must haves were the fruit mince tart. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without buttery pastries and fruity mince pies. These delectable star shaped mince pies simply provided a moment of self-indulgence for me. The outside butter-enriched pastry is stuffed with chunks of moist fruit and topped with heavy sprinkles of icing.
Fruit star tart
Oh hot summer days means we need to thank the bartender at Swissotel for making us the strawberry cocktail. Though we were half way feeding our inner cravings, we still managed to wash this beverage down. The sweetness of the strawberries was a real crowd pleaser and off course the rum. It wasn’t sickly sweet, which is good news coming from the syrup. The texture kicked ass as it felt like a strawberry slushy rather than a classic cocktail.
Me thinks the strawberry panna cotta was carefully crafted. The strawberries makes a great companion with the panna cotta for bright, sharp summer fruit. The taste was somewhat cream-heavier but that didn’t matter too much because I was mildly annoyed at the casual sophistication of the presentation for this dessert.
Strawberry panna cotta
Just look at how this chocolate fountain GLISTENS! It brings a smile to everyone’s face including the grumpy cats. Stop making me smile chocolate fountain! STOP IT!
I simply couldn’t get enough of the salted caramel and jam lamingtons. The lamingtons were sandwiching the sweet jam. I tried burying evidence of me eating this, but the shredded dried coconuts around my mouth gave it away.
Salted caramel and jam lamingtons
This chilled blueberry panna cotta in a miniature plastic cup was simply impressive. The fresh blueberries and pipped cream married so well with the silky smooth vanilla bean gelatine.
Blueberry panna cotta
With our voucher package, we were treated with selections of tea or coffee. All teas are from T2.
English breakfast by T2
Tempt the tastebuds with smoked salmon tartar with pipped cream cheese on waffle cone. It’s so easy to eat and I didn’t notice I ate five till I started counting the gold wrappers. Oh Whoops!
Smoked salmon tartar cone
Not sure if sandwiches are meant to look like they’re all swirled up but hey I’m loving it. This smoked turkey, pickled raspberry jam and rocket on harvest grain was juicy with that jam spread across the bread so evenly. The thick pieces of turkey was zomg crazy ass delicious.
Smoked turkey swirl sandwich
Making my way back to the buffet bar and look who do we have here…cocktail prawn station with Crystal Bay Australian reef prawn cocktail with lemon and cocktail dressing.
Cocktail prawn station
The fire roasted red capsicums with green olive and goat cheese baguette was my least favourite. It was an interesting take on for me in terms of flavours. It has that sweet sourness from the olive and cold texture of goat cheese which I didn’t favour.
Wicked, decadent and sinful was hardly the best description for these dreamy little masterpieces. I took my time connecting with the Christmas profiteroles. Glazed with milk chocolate atop and sprinkles of crushes chocolate pieces, I think it was the perfect addition to the buffet bar.
Wait there’s MORE DESSERTS?! I became very full from stuffing my belly with trying a bit of everything, but noooooooo the pastry chef had to bring this blackberry and white chocolate mousse just before I was about to pack my fat body and go. My belly was crying on the inside but because this mousse cake was beautifully presented, I had to cut a seven inch width slice of cake.
Blackberry and white chocolate mousse
I spy with my eyes….. is that a full plate of Christmas macarons? A sensational dessert that always alwAYS ALWAYS pleases! Hehe.
We had to arrange a little bit more stomach space for the spring berry tart. Glad we did because that tart had just came straight out of the pastry headquarters looking all innocent and sweet.
Spring berry tart
Woohoo our Christmas Afternoon Tea finally came to an end, however I’m sorry I’ve missed out taking a few photos of some desserts and savories. Overall I loved skipping my way to the buffet bar and thank goodness majority of the desserts and savoury tasted magical so I could forget about their below average service. Totes heart every single desserts presentation. Swissotel is a great spot for afternoon tea whores, for example like me, although it’s a tad pricey but it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT sugar. To my disappointment I couldn’t walk out of the hotel like a Victoria Secret Model in high heels. Instead I left waddling out like Mumble from Happy Feet and swore to myself that I ain’t gonnabe eating dinner…
Top view of spring berry tart
Photos by Vanny Tang
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