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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Rumour has it Kenzi Sake Bar is definitely a first stop destination for spectacular Japanese sake and a perfect venue for people who had a long day at work.
Empty sake bottles floating across the ceiling for decoration purposes, heavy wooden furniture and tug-a-war ropes are a sign that this is a fancy Japanese restaurant. Their service is warm and friendly also very very informative about each dish particularly sake.
Like most Japanese restaurants, sake is highly versatile in every meal; therefore we ordered the “Takara” Shochikubai Kimoto 360ml ($32) candy sweetness on the nose that pairs well with sushi, tempura and spicy dishes. The essence of this sake is truly excellent with its rich rice flavour and is unbelievably smooth.
Before our sake was handed over to us, the waitress placed a dark wooden tray on our table, inside filled with magical hand crafted pieces of sake cups that ranged from different sizes and colours. She politely informed us it’s best to pick a cup that is smaller than regular standard sake cups as we requested to have our sake to be served warm.
We proudly went with these funky printed sake cups, although it would be fun to taste sake in another cup. Teehee
This juicy golden tempura battered Popcorn Prawn ($13) turned out to be err…just pieces of prawn. Don’t get me wrong, these mouth-popping prawns are amazing especially when heavily dipped in wasabi mayonnaise but maybe, if it was cut into actual popcorn sizes then sure will make the cut of BEST KILLER prawn POPCORN.
Crispy and utterly addictive is the Lotus Chips ($8) – A lightly unique fried snack of joy will be gone in a flash. It is outrageously difficult to find a restaurant that offers lotus in the form of chips. FREAKEN MINDBLOWLING!
I couldn’t control my Spiderman fingers slowly approaching the basket of thinly sliced pieces of lotus. Simply LOVE IT!
Pork belly has always been one of those guilty pleasures of mine. Without hesitation we ordered Buta Kakuni ($16) – A Japanese version of braised pork belly that originated in Japan’s South and is similar to Chinese pork dishes including dong-po pork is greatly seasoned with koikuchi shoyu, dashi, black sugar and sake. It’s true, juicy chunks of tender glazed pork belly are hard to resist.
In Japan, teppanyaki is commonly ordered and is served on a heated surface grill. The most famous teppanyaki-style dish is Teppan Wagyu Yakiniku ($24.50) – The tenderness of the medium rare beef made it to my favourite list. It appears this dish has a lot of different presentation from almost every angle imagined because of the ingredients including bean sprouts, chopped cabbage tucked underneath the wagyu, asparagus covered in a cheese swirl. To garnish, slices of red onion, spring onions and lemon slices.
Magnificent Teppan Wagyu Yakiniku presentation I have seen so far.
Please excuse me while I drool…
Too bad the Kushiyaki Chicken Thigh Momo ($4 each piece stick) was only ordinary and overpriced. The sweet tangy soy sauce is intense and is enough reason for you to try it but I personally wouldn’t order it next time.
Their signature dish Taste of Kenzi ($31.90) is not afraid to go a little over the top in presentation. A variety of nigirizushi including ebi, tamago, salmon, toro, maguro, squid and hotate. All nigiri have in common is fermenting vinegared rice that turned out to be cooked just right. Eating each piece of nigiri allows your tastebuds to really enjoy the flavour of the raw fish and this plate of sushi certainly focussed its flavours accurately to each piece of nigiri.
Turned the plate around and you get the other side of their delicious nigiri.
Give me some NIGIRI!!!
Best to go to Kenzi Sake Bar with a group of workmates after work as they have a variety of tapas and many sake to choose from their menu. You’d be completely surprised with their decorations as you enter their restaurant.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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