Japanese food doesn’t get any finer than at Toshiya Japanese Restaurant, nestled along Military Rd in Cremorne. At the helm is owner/chef Toshiya Kai who will take your palate on a fantastic journey of Japanese food combining the traditional with inventive and sensational flavour combinations.
This is arguably one of the most memorable dining experiences we had for a long time, we were treated with ‘Omakase’ (I will leave it to you) style, it’s a fine Japanese dining tradition of letting the chef to choose your order.
Kampai! What a better way to start a Washoku degustation with a bowl of slightly salted Edamame along with a refreshing Yuzu Umesho – $8.50 cocktail and Echigo Rice beer – $16 500 ml, a rice lager beer that uses a super-premium short grain rice called Koshihikari, unusual as it may sound, it was superb, reflecting an IPA style in colour and flavour. With the main menu Toshiya also has a separate menu sheet for recommended dishes and specials, coupled to good selection of wine, sake and non alcoholic drinks. A banquet from 4 is also available, BYO wine too which is a welcome touch.
Where to begin! If you are not sure, look no further than the special mixed entree -$39 for 2, served on a platter with 6 dishes, including the Edamame that came first. The selections simply ooze with exquisite flavours and visual appeal.
So, what’s on the platter? The pan fried gyoza is moist and juicy and a good starter with its soy and fresh chilli dipping sauce, we then moved to the translucent grilled scallops served with right amount of garlic butter which added harmony to the distinct flavour of the scallops. Talk about fusion, these sashimi tacos are fun to eat, best combo of flavours, crunchy shells with fresh bite-size assorted sashimi topped with chilli and mayonnaise. Served on a round plate, the light and rosy pink wafer-thin slices of salmon served with savoury truffle oil garnished with colourful threads is delicate and savoury, a match made in heaven. And last but not the least, the crispy deep fried soft shell crab garnished with spicy leek, shallots, flying fish roe, chilli mayo and shiso soy is crunchy and flavoursome, a good appetiser that goes well with beer or sake. These dishes can be ordered individually.
Food plating here is second to none, works of art, like the next dish to arrive, 6 pieces salmon aburi (lightly seared) – $19.50 topped with thinly sliced prosciutto and ‘tobiko’ flying fish roe. With smokey hint, this is a uniquely crafted sushi that’s rich in both taste and colour, one of Chef Toshiya’s signature dishes, clearly this dish delivers his innovative approach of combining traditional and modern elements.
I’m just finishing off the last remaining pickled ginger on my plate, when the lobster volcano – $29 arrive, the presentation of this dish totally wowed us. The infused spicy kick of this dish adds flavour to everything it accompanies, it gives a lift to the inside out lobster nigiri roll topped with lobster meat, mayonnaise, shallots and flying fish roe and as the name implies, expect an explosion of flavours in your mouth. Definitely a must-try dish!
For something different with a umami bomb, try the wagyu spring roll – $7.50! The meat was cooked separately then wrap into spring roll shape and deep fried. The rendition is so moreish, crisp on the outside with the tender meat oozing with scrumptious juice in every bite.
Edible crispy fish bones? Yes I’m serious. The whole flounder tempura – $27 is an exciting dish, fillets are dipped into tempura batter then fried crispy while the whole fish is also deep fried leaving the bones becoming crisp and tasty. Two separate sauce comes with this dish, tempura sauce for the fillets and light soy sauce with fresh chilli for the bones. I guess this is a sustainable way of serving a fish but having said that, this style of deep fried fish is very popular across Asia.
How to conclude this amazing food journey? With a creamy red bean ice cream – $3 (1 scoop) with seasonal fruits.The azuki has a unique and tasty flavour and wasn’t overly sweet.
Toshiya Restaurant is still as swish as the day it opened in 2010, with a contemporary look, themed with dark colours accented by rich red round ceiling lamps creating a very inviting and comfortable ambience. Overall, the boldness of culinary creativity, flavours and service offered, Toshiya deserves to be in everyone’s Sydney food bucket list to check out. Would recommend this place in a heart beat!
1/283 Military Rd, Cremorne NSW 2090 Tel 02 8969 6989
Lunch : FRI and SAT 12pm-14:30pm Dinner : TUE to SUN 6pm-10pm
Toshiya Restaurant is one of partner restaurants of Washoku Lovers, a community where you can experience, share and learn about Washoku (Japanese Food Culture). Why Washoku? Members can get rewards at their partnered restaurants, discounts for Washoku Lover’s Kitchen and for up-coming events and more. For details check out their website at washokulovers.com Joining is absolutely FREE!
E_deliciou_S dined as guests