"I'll meet you on the steps of Town Hall at 6pm" is something that the BFF and I haven't said to each other for years...but on this night we're hitting the Big Smoke in search of Japanese.
As I often finish work quite early the BFF and I usually meet up on Thursday nights so I can kill some time window shopping in the city. By the time we meet up at Town Hall on this particular night I've been aimlessly roaming the streets for about 90 minute. My feet were KILLING me (that's what you get for wearing cheap Target shoes, so I only have myself to blame). We had planned to perhaps wander down into the depths of Chinatown, but my feet had other ideas.
Another blogger had mentioned Mizuya to me earlier in the day, right opposite the George Street cinemas. After a brief chat to my feet they thought they could handle walking just one more block....seeing as Sushi was involved.
Mizuya's is a basement level Japanese Restaurant as well as a Karaoke Bar. Luckily we arrive well before any Karaoke shenanigans get under way by the other punters. The best thing about Mizuya's (asides from Karaoke that is) is the novelty of ordering your food via a touch screen menu! The danger of this of course is you go mental over-ordering food...just because you can (and we did).
As we slide into our booth our waitress explains the ordering system and stresses that once you give the green light to your selection the order is sent off to the kitchen and there's no turning back. She repeats this a few times just to make sure we "get it". We do!
As soon as she leaves the BFF and I get onto the business at hand and flip through the touch screen menu like crazed gamers. We order about 6000 items (cos we can and it's so much fun) and sit back and wait for our bounty to arrive.
Our first dish is Quail Egg Kushiyaki ($3.80 for two skewers). I first fell in love with Quail Eggs when I visited Thailand two years ago and have been devouring them ever since. I love the way the eggs "pop" in your mouth to reveal the smooth, creamy yolk within.
Continuing our theme with food on skewers we order Chicken Tail Kushiyaki ($3.80 for two skewers). As I munch into my skewer the BFF innocently asks me if I know that I am eating chicken bottom? Yes I do, and it's deliciously tender and just a bit fatty. The meat is char grilled which gives it a lovely smokey flavour.
Next up is a bowl of Lotus Root Chips ($4.80). Oh my, this is my new favouirte snack food. Crispy and salty and totally addictive. It's lucky for my waistline I guess that I cannot buy this in the supermarket. I imagine beer lovers would find these chips a perfect match for their brew of choice.
The Eggplant with Sweet Miso ($7.80) is a plump, half eggplant topped with a salty miso paste and a smattering of sesame seeds. The eggplant is beautifully tender and meaty whilst the miso paste has the perfect amount of saltiness.
In order to get our sushi fix the BFF and I each order a Hand Roll. I choose the Soft Shell Crab Hand Roll ($4.80) and the BFF orders his with Grilled Eel ($3.80).
My hand roll is excellent! The crab is still hot when the dish arrives at the table and is crispy and not too oily. The avocado portion is generous and the smoothness is a great accompaniment to the crab. YUM! Wish I'd ordered another one of these.
One piece of soft shell crab in a hand roll proves not to be enough so we hit up our magic touch screen and order a serve of Spicy Soft Shell Crab ($7.80). I don't detect any spiciness on the crab, but it is lovely and crisp. It's hard to share especially as we only get half a crab each.
A trip to a Japanese restaurant wouldn't be complete for me without my beloved Agedashi Tofu ($5.80). My only complaint with this dish is that it comes with just three pieces of tofu - which means a messy dividing of the third piece to ensure we're even Stephens.
To end our meal we decided to order just one more dish and opt for something healthy. The Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad ($11.80) fits the bill perfectly.
Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke Bar is at on the basement level of 614 George Street, Sydney.