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Japanese

Sushi Hotaru

Just like everyone else, I was super excited when Sushi Hotaru made its way from Sydney to Melbourne a few years back. The prospect of a $3 per plate sushi train seemed too good to be true, yet there it was. In the intervening years however, I have to admit that the quality of the sushi had declined by a small yet noticeable degree, whilst the prices inched up bit by bit. Still, that’s not enough to get rid of the small soft spot I nurse for the popular sushi train, and to this day, I still enjoy the occasional visit. And although the prospect reviewing the original Sushi Hotaru location in Sydney isn’t exactly exhilarating stuff, I feel like…

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Ichiban Boshi

Ichiban Boshi and I go way back. I first heard of the now-iconic ramen chain over 10 years ago, when I had just started reading food blogs, and the thought of writing my own was years from even crossing my mind. I had never had proper ramen at the time, but that didn’t stop me from being completely enamoured with the idea of noodles in deliciously porky soup (in fact, I think this may be where my ramen obsession started).  And I almost, almost got to eat at Ichiban Boshi too, when I went to the Gold Coast with my family in 2008. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out, and it took another 10 years and an interstate move before the…

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Juan Bowl and Tea

Juan Bowl and Tea has been on my hype-radar ever since I moved to Sydney last year and found almost everyone raving about their amazing rice bowl – don – and tea pairings. I waited a bit for the hype to die down (and to have a little more money in my pocket) and then BAM, I was there. Juan embodies the Japanese spirit of doing one thing, and doing it really, really right. The whole focus of the restaurant is in the name – bowls of stuff on rice, and carefully curated teas to match. And despite the rather humble concept, the careful craftsmanship extends to beyond the food into the décor as well. With its dramatic down-lights, minimalist…

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Ippudo

One great thing about Japan is that over there, Restaurant Chain is not a dirty term. With their dedication to quality, even the most pedestrian chains serve up food that would be right at home in a casual restaurant in Australia. Take Ippudo for example; despite having 69 branches in 12 countries, it is still very much known for serving up an excellent bowl of noodles that’s comparable to any ramen-ya. Ippudo may be located in a Westfield shopping complex, but the fit-out is rather swank. The dim interior with dramatic down-lighting, and eye-catching bar, makes it feel more like a high-end hotel restaurant than a casual eatery.

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Ken’s Sushi Bar

How gross has the weather been recently?? Having always lived in dry-as-a-bone Melbourne, the humidity in Sydney was a complete shock, and it still throws me how much worse a 30-degree day feels when the humidity is constantly at 80%. Mind you, I’m hoping that by the time this post comes out, the weather will have calmed down – this visit to Ken’s Sushi Bar actually happened in mid-January; I’m trying to get a really good backlog going before med school starts again and inevitably gets the best of me.

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Hikaru Japanese Restaurant

And so the search for the local cheap and cheerful Japanese restaurant continues. Kura turned out to be something of a disappointment, so my search led me to Hikaru Japanese Restaurant, located conveniently within walking distance from Sydney Uni for an after-class feed. Hikaru has been around for a solid 30 years, so it’s definitely a little bit worse for wear. But with that said, I actually quite liked the ambience. Instead of being fully indoors, its located within a semi-enclosed courtyard that extends further into the building. And despite its age, it gave off a well-loved atmosphere, rather than an unkempt one.

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