For my birthday this year and as an excuse for us to go on a foodie run, C kindly treated me to Japanese at Toriciya at Cammeray.
On a dark street, Toriciya cannot be missed with its large arc windows and golden lighting shining invitingly at its entrance. With its interior wooden features and Japanese decor, the restaurant layout of Toriciya definitely made me feel like I was back in Japan.
Toriciya, established in 1991, is one of Sydney’s first authentic yakitori bar style Japanese restaurants. The term “Yakitori”, used interchangeably with kushiyaki, refers to skewered or grilled food. Yakitori bars are very commonly seen in the streets of Japan and are popular places for casual after work snacks and drinks. Often they are small restaurants with bar style seating, offering yakitori dishes as well as a range of alcoholic drinks such as sake and shochu.
As we entered the restaurant, we were warmly welcomed by the waitress as well as the chefs in the bar style kitchen (Japan custom greeting), and were ushered to our table. After examining the extensive menu, C and I still couldn’t decide on what to order. Everything looked too good! The waiter explained the menu to us comprehensively and gave some suggestions on the popular dishes which C and I found very helpful.
We first started off with a sushi entree (6 kinds of sushi $20). The waitress also poured soy sauce onto our sauce plates for us. Both C and I felt that the sushi and sashimi were fresh, with the sashimi slices of the right length and thickness for perfect consumption. C felt that the rice did not stick together enough, but I think that it made it taste fresher.
Apart from the sushi entree, we also chose to have a piece of sushi each of the long spain sea urchin from Launceston Tasmania from the special menu ($7 per piece). It sounded too good to pass, and indeed we weren’t disappointed.
The sea urchin sushi was served with a pot of salt flakes. We followed the waitress’ suggestion to sprinkle the salt on top of the sushi before eating, and were amazed at how much the salt brought out the taste of the silky fresh sea urchin slices. I would say it would be one of the best sea urchin I have had yet.
Next we had the Popcorn Lobster with smoky chilli aioli ($23). Copious amounts of ball sized lobster meat was cradled within a thin golden fried layer. Still warm, the outer layer was not as crisp as we would have liked it. However the smoky chilli aioli definitely intensified the taste of the batter. The lobster meat itself was gorgeous.
It was then time for the house special. Yakitori skewers. There were quite a range of meat and sauces to choose from. C and I opted for the meat ball skewers with teriyaki sauce and the pork belly with salt after consulting our very helpful waitress ($3 per skewer). No doubt, the grilled skewers were succulent and flavoursome. We regretted not ordering more skewers !
For our last dish, we had the Charcoal Grilled Saury from Kushiro Hokkaido ($15) which was also part of the special menu. When presented, it looked very appealing, though we very slightly confused as to how to eat it. Noticing our hesitation, the waitress cut the fish open for us, leaving us in awe. Another waiter walking by then suggested mixing the radish puree with the soy sauce to use as sauce on the fish. There were quite a decent amount of bones in the fish, being a saury, and as C and I were not skilled in eating fish with many bones, we did struggle a bit. Overall it was a fine dish with the sauce and radish puree combining well.
Finally it was time for my favourite course, desserts!
The Daifuku was quite extraordinary with a small amount of strawberry puree and strawberry chunks throughout the velvety red bean paste, contained inside smooth mochi skin.
The home made Green Tea Brulee was also very enjoyable. The toffee layer was a little thick, though the creamy custard and green tea mix made up for it.
I cannot exaggerate the exemplary service that was provided to us throughout the whole evening. The waiter and waitress were very friendly and attentive, and made us feel very special all night.
Thank you C for treating me to this wonderful dinner ! =)