I was introduced to Japanese food at a very young age. My parents appreciate the finer foods in life, and sashimi and tempura was considered quite the treat when I was little. We would get dressed up and visit a nice Japanese restaurant about once a fortnight, and to the little girl that I was, it was the epitome of family time – the three of us, around the table, sharing everything from tempura to salmon sashimi to beef sukiyaki.
And so began my love affair with Japanese food – so much so that often when things get a bit stressful and the weather is depressing, it’s my go to cuisine of choice.
So it’s not a surprise that when friends suggest going for Japanese food, I’m always the first one in. This time, it was at Biru Biru, in the trendy neighbourhood of Darlinghurst.
As usual, we always start with Edamame. These Japanese green soy beans are a perfect beer snack – Alton Brown says so! – and the addictive morsels only need a sprinkle of sea salt. The only thing that bugs me is that there is always never enough – I love buying the value pack from the Asian grocers and just stuffing my face at home.
We also got Japanese popcorn chicken to share. These juicy pieces of chicken thighs are coated in a low-gluten flour (helps with the crispiness) and deep fried, before being served with a honey mayo on the side. Again, a fantastic beer snack, which is ironic because I don’t drink beer. But you know, one can always dream.
As a main, I ordered the Kakuni Pork Bento, $15. Usually, Kakuni Pork refers to pork belly that has been braised/stewed to tenderness, and provides a lovely sweet/salty (much in the Japanese tradition) flavour to enjoy with rice. This one was pieces of cooked pork belly served on a yuzu soy sauce, and while I quite enjoyed the sauce, I can’t say the same of the slightly dry pork belly. The salmon and avocado roll that it was served with was also quite rice-heavy, which was a let down after the thoroughly enjoyable snacks that came before.
The service was friendly, and my concerns about value for money (it was a touch pricey for the cheapskate in me) were allayed by the fact that we were in trendy Darlinghurst, and even if I wasn’t quite happy with the quality of the main, at least I walked away full.
02 9357 3533
239 Victoria St
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010