I have found my Mecca. A place where I can go to for some spiritual healing. Where I can congregate with other people similar to me and bask in the glory in something bigger than myself.
That something, is Japanese food culture, and that place? North Sydney.
I can’t believe that it’s taken me so long to discover this treasure trove of Japanese grocers, restaurants and general awesomeness. But now that I’ve found it, I’m not going.
AND I’M TELLINGGGG YOUUUUU…
Fried Crab Claw Croquette, $8.80
Grilled Engawa and Grilled Salmon Nigiri, $12.80
Hidden in an alcove of Japanese restaurants is Tamageta-ya. When you first walk into this cozy eatery, you are enthusiastically greeted by a chorus of Japanese staff members, as well as delicious smells emanating form the kitchen. Here, they serve up Japanese classics, with a few modifications.
The maki rolls and nigiri are all served with black rice. Full of nutrients and higher in fibre than regular sushi rice, black rice is still maintains a soft stickiness that I expect from Japanese rice, and succeeds where brown rice fails. And bonus points because it actually has quite a bit more flavour than regular sushi rice, so double win right?
And let me take this opportunity to share a little public service announcement: you know how dipping a sushi roll into soy sauce just makes everything super salty and fall apart? Well, enter your friend – pickled ginger. Simply use the pickled ginger to brush on the soy, and voila! Reasonably seasoned sushi. #winning #lifehack
Chicken Cutlet Curry Rice, $18.80
Premium Wagyu Beef Steak, $10.80
Besides the sushi selection – I highly recommend the engawa for it’s amazing texture and tender flesh – they also have hearty mains like Japanese curry and a chicken cutlet on egg that’s served in what looks like a massive ladle.
How’s that for presentation?
The curry was my favourite, because you can take the girl out of Singapore but you can’t take the Singaporean out of the girl. Japanese curries are a little sweeter, but there’s just something about this massive serve of curry and rice that is comforting AF. There’s nothing like a huge bowl of noms to make me want to loosen the top button on my eating pants.
Psych! There is no button on my eating pants.
Chocolate banana sundae, $5.80
And of course dessert, because I’m greedy like that. The Tokyo Tower is a classic Japanese parfait, with cornflakes, ice cream, red bean paste, and mochi balls. Very pretty, very Japanese, and incredibly filling. The portion sizes here are certainly not small – don’t let the little old Japanese lady customers fool you! I had to be rolled out of there at the end of the night.
At Tamageta ya, there’s does seem to be an emphasis on the complete meal. They provide ample options from starters, to mains, to desserts, and even have an extensive drinks menu that feature classic Japanese cocktails made with quality whisky. They even have a lunch deal where it’s cheaper to order your food with a drink than just the dish by itself. I know, the math did my head in too, but it’s definitely the case!
Oh, and you’ve got your Washoku Lovers card? Flash it when you drop by for lunch and you’ll get to get the “Today’s dessert” for free! Any excuse to have dessert is a good excuse.
Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Suminoya and Oiden! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit www.washokulovers.com.