My father-in-law piad us a visit last weekend and Mr Curious decided to leave TLG to his care in the evening. It was not a special occasion so we just wanted something casual. I had cravings for Japanese and we decided upon Katsura at Neutral Bay.
The restaurant is divided into 2 halves - one side for Japanese BBQ and one side for "modern Japanese cuisine". We chose the latter as we didn't feel like cooking our own food.
On top of my list is some fresh sashimi. I think I am developing a preference for sashimi over sushi, especially when the fish are of good quality. Also sashimi is less filling so I have room for other food.
The deluxe sashimi set ($34) came with 4 pieces of salmon, tuna and some white fish, as well as some salmon sashimi that appears to be closer to the skin (top right, in the ice bowl).
The sashimi are wonderfully fresh. I played around with the soy-wasabi ratio (I spread wasabi on top of the sashimi rather than mix it with the soy sauce) because too much soy would overwhelm the natural sweetness of the fish. I found that I enjoyed the thicker pieces better, in my opinion the joy of sashimi eating is as much about the texture and the process of chewing as it is about the taste.
The salmon that are closer to the skin are a bit "crunchier", if that make sense? I really liked it.
I also ordered a scampi sashimi.
At $6.50 a pop it's not cheap but I just love the taste, so juicy and sweet!
The next dish to arrive was the spider roll ($10).
The sauce they used on the roll was much more of a standout than the soft shell crab. I don't know why but I was expecting the crab to be warm but it was fairly cold, and that was distracting. In my opinion the soft shell crab was much better at Mihana. Interestingly Mr Curious said it was the best dish of the night!
As further proof that Mr Curious and I have different tastes, he did not try the next dish, Gyu Tan ($12).
I can understand that cow's tongues are not to everyone's taste though. He said they taste like liver (which I dislike) and I could see where he came from, but whilst the texture was more chewy than beef there was no doubt that it was from a cow. The flavours were great, but again it was not served hot. It would have been better.
Mr Curious chose the next dish, wasabi cream yaki scallops ($9).
I was a bit concerned that the wasabi would overpower the scallops. Thankfully the flavour was mild enough for the sweetness of the scallop to shine through. It was cooked perfectly too, medium so it was still a bit soft in the middle.
The chicken kara-age ($14) was our last dish.
The chicken was nice and tender but there were too much batter so it was a disappointment.
The restaurant didn't have much of an ambiance but it was spacious and not too noisy, the wait staff were efficient and unintrusive.
The bill came to $93.50 (with a beer for Mr Curious, he actually had 2 so they undercharged us, I didn't know until the next day) which was a good bargain. Overall I enjoyed it but there are certainly areas for improvement.
For dessert we headed to South. I had the pecan pie and Mr Curious had the mud cake ($12, $2 extra for ice cream scoop).
The pecan pie was nice but the bland vanilla ice-cream let down the dish. Mr Curious was surprised to find nuts in the mud cake and would have liked one without.
We finished off our date with a spot of grocery shopping at Woolies. Aren't we romantic?
11/129-133 Military Rd
(02) 9904 5755
222 Military Road
(02) 9908 5225