Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Keeping up with Kobe Jones for Good Food Month

I haven't been keeping up with Kobe Jones and the Californian-style Japanese restaurant's progress since the many years ago I first visited, so it was nice to see it recently for its Good Food Month dining offer as part of the Food, Art and Films events on King Street Wharf.

During October Kobe Jones is offering a multi-course dinner special with a complimentary drink for $36 per person (two or more people; Sunday to Thursday; glass of house wine, beer or soft drink).

Asahi beer and Mangalo drink from Kobe Jones, Lime Street, King Street Wharf
On a balmy spring night with party season kicking off, King Street Wharf was abuzz with revellers, tourists and foodies alike. Seated on the outer edge of the restaurant facing the water, the evening heat continued to seep into the venue, calling for extra cold drinks to start our dinner.

Asahi is the only Japanese beer on the menu with a plethora of other, non-Japanese imported options. More than perfect for a refreshing chill was the iced mango drink featuring lots of blitzed mango flesh, pineapple and orange juices, and a retro dash of grenadine.

Our meal commenced with an appetiser of simply salted edamame soy beans which were soft and warm.

Sashimi salad
Next up was a bountiful sashimi salad which featured, in prime position and perhaps just a bit strangely, a ball of imitation crab. I don't have anything against processed crab meat and indeed, it could be a hallmark of Californian-style Japanese cuisine – it just seemed an odd feature of a sashimi salad.

Nonetheless, it was enjoyed with seasoned seaweed; thin slices of raw salmon, tuna and kingfish as well as a butterflied, cooked prawn and tobiko flying fish roe; and an abundance of mixed lettuce leaves in well-balanced, zingy dressing.

Volcano roll at Kobe Jones, Lime Street, King Street Wharf
One menu item I remember quite fondly from my past visit was the mayonnaise smothered and blowtorched sushi options, in true fusion style.

The Volcano Roll features two big pieces of "crab" and avocado uramaki inside-out sushi roll pimped up with oven-baked diced scallops. The sushi comes doused with Kobe Jones' special mayonnaise and cream sauce which was then torched till tanned, and joined by more tobiko, sesame seeds, shallots and a drizzles of a sweet soy glaze.

Vegetable tempura
Ever the crowd pleaser, the vegetable tempura offering was two slices of each pumpkin and carrot – the latter not commonly seen and probably a late replacement from the menu's advertised asparagus.

The batter was crisp, if not a little thick and oily, but hit the spot with the tempura dipping sauce.

Mushroom medley tobanyaki
I was most interested in the hot mushroom dish, cooked in a cast iron dish tobanyaki style. Propped up with white rice, the medley of button, enoki and some other mushrooms was covered liberally with the special mayonnaise cream sauce and baked.

What ensued was about the richest, creamiest dish I've eaten in years, complementing the earthy mushroom flavours well, but in all, a little heavy with the rice and copious amount of mayonnaise.

Chicken tempura
The last dish – comprising chicken teriyaki to share, and individual miso soup and steamed rice bowls – was the main; the filler if you will.

Chicken thigh pieces, marinated and cooked in a candy-sweet teriyaki sauce, came alongside simply steamed broccoli and capsicum, and baked baby potatoes in a rather Westernised, meat-and-veg take on chicken teriyaki.

Filled to the brim even without dessert, the dinner deal at Kobe Jones is a great way to get reacquainted with the restaurant. And as for the restaurant itself, Kobe Jones is comfortable enough in its own Cali-Japanese skin to do its own thing, without regard for what the Jones of modern Japanese cuisine are doing.

Food, booze and shoes dined at Kobe Jones as a guest, with thanks to The PR Partnership.

Kobe Jones on Urbanspoon


Shanshan Lam said...

ahhh i can't wait to finally cross kobe jones off my list this friday! always love a good tempura that hits the spot!

Tina said...

Hey Shan - Hope you enjoy. Wish I had more sushi last time...

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