Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yamato: Casual Japanese in the heart of the city

There's so much construction going on in the heart of Sydney CBD, one would think we were a much newer (or indeed, much older) city.

While the noise and wafts of building dust are one thing, the new eateries sprouting up in and around the new and renovated buildings are one positive; including Yamato at the base of the new-ish ANZ Tower in the CBD south.

Pacific oysters from Yamato, ANZ Tower, Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Like casual Japanese restaurants that are typical in inner city suburbs, Yamato offers a bit of everything under the umbrella of Japanese cuisine.

The fitout is CBD- and suits-appropriate with plenty of wood tones and booth seating, while ordering is supposedly expedited by ticking an sheet of menu options.

We started with reasonably priced Pacific oysters, served natural with a soy dressing, shallots and togarashi chilli powder enhancing the plump molluscs' natural flavour.

Mixed sashimi selection
The mixed sashimi offering at Yamato had the usual suspects of raw salmon, tuna and kingfish covered, with the addition of scallops, a smattering of salmon roe and a single raw prawn its head intact. A deliciously fresh sashimi presentation, between three of us we even went another plate.

Salmon belly nigiri sushi
I'd say salmon nigiri sushi must be Sydney's favourite nigiri style. The thick belly pieces we had in this serve were creamy with fat and scoffed within seconds with a touch of soy sauce and wasabi.

Seaweed salad
The requisite vegetable order landed us with the bog-standard hiyashi wakame marinated seaweed in a bowl propped up with lettuce leaves.

Pan fried gyoza
The crisp-bottomed pan fried pork gyoza dumplings were pretty decent renditions of their kind and (probably) not of the frozen variety with nice chewy skins.

Grilled scallop skewers
We chose a few hot food items from the grilled section; first landing with the grilled scallop skewers. With two roe-on scallops per stick and some sort of sauce, a zingier seasoning or juicier scallop would have made this dish more interesting.

Kimchi pork skewers
Plenty enough interesting was the spicy kimchi encased pork skewers. Thin slices of pork, cooked to a crisp on the grill, were tightly wrapped around crunchy cabbage kimchi in a fusion skewer that was about the best thing we ate all night.

Grilled mushroom skewers
I'm pretty sure the menu alluded to grilled shiitake mushrooms so we were bemused to receive two skewers of faintly grilled button mushrooms with bits of torched shredded cheese. The unidentified sauce on the side couldn't even help these fungi.

In the heart of the city, where competition for our food dollars is intense, Yamato offers a decent casual Japanese experience that won't break the bank nor the mould on casual Japanese.

Yamato on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

john | heneedsfood said...

Seem like a decent place in the CBD core. And a big hello to those pork skewers!

Amy zhong said...

mm sashimi seems really fresh, the mushrooms look depressing!

Down To Feed [DTF] said...

kimchi encased pork skewers sound awesome!

Yvonne Tee said...

I am a crazily big fan of the wakame and that looks good! Another new Japanese restaurant to visit. :)

Tina said...

Hi John - Yeah, but has that feel of just another place... The pork was probably the best thing of the night.

Hi Amy - That's a perfect adjective to describe the mushrooms!

Hi DTF - Yeah, best of the lot there I must say.

Hi Yvonne - Gotta love a seaweed salad, even if they're all the same :)

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Those pork skewers sound delish! And salmon is always a crowd pleaser but I always have my eye on the raw scallop or the raw prawn!

Ruby Qiu said...

Wow ~ very beautiful images, hungry."http://www.shoemeno.com/

Foodsaurus said...

Yum, craving some sashimi now!

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