Deep-fried soft-shell crab sushi $3.50
The food court crowd is a tough one.
Spinach pide boats jostle with lamb madras curries under the watchful eye of slowly twirling yeeros. The shiny happy salad bar and the sandwich counter beckon your conscience before your attention is diverted by the cake display, the gelato cart and the Chinese greasefest of all-you-can-plate.
And then your eyes alight upon the pretty cherry-blossom themed sushi bar Tomodachi. Tomodachi means "friend" in Japanese, and it looks like the kind of person you want to hang out with-- trendy, funky, clean and bright.
The menu here is a mix of Japanese and Korean dishes. Most customers tended to be couples, with many sitting at the sushi train counter to select their plates of choice. We were a rather large group and were seated at the varnished pine tables with bench seating.
We ordered a variety of dishes which arrived rather haphazardly throughout the meal. The onus seemed to be on us to clear space on the table; and at the conclusion of our meal we were often asked to pass heavy bowls and crockery as the table was cleared.
The food, on the whole though, was quite delicious. The crab sushi could've been crispier and the agedashi tofu (dusted in potato starch and then deep-fried) could've been stickier and more gelatinous, but the prawn tempura were light, non-greasy and perfectly battered.
Agedashi tofu $5.00
Prawn tempura $8.50
We partook in a hotpot of bibimbab, that Korean favourite where assorted vegetables and beef lay atop white rice and crowned with a glistening orb of sunny yolk. The rainbow of colours is then swirled with chopsticks into a kind of wet non-fried rice and then blushed with a dab of crimson chilli sauce.
Bibimbab in hotpot $13.50
The sukiyaki is another raw-yolker. Suki means "spade" and yaki means "to cook". Our dish arrived already cooked, with a raw yolk provided for a frenzied riot into the soupy mixture. The beef in this dish was particularly tender.
I wondered why the waiter seemed to pause above our table as he held this impressive platter of sashimi. Then I realised he expected me to help him place it down.
As I took hold, the full weight of the dish became known. Not only was the bamboo mat sitting on a heavy ceramic dish, the entire vessel was filled with ice cubes as well for extra freshness no doubt.
The fish was fresh, firm and tasty and the tuna especially was a reassuringly deep red colour.
Jumbo sashimi platter (30 pieces) $35.50
We also ordered the chicken teriyaki and the unagi (broiled eel) both of which arrived with salads, boiled rice and a scoop of sweetened mashed potato (there was definitely sugar involved, which was quite intriguing). Both were good although with the amount of sugar involved in both dishes, it's rather hard to go wrong with either.
Chicken teriyaki $13.00
Eel (unagi) $14.50
Tomodachi offers a nice compromise between sushi bar and sit-down Japanese dining. It's bright, airy and buzzy and besides, you can never have too many friends, right?
Level 2 Food Court, Broadway Shopping Centre, Broadway Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9281 6000
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11/25/2005 12:36:00 am