Dinner at Ju Ju.
It's most endearing aspect is the cosy booth seating, Japanese-style. Once you enter, it's shoes off (the smiling but silent nodding waiter offers everyone a plastic bag), before you shuffle across polished floorboards in your (hopefully hole-free) socks. Each booth is a wooden rectangle of seating, a table rises from the centre cut-out, as legs dangle into the "pit".
The surrounding slats afford a moderate sense of privacy. It's easy enough, though, to peer over the slat wall to check out the other diners or try to catch the eye of a passing waiter).
We order a motley assortment of dishes. Some are snapped. Some are just too far away to photograph :)
Edamame boiled soy bean $6.80
Tomato slice salad $6.80
The tomato slice salad is a surprisingly tasty starter. Thick chunks of tomato encircle a central tomato flower, thinly sliced and fanned. It's dressed with a light wasabi mayonnaise that is fairly mild but refreshing.
Sashimi mix main $28.00
I'm very impressed with the presentation of the sashimi which arrives on a fan of dried twigs.
"It looks just like something out of Iron Chef!" I exclaim.
Unfortunately the fish is a little bland and the scallops are still half-frozen. When we politely mention this to the waitress she checks with the kitchen and says "oh, it's supposed to be served half-frozen."
We let them thaw out for another five minutes before attacking them again.
Una don eel on rice $18.50
The unagi teriyaki eel has a deep brown sheen of salty sweetness.
I happily tuck into a piece or two of the crunchy deep-fried karaage chicken.
Karaage fried chicken $8.80
Others enjoy the takoyaki octopus balls and the pork katsudon set meal.
Pork tonkatsu set $16.00
I'm feasting on the tempura set.
Tempura set $18.00
There's agedashi tofu, two cubes of tofu deep-fried in a dusting of potato starch and splashed over with a sticky sauce of dashi and mirin. In the back corners are wedges of soft potato and a light garden salad. The main event is the tempura: two prawns, sweet potato, pumpkin, asparagus, sugar snap pea and eggplant, all coated in a lighter-than-air tempura batter.
The eggplant is my favourite. It's sweet and soft and deliriously good.
Kingsgate Shopping Centre
Shop 320, Bayswater Rd
Kings Cross, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9357 7100
Tuesday to Thursday 6.30pm - 1.00am
Friday to Saturday 6.30pm - 2.00am
Sunday 6.30pm - 1.00am
No credit cards, cash only
Karaoke from 10.30pm until half-hour before close
Last orders 11.00pm (12.30am Friday and Saturday)
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6/24/2007 11:57:00 p.m.