Sashimi moriawase $26
Mixed raw fillets of seafood (18 pieces)
Read any online review of Sushi Tengoku and the words GIANT SUSHI are sure to feature.
With a reputation for being incredibly popular with locals, especially nearby uni students, we're glad we've made a booking, although it's not too busy on a Wednesday night. The restaurant is small and unassuming, nestled between a dry cleaners and a gym on the quieter side of Anzac Parade in Kensington. Inside we find laminex tables, a help-yourself urn of hot water to top up your pot of green tea, and two sushi chefs working steadily in the kitchen.
Sushi moriawase $28
Selection of sushi (12 pieces)
The sushi? It is GIANT indeed. And yet, as wildest dreams become reality there's a strange sense of disappointment. Whilst the sushi is indeed headily substantial, the thick mattresses of fish seem flabby and hulking, bereft of the grace and careful precision one usually appreciates when enjoying sushi and sashimi.
It's hard to appreciate the size of the fish in the photo, but I recall the fish on top of the nigiri to be about 9cm long and 5cm. It's huge. The fish is firm and fresh though, the kaibashira (raw scallops) are the highlight with their softness and incredible sweetness. Ika (raw squid) is also a favourite, scored with multiple incisions so they fall apart like satin ribbons in the mouth.
Agenasu misokake $8.00
Deep-fried eggplant with bean paste sauce
Agenasu misokake is half an eggplant deep-fried until golden, its insides a gentle mush of sweet flesh. It's a simple dish but oh so delicious, garnished with a dab of salty miso paste and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Ebi prawn tempura (5 pieces) $14
We sample two fried dishes. The ebi prawn tempura is pale gold in colour but not as fluffy or light as I'd prefer. The chicken katsu is also fair, perhaps a little over-fried till the batter became a little too hard and crunchy.
Tori karaage $13
Baked scallops (large) $30
More popular is the baked scallops, a special dish not on the menu but known to us via G-man, whose friend had let us in on the locals' secret. This dish must be pre-ordered and it's worth being organised. We delve in with chopsticks to find it packed with sweet slices of scallop and a sea of cream and floating tobiko. Tiny bubbles of tobiko (flying fish roe) give a salty brine-bursting richness to the dish. It is so very good.
Soft shell crab futomaki thick roll $14
Deep fried soft shell crab with fish roe, vegetables and mayonnaise
We complete our meal with the soft shell crab roll. I find the sushi rice a tad on the soggy side, but the soft shell crab is crunchy and the avocado is nicely ripe.
Bill total: $137 for six people.
Craving giant sushi? You know where to go.
121 Anzac Parade, Kensington, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9663 3388
Open Tuesday to Sunday 5pm - 10pm
Closed on Mondays
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11/25/2008 10:43:00 pm