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Monday, May 08, 2006

Michitaro, Haymarket, Chinatown

Salmon chirashi $10.90
with vinegar rice and raw salmon

There's something very sensual about eating Japanese. It's all wrapped up in the exquisite presentation, the initial hesitancy to desecrate a work of art, the precise delicacy in manouvering chopsticks, and then the slippery smooth sensation of sweet satiny salmon sliding down the throat.

Perhaps it's just me though =)

Sashimi main $15.50
Salmon, tuna, squid, octopus, egg, prawn and scallop

After a walk through the Friday night Chinatown markets we recently headed to Michitaro in the Capitol Theatre atrium for dinner. It has a reputation for good cheap Japanese, and we always like a cheap feed =)

As in most Japanese restaurants I've encountered, our dishes arrive without rhyme or reason fresh from the kitchen. And is it just me, or is it always notoriously hard to catch the eye of passing waitstaff at Japanese restaurants?

chicken katsu don
Chicken katsu don $8.90
Deep-fried breadcrumbed chicken with egg

Chicken katsu don, a deep-fried crumbed fillet of chicken topped with egg on a bed of rice, arrives quickly. I've never been able to over my aversion to deliberate soggy fried food, but it provides a welcome flashback of Japanese memories for its eager recipient.

My salmon chirashi also arrives with speed. I have a soft spot for chirashi, which is somewhat like a deconstructed buffet of nori rolls. It is presented in an impressive tower of laquered bowls, one contained sweet vinegared rice, the other with an assortment of morsels on a bed of lettuce leaves. There are ribbons of tender salmon, shavings of pickled ginger, straws of bright yellow egg, trunks of seafood stick and a clump of crunchy green seaweed salad.

Udon noodle soup $7.90
Udon noodle soup is somewhat sparse by comparison. Fat white noodles swirl in a clear stock with wakame seaweed; a mat of aburage, a fried tofu pocket, floats on by.

scallop gratin
Scallop gratin $7.00

The gratinated scallops arrive halfway through our meal, and at first we are mightily impressed by their apparent size. We soon realise that beneath the cheesy crust is a mixture of sushi rice and whole scallop pieces. I find the concept of cheesey rice a little strange though, even if it does make for a pretty picture =)

Gyutama don
Gyutama don $10.90
Beef with egg on rice

Thin slices of beef are topped with egg, onion and scallions in gyutama don, a dish served on a bed of rice. The beef is a little sweet, tempered by the generous handful of refreshing scallions.

Our sashimi main arrives torwards the end of our meal, which perhaps is reassuring in the presumption that the fish and seafood have all been prepared to order. The salmon, tuna and squid all taste fresh and delicious, but its the raw scallop which is definitely the highlight. It's so sweet and soft and tastes how a raw scallop should: delicious.

Sashimi main $15.50
Salmon, tuna, squid, octopus, egg, prawn and scallop

Michitaro Japanese Restaurant
Level 1, Capitol Square
730-742 George St, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 6665

Sunday to Wednesday 10.00 am - 9:30 pm
Thursday to Saturday 10.00 am -10:00 pm
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 5/08/2006 11:58:00 pm


  • At 5/09/2006 7:01 pm, Blogger ChocolateSuze said…

    mmm those scallops sound yummy! anything with cheese is always good i say!

  • At 5/11/2006 5:00 am, Blogger Orchidea said…

    I love sushi ans sashimi... mmm...
    I am new to foodblog but not to cooking, eating and enjoying food.


  • At 5/11/2006 12:48 pm, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    hahha so thats the name of this place. I come here we my friends regulary and then head off to passionflower for dessert but we always refer to it as the Jap place next to Milliore. The fried Tofu is amazing! and is a must if you go again.

  • At 5/11/2006 11:15 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - lol. Coming from the cheese queen herself! =) You'll have to try them one day.

    Hi Orchidea - Welcome to foodblogging. Your site looks great! And I agree, I love sushi and sashimi too...

    Hi Pickles - Eyes only for the food. I can identify with that! =)

    I was eyeing off the agedashi tofu but somehow we forgot to order it and when we remembered we were full anyway. Definitely one of my favourite Japanese dishes. Mmm... gelatinous...

  • At 5/14/2006 9:27 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    As always these are superb photos! I think you're right about the difficulty in getting the attention of waitstaff at Japanese restaurants, the exact same thing hapenned to us at a restaurant in Darlinghurst.

  • At 5/14/2006 11:48 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi jenjen - Thanks =) And yes, isn't it strange how hard it is to catch their eye? Maybe it's a cultural thing.

    Which restaurant in Darlinghurst did you go to, and was it any good?

  • At 5/15/2006 9:46 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    HI Helen, we went to Hikaru on Oxford St Darlinghurst. It was pretty good, and their prices are pretty reasonable. Their prawns and their salmon are quite good from what I remember.

  • At 5/15/2006 11:30 pm, Blogger Mark Vicuna said…

    Bokkemon at Crows Nest. You'll end up wanting to try everything on the menu over time :)

  • At 5/16/2006 10:31 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi jenjen - I haven't tried Hikaru. I've been to their restaurant in Newtown but not Darlinghurst.

    Hi Mark - Thanks for the tip. Eek! Another one for the list!

  • At 7/22/2006 11:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great lunch spot - hard to go past the Hotade Nigiri (seared scallops $6.50. I acroos the road in Sydney Central which has a very ordinary food court.

  • At 7/23/2006 12:43 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anonymous - Thanks for the tip. I'll have to keep an eye out for the hotade nigiri next time. Sounds good!


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