2 months living in Crows Nest, I’ve decided that there’s like only a small handful of places worth eating at. All of them are Japanese, which is kinda curious, since the local Japanese population is rather scarce.

The first place I think is ok is Ryo’s, a ramen joint that is probably up there with the best ramen joints in Sydney. That sounds way better than what it really is. It’s decent-ish ramen, nothing to really write home about but it’s near my house so I don’t mind popping down for a sub $15 meal, which is cheap here in Syd.

The second place was one called Kashiwa Yakiniku. It’s a DIY yakiniku place. Grill your own cheap cuts of meat. From pig’s intestine and ox tongue to wagyu shortrib and skirt, it won’t break the bank. I had like 3 dishes or so with a friend and we shared some BYO beers and it came around $25, pretty ok. The best part is the charcoal stove thingey they give you to cook with. It sears shit mad hot and the smell is what BBQ is all about.

One place I went to some time ago, is called Sakana-Ya. It’s a place well known for having expensive sushi, sashimi and really really fresh seafood done very simply. I reckon the best shit they have other than the much vaunted raw fish is probably their nimono options or just their grilled fish. When I did go there, I ate for free, at the expense of a generous friend. He just ordered like crazy and I had lobster sashimi (not as amazing as the cost) and some really top notch sashimi but little else. Totally interested to do their cooked options next time.

The one place that really got me going, was Ju-Rin, which is literally a stone’s throw as the crow (hehe) flies from my house. I had dinner the other night and it was awesome. The portions were small and costly in that respect but my goodness was the quality there. We ordered a sashimi platter, sake marinated black cod, fishcakes, Okinawa style braised pork belly and were very pleased if anything. The fish was really good quality, fresh and succulent. The fishcakes had a smooth texture, like a French style mousseline but fried Thai style and tasting like awesome crab sticks. The cod was so smooth, my chopsticks smashed it apart upon contact. Taste wise it was slithery good. The pork belly was basically a Japanese style Dong Po Rou, fat dissolving concept. We also got a seat right in front of the sushi chef, who’s the real deal, not some Japanese guy working part time or a non Japanese chef or a student or whatever. A real sushi chef. A guy who trained for years to cut fish and shit. He kept taking out this block of Ohtoro. Then he’d nick the fat and trim the stomach lining before slicing four beautifully marbled slices and arranging it on a plate. We just couldn’t resist. $48 for 4 slices. That’s $12 a slice. I let my mates share the last slice.

That shit was so dope. Defo the best gastronomic experience I’ve had this year. Totally gonna go back for their $50 omakase deal. Easy to see why this would be favourite Asian according to the SMH good food guide. The interesting menu changes with the availability of the seafood, part of which is directly imported from Japan. It’s also as close to authentic as you can get here in Sydney. This is for once, actually really good Japanese food.