Lucky boy Arvin got to review this one while I got fatter and inhaled burgers :). Yayoi Garden is one of the three, soon to be four, restaurants in the Yayoi empire. It is high-end Japanese cuisine to seduce the palate while their sake will blow your mind and make you broke. Huge thanks to the venue and the fine folks at Zomato for inviting Spooning to attend. And now enjoy Arvin’s thoughts on Yayoi Garden.
BY ARVIN PREM KUMAR
Student life can be very hectic especially with exams around the corner. Luckily, when Jason got me a chance to review Yayoi Garden’s Spring Menu I was pretty stoked! As Jason said, ‘ You’re in for a treat!’
I attended a recent event held by Zomato at the Bridge St location surrounding myself with some lovely Sydney foodies.
The interior of Yayoi Garden was very tastefully done. It’s minimalistic design really takes me back to my trip in Hokkaido where I stayed at a traditional onsen with my familia. The thin wooden panels on the walls gave some zen vibes. The soft lighting sets the mood for any romantic session (sadly I did not have any). However, I was more gravitated towards the sake bottles on the shelves of the restaurant.
With all the various types of Sake options, I really didn’t know where to start. Eventually I took a gamble to try the Sake that was suggested by the top bloggers @thekhana. I opted for the Bi Junmai Daiginjo Sake. It’s said in the menu that it had a good balance between gentle acidity and sweet fruit flavours.
Let me tell you one-thing boys and girls.
The sake was so unbelievably smooth. It did not taste too strong and I was really able to enjoy sake for its undertones. I was officially in zen mode.
Now let’s break down the five-course meal.
Zensai Niten Mori
At a first glance it looked pretty ordinary. Don’t underestimate this simple looking dish! The thin roast duck was undeniably tender and just melts your mouth. It was my first time to try boiled bamboo shoot. It’s unique texture was surprisingly enjoyable to eat and it really complimented the dried orange and fig.
I sat in excitement as the waiter brought a unusual looking package to the table. I was in absolute awe as I opened the cedarwood and a perfectly grilled black cod just unveiled itself. As I broke through the black cod with my chopsticks, it released a lovely aroma from the miso paste. The cod had a nice citrus taste that came from the lemon. This is a must-have at Yayoi!
You know it’s a Japanese restaurant worth going back to when their sushi is sublimely tasty. Yayoi Garden uses the traditional Kyoto style of making sushi, which is something I’ve never seen in Sydney before. The rice is rolled into a circular shape and the sashimi is then placed on the top. My favorite pieces were the sushi with the caviar. The caviar just bursts out this exquisite flavor as you slowly placed it in your mouth.
Be warned that you will be making very loud foodgasm sounds at the dining table if you consume this dish.
Premium Wagyu Teppan Steak
The waiter then brought some cooking items out to the table. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I blame the sake for that.
The waiter had a mini barbeque set up on the table to grill the Wagyu Beef. My culinary skills were tested at that moment, as I had to place the meat on the grill and make sure it was evenly grilled on each side. Funny enough the plate wasn’t hot enough and my meat was undercooked. It didn’t help when the waiters and bloggers started laughing at my skills.
Despite all that, I really enjoyed the wagyu. Yayoi really gives great emphasis on the quality of their meat. The last time I had wagyu meat in my mouth that was this tender was on my last trip to Kyoto. Just have it dipped in some Himalayan salt and enjoy it with some kick-ass red wine to create that perfect combo.
This was definitely the highlight of my five-course meal (and another thing to add to my food faux pas series).
I’m in love with the M-A-T-C-H-A
You can’t call it a night without having dessert. If you get your matcha ice-cream fix here, it comes with a jelly like substance called mochi. I would have loved to try the black sesame flavour but it was unavailable. The ice cream was served with matcha tea that helped me sober up to start my journey back home
Yayoi Garden is certainly on the pricier side of sushi but it’s prices are not as crazy as Sokyo Star. Their six- course is $65- and it’s shared with two people (NB: It is $130 for two people – minimum of 2x people at $65- each). I find the price fairly reasonable considering the quality of food you get is way better than your everyday sushi at the food court. However, be prepared to pay a lot more if you want some really good sake. If you live Northside don’t be stressed about travelling to Bridge St because they are planning to open a new branch at Chatswood that I’m pretty excited about.
Yayoi Garden Deets:
KID FRIENDLY: No
Mon – Thur: 12pm – 3pm (last order 2pm) & 530pm – 10pm (last order 9pm)
Fri: 12pm – 3pm (last order 2pm) & 530pm – 10pm (last order 930pm)
Sat: 530pm – 10pm (last order 9pm)
Sun: 530pm to 930pm (last order 830pm)
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.