Sunday, 15 April 2007

4 years: iwa @ chatswood

J & I had planned on Zushi in Darlinghurst; a 12-seater restaurant which was recently reviewed in the Sunday magazine and had boasted a half-price menu between 6-7pm (I'm still heading back there! Apparently they have a Strawberry Tempura for dessert - yes...I know). But as things always are, something else tempted us before we made it there and we found ourselves inside a rather quaint little place called iwa in Chatswood. It's been awhile since either of us have been in Chatswood and we were rather surprised to find the restaurant there - previously, I think it must've been Strathfield mobile or some other mobile shop. Anyhow, the entrance caught our eye (it's hard to describe - it' like black, really black but at the same time, extremely classy. It reminded me of a good Japanese restaurant and a squizz at the menu revealed Wagyu and more Wagyu...score!)

What can I say? Iwa's another one of your Korean-owned Japanese restaurants. I was speaking to a Korean girl at work today and she was telling me how Koreans prefer opening up Japanese restaurants because Japanese food is a lot easier to cook and the fact that when you call something Japanese, makes it more prestigious. So for those planning to head to Iwa, you'll find a good selection of Japanese delicacies with a few added Korean dishes on the menu - really, I think the Koreans do a good job with Japanese food. I particularly recommend the Yakiniku (Wagyu beef served raw which you cook yourself over charcoal - make sure you only cook it for 30secs on either side else it gets overcooked!), Beef Yukke (raw beef and egg) and a Korean cold noodle called Nang Myun. As you can see, J & I managed to order a bit of everything and really, I have no complaints. I suppose worthy of note is that if you just order the Yakiniku or Wagyu, it's best to order some rice or noodles to go with it.
Honestly speaking, it's probably an expensive place to grab a quick bite and really, leans towards your fine dining where the portions you get are small and arranged to perfection. Everything is literally photo quality! :D Strange by comparison, the noodles are massive and would definitely fill you up quite decently and hence why I would recommend trying the Yakiniku or Wagyu with a bowl of noodles. Service is maybe a little too attentive but at least they don't double charge for a pot of tea which two people share. The stumps for chairs are probably not the most comfortable things to sit on but if you can locate yourself a piece of padding, it becomes quite bearable.

I strongly recommend Max Brenner in St. Ives for dessert after dinner (even if it's a little too much on the stomach :P). Shame they closed down the one in Chatswood! It was a good night of eating, definitely!


Amy said...


happy 4 years jenny! it'll be a while before i get to celebrate this milestone

in terms of iwa, the entrance is definitely so BLACK that you can't really see what's going on in there

plus i heard from kenneth's dad that the tables are separated by cloths hanging from the ceiling?!?! please confirm this myth

char said...

4 years already? :D

chocolatesuze said...

heeey dude happy 4 years! mmm max brenners i like their waffles... and pizzas... and cakes...

Kenneth said...

hey, can't believe u guys went to iwa, despite our "experience" with calvin there..

haha..yeh..its' so expensive and black...but last time we went it was nothing like u described...
just bad..

but yeh...congrats anywya...maybe i'm just not one for "fine" dining..!

panda said...

to all: thanks! and lol, since I made that post, I seem to have gotten all sorts of feedback on iwa. I suppose that goes hand in hand with any 'new' restaurant. in the end, we've just got to give it a go ourselves and decide what we think

amy: from memory, some tables could've been separated by cloth hanging from the ceiling. the majority of tables were actually separated by panels of wood hanging from the ceiling and which were attached to the table.

suze: i keep seeing the max brenner pizza each time i head to one! you reckon it takes many people to eat one? :P