Tuesday, 12 January 2010

azuma kushiyaki @ george st., regent's place

It seemed like I was forever waiting for the opportunity to try out Azuma Kushiyaki at Regent's Place. I was jumping up and down when the place first opened (excited because I'd been to Azuma @ Chifley for the degustation and given this place fell under the Azuma umbrella, there was much to expect). Then time seemed to drift by and get the better of me, I was reading about the dessert on offer as part of Sugar Hit 2009 at Azuma Kushiyaki (arguably one of the better ones in 2009) and finally, stuck for dinner options one night after work, J&I made our trip over there to check it out.

If you haven't heard about Azuma Kushiyaki, Kushi = skewers, Yaki = Grilled. The place offers a large selection of grilled skewers in addition to some of your more traditional Japanese dishes. I suggest you order as many of the skewers if you're coming here for the first time - they're very much worth it.

Free range Spatchcock platter - grilled thigh, breast fillet & mini drumstick, karaage deep fried wing. Great shared between two as there's mostly two pieces of each assortment, each are worth trying.
Beef Carpaccio - seared rare beef tenderloin (18m old natural grass fed beef from Cape Grim, TAS) & chives with ponzu dressing. Loved the presentation!
This one didn't look anything like the picture on the menu. Seared Tuna Salad served with ponzu vinaigrette (apparently Azuma's famous salad as feature on SBS Food Safari). I haven't been watching Food Safari but for those that do, hopefully you might recognise this?
Here's the tuna from under all the greenery. I actually found the garlic on the dressing very overpowering - it felt like i was eating garlic all the way so be warned.
Sura Ramen - egg noodles in hot and sour soup. I actually quite like the combination of hot & sour soup and Ramen noodles, just that it can be quite filling. One bowl of this is more than enough to fill you up.
And of course, being at Azuma, we needed to try the Azuma Ramen - egg noodles in mildly spiced sesame soup.
Not sure if it was just our luck (the fact all restaurants I've been going to lately need me to vacate a table by a certain time) but once again, we were eating against time at this place. They seem to do the two sittings, 6-8 and 8 till close. We got in on the first sitting without needing to book but were down to the last hour when we sat down. We thought we'd be ok just to grab a quick dinner but then the food actually came out quite slowly with the last ramen coming out at 5 minutes till our sitting was up. We actually had to chase them up for it because they had already previously reminded us that we need to empty the table by 8.

If you're planning to come here, please note that there is a $35 minimum charge per person. We were quite surprised as we only discovered this when we sat down and looked at the disclaimer that sat at the bottom of the menu. It wasn't a huge issue for us given we were keen to try a few dishes but would've been good to know earlier. Service can do with improvement as it seemed to be lacking rather than being bad.

To be really honest, I much prefer Azuma @ Chifley Square. If you've tried both places, let me know what you think!


A cupcake or two said...

I love this place. I am yet to try the one at Chifley Plaza. My favourite was the quial eggs. I am a bit fan of anything quial. DELICIOUS

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed our meal here but that was also because Tetsuya was eating there at the same time :P Seems that if they do set a time limit, the kitchen has a lot of responsibility to get the food out in time though!

mashi said...

looks extra yummy, esp the ramen (as you can tell, my ramen craving is slowly creeping in again lol)

I would definitely be annoyed if I was told to vacate at a particular time but not given one of the mains till 5 mins before we had to leave. Guess the staff (kitchen) can improve on that?!

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

I think I prefer the Chifley Azuma as well, thought Regent also has good food. Though with the prices, it would not be difficult to get to $35 with a simple meal!

panda said...

a cupcake or two - do try the one at chifley square, esp. the degustation!

nqn - lucky you! if i got the chance to meet a chef, it would have to be tetsuya!

mashi - they can definitely get better with the service here. food is good though so hopefully next time I'm back, it'll be better.

belle - well the bonus of azuma at regent's place is the patisserie next door. but agree, with the prices, it's easy to spend $35pp.