Makanai Sushi, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: 324 Pitt Street Sydney, NSW

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Makani-Sushi/269321739784363

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This cute little sushi train has an interesting take on Japanese. You can choose to either pick your own sushi rolls and order hot food to take away or eat in, or you can join in at the sushi train and choose plates of sushi and Japanese fried foods.

Atmosphere

I think the combination of dine-in and take-away is great for the busy Sydney CBD workers and the cute hot food hut by the door, full of fish sticks, teriyaki chicken and gyoza add to the Asian-inspired decor.

On Thursday around 1.30pm when my Kiwi Kolleague and I visited Makanai, the restaurant wasn’t too busy. There were only about 15 people eating in. There was however quite a large queue of people waiting to pay for their take-aways.

The gold and black decor and wooden tables around the room were a nice touch and I liked the overall look of the restaurant. The sushi rolls in the window are colourful and tempting and made me want to go in and try some of the food!

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Service

We didn’t really have any service. We paid at the counter and found a table on the side (not at the sushi train) at which to eat our food.

Food

I ordered my favourites: salmon and avocado roll and chicken roll. The chicken roll was a little dry but the cucumber livened it up quite a bit. The salmon was delicious and there was plenty of fresh salmon in the roll. Perfect with the creamy avocado. The rolls were neatly wrapped and you could tell that the food was fresh from the slightly oil salmon and the green (not brown) avocado.

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Kiwi Kolleague ordered chicken teriyaki and said she really enjoyed it.

I would like to come back some time and try out the sushi train and hot food as well!

Cost:

My rolls cost about $8.00.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-3
  • Food-7.5
  • Ambience-6.5
  • Value –7

Makanai on Urbanspoon

Night Noodle Markets 2013, Hyde Park Sydney

Address: Hyde Park North, Sydney NSW

Website: http://sydney.goodfoodmonth.com/nightnoodlemarkets

Opening Hours:

October 9-12, 14-19, 21-26

Mon-Tue 5-9pm; Wed 5-10pm; Thur-Fri 5-11pm; Sat 4-10pm

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Currently in its 15th year, the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park attracts about 200,000 people each year.

With over 40 delicious food stalls, which are mostly Asian, the Night Markets is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather with a drink and a quick and cheap meal with friends in beautiful Hyde Park.

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Rekorderlig Cider invited me down to the markets to enjoy a drink at their beer garden.

A short stroll from Darlinghurst, Chinatown, Circular Quay and the city centre, it didn’t take me long to walk up after work, and when I got there (around 5.45pm), the place was already starting to fill up.

I was impressed by Rekorderlig’s chilled out set up with a “May pole” covered in green vines and flowers, beautiful fairy lights, quirky white trees on the tables and funky tunes coming from the (very young looking) DJ. 

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Rekorderlig stall by day

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Rekorderlig stall at night

The signature red and white chairs, seen at previous Rekorderlig stalls, looked comfortable and inviting and provided a great spot from which to sit back and people watch.

We ordered some drinks from the bar in the tent near the beer garden.

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The staff were friendly despite the fact that they were probably dying from the heat that day as it was about 30 degrees in Sydney!

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I ordered the Mango Raspberry cider, one of my favourites!

As always, it was ice cold, perfect for the hot summer day. This flavour is one of my favourites so I really enjoyed the fresh, crisp taste.

In some interesting news, I learnt that one of the favourites, Strawberry Lime Cider is now on tap and will be heading out to bars across town soon!

I also got the scoop on some exciting new developments next week- stay tuned for more information!

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After checking out the Rekorderlig beer garden I met up with my lovely mum and we walked around the rest of the markets, looking at our options for dinner.

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The place was packed out and the background music, Chinese dragon shows and buzz of happy people chatting in the park made for an exciting and fun environment.

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The Night Noodle Markets are definitely a good place to take friends from overseas to, to showcase Sydney’s multiculturalism, or to enjoy a good meal after work from some of Sydney’s most popular Asian restaurants.

Some of the restaurants with stalls included East Ocean, Din Tai Fung, Jackie M Malaysian, Longrain and Zilver.

The Jackie M stall even has Ms M herself cooking at the front of the stall!

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After a bit of walking around, I decided on a delicious box of fried goodness from East Ocean ($12.00). It included pork ribs, salt and pepper octopus and delicious prawns.

The ribs were soft and delicious, easy to eat and tender with a tomato and BBQ styled sauce.

While I am not a big fan of octopus (I don’t like the tentacles). I didn’t mind this as the thicker parts at the top were easy to eat and the fact that it was fried meant I didn’t notice the suckers on the tentacles as much!  🙂

The prawns were well cooked through and were great with the hot chilli sauce.

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Mum decided to get a chicken curry with yellow rice from Chinta Ria, which she said reminded her of Sri Lankan biriyani.

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The chicken pieces were well-cooked and had absorbed the delicious spices from the curry. They were good pieces of chicken with plenty of meat on them.  The yellow rice was gently flavoured and had a slight sweetness from the sultanas.

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We both enjoyed our meals and had a great time out.

I will definitely be returning to try out some of the other foods available, perhaps even the Ramen Burger!

Wagamama, TGV Sydney ($$)

Address: The Galeries Victoria/500 George St, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9261 0292

Website: http://www.wagamama.com.au/

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Wagamama first opened in London’s Bloomsbury in the early ’90s and has since grown to over 90 stores across the world.

The name “wagamama” means “naughty child”, or one who is willful and determined., and the word “determined” is certainly one way to describe founder, Mr Alan Yau, who founded the chain along with restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha, which both have been awarded 1 Michelin star.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Wagamama is that of a Japanese -styled noodle bar and in fact, this is what Wagamama is modelled on.

The kitchen is open and the sleek wood and large glass windows give the space that modern yet traditional feel that is very Japanese.

The paper place mats serve as seating markers, place mats and a place for waiters to write orders so staff know where to deliver them. It is a cool idea which disposes of the need for tablecloths and table numbers.

Service

Service was nothing to rave about. While MDS and I were promptly seated and our orders were taken quickly, there was no friendliness about the service. It was pure efficiency that brought our food out and took our plates away.

At the end of our meal we weren’t sure whether to call a waitress or go to the counter.

We ended up going to the counter and asking a waitress which table we were (41).

Drinks

MDS and I decided to order some juices to start.

I went with a pineapple, watermelon and apple juice and MDS ordered a kiwi, and apple juice.

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Pineapple, watermelon and apple juice

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Kiwi and apple juice

Food

For food, I ordered the Cha Han, a chicken and prawn fried rice with peas, spring onions, corn\, egg and mushrooms. The dish was slightly oily, contained a generous serve of prawns and chicken, was well seasoned and tasty. I really enjoyed the dish and have craved it a few times since. A great replacement for the typical Chinese fried rice!

The dish came with a side of various pickles which added some colour and made the rice a little more interesting.  I’m not exactly sure what all the pickles were but if someone can tell me please comment below! ( I think one was cucumber?).

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Cha Han

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Pickles

MDS was tossing up between Yaki Soba and Teriyaki Raisu. After I explained that Yaki Soba was noodles and Teriyaki Raisu was rice and suggested Teriyaki Soba as a way to combine the best of both, she went with that option.

The dish was well presented and although difficult for MDS to eat with chopsticks, had a generous portion size. However, MDS did mention that she thought there should have been some more beef on the plate.

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Overall, both dishes looked tempting, were made quickly and delivered hot to the table and were full of flavour.

We enjoyed our dining experience and the interesting menu which was different from our usual Thai or Chinese foods.

I’d definitely return here again and would recommend it to friends!

Cost

All up our meals were about $25 pp including drinks.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food-  8
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 8

Wagamama - The Galeries Victoria on Urbanspoon

Sushi Tei, Liverpool Street, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: 127 Liverpool St  Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9283 7889

Website: http://www.sushitei.com.au/

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I have walked past Sushi Tei probably a hundred times before. It does not really stand out when you look at it from the street but I had heard some good things about it from friends at work.

MC, mum and I decided to check it out to see what was on offer. Sushi train is definitely one of my favourites as the combination of great food and picking what you want to eat from a conveyor belt makes for a tasty and exciting experience.

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Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Sushi Tei is pretty calm and relaxed.

Unlike many other sushi train restaurants the chefs at Sushi Tei don’t cook in the middle of the conveyor. Rather, they are in the kitchen on the side of the restaurant and simply add food onto the end of the conveyor when it is prepared. This means the atmosphere is a lot calmer as a lot of the noise of the cooking is done in the kitchen, out of the way. It also means that groups can sit opposite eachother and can still talk and have a conversation without being too far away or out of hearing range.

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Service

Service is OK but nothing amazing. I waited about 5 minutes before being shown to a seat despite the fact that there were plenty of free spots available on the sushi train tables and in booths.

When we were finished, we had to get the attention of one of the staff in order to get our plates counted and to get the bill. Thus there isn’t much proactiveness on behalf of the staff although they were pleasant when we did approach them.

Food

The variety of food at Sushi Tei is not as good as at other sushi restaurants. There was quite a lot of sushi rolls, nigiri and some fried prawn rolls but while we were there we didn’t see any wontons or dumplings which MC really enjoys.

We started off with salmon and avocado sushi rolls. These were delicious and fresh, great with the tangy mayonnaise.

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Next was a smoked salmon nigiri with a crust of herbs and spices.I really like this dish as the smooth salmon and flavoursome crust were great together. MC also enjoyed this and had seconds!

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We had a crab stick, cucumber and avocado roll which was average but not great. I didn’t really like the cucumber in there as it was a bit hard and bitter.

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The tempura prawn sushi was great, the crunchiness of the fried prawn and the slightly salty flavour was delicious.

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I have never had seared scallop sushi before so we decided to try it out and see how it was. I really enjoyed this sushi as the scallops were well-cooked and not chewy or tough at all. The charred and glossy appearance of the sushi was appetising and the sweet soy dressing was perfect with it, adding a touch of saltiness.

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We tried a prawn nigiri with the same herbs and spices as the smoked salmon nigiri. This dish was OK but the prawns were not very fresh, and were a little dry.

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The crunchy fried prawn roll was delicious. We didn’t know what it was at first, and I am always cautious at sushi train now since I ate some fried quail eggs which I thought were seafood/fish balls… I asked one of the staff what it was and upon discovering that it was a prawn roll I greedily grabbed two plates off the conveyor belt. Not to worry though as they disappeared within minutes with mum, MC and I all commenting on how crispy and delicious they were.

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The soft shell crab dish was also tempting although the presentation could have been improved. The crunchy crab legs were delicious and went down a treat.

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All in all the food at Sushi Tei was pretty good despite the prawns not being as fresh as they could be. The presentation is decent, the portion sizes good for the low price, and the variety of sushi is good although there could be more fried goods and fresh fish.

Cost

The prices at Sushi Tei are excellent with one plate from the sushi train costing only $3.00.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 7
  • Ambience- 6.5
  • Value – 8.5

Sushi Tei on Urbanspoon

Sushi Hotaru, The Galeries Victoria, Sydney ($)

Address: Shop RP1, Level 1, The Galeries Victoria, 500 George Street Sydney

Website: http://www.thegaleries.com/foodhall

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$3.00 sushi in a central CBD location? What more could you ask for!? MDS and I decided to get our sushi on last Friday night. I had been here a few times before with friends and was really looking forward to trying more of the delicious offerings in this busy sushi spot.

Atmosphere

Sushi Hotaru has a great atmosphere. The decor is quite modern and definitely makes you feel like you’re in a great Japanese sushi restaurant rather than in a plain room with a sushi train placed randomly in the middle. The Japanese music, buzzing atmosphere and fantastic i-pad order system make it a vibrant and exciting place to eat.

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Service

When we got to the restaurant there was a group of people waiting outside. Sushi Hotaru is pretty popular and you may have to put your name down on a list and wait for a while before you get a seat or table. MDS and I were lucky as we only waited about 5-10minutes and were able to score a table with an ipad! Unfortunately the seat was a little too small and had I been about 10kgs bigger I may not have fit on it!

Food

Food is always good here. They have a $3 sushi train special or you can order various dishes from the menu. Pretty good value. The fact that there are a lot of people eating at the restaurant is a sign that there is a high food turnover so you know it is fresh.

We decided to order:


The usual suspect, salmon and avo inside-out rolls for me. Fresh, plenty of salmon and a good-sized portion, these were a hit with me!

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MDS’ choice, tuna and avo inside-out rolls. As above, she really enjoyed them, not being a big fan of sushi with seaweed on the outside. The roe on top adds a bit of colour to the dish and although I am not usually a fan of large quantities of it, I could handle a little spread on top of a few sushi rolls.

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We ordered the smoked salmon nigiri as MDS doesn’t like raw fish. This could have been cooked a little longer as it was slightly raw on the inside. However it tasted really nice and the spicy seasoning on top (chilli?) tasted great with the smoky fish.

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The soft shell crab sushi rolls were to die for. Crunchy crab and tasty tangy dressing. It was absolutely delicious. We were also interested by the strange shaped chip on top of it (anyone know what it is?), which tasted crunchy and a little bitter.

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The fried pork gyoza was tasty and moist on the inside but was a little dry on the outside, shame.

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Chicken karaage was my choice and it was not a bad option. It had a nice salty flavour and a crunchy exterior but the thick layer of batter on the outside wasn’t very nice (I thought Mizuya’s- see here and here, was better) and the chicken was quite oily.

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Overall a really nice spot for sushi train with excellent fresh sushi but not so great fried foods. It’s in a convenient location but quite popular so it is sometimes hard to get a seat.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 4
  • Food- 7.75
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 8

Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon

Zushi, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 239 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9357 3533

Website: http://www.zushi.com.au/

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This hole-in-the-wall sushi train is located right next to Gelato Messina. It offers sushi train or A-La-Carte dining options and is a great place to have a quick and fresh lunch.

I decided to pop in for some sushi before heading to Wow Cow for dessert.

There was a good variety of sushi available but, being a Tuesday, there weren’t many other people eating there so they didn’t keep putting out fresh sushi. All items on the menu are either $3.00, $4.00, or $5.00 depending on the colour of the plate they are served on.

I decided to order the pork gyoza, which is one of my favourite Japanese food options. I was a bit disappointed however, as although the filling was nice, the gyoza pastry was tough and not very crunchy.

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Pork gyoza, $4.00

I also ordered a salmon and avocado sushi roll. The salmon tasted very fresh and the roll was well-presented and quite tightly wrapped.

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Salmon and avocado roll, $4.00

Not a bad little sushi joint, and conveniently located next to a number of dessert hot spots. Could do with some more fried good such as wontons/money bags (my favourite!), and some more chicken sushi.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 6
  • Ambience- 5
  • Value – 6

Zushi on Urbanspoon

Delicious Japanese food in Kings Cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I won’t write a review on this place but I just thought I would share some of the yummy food I had for lunch the other day!

This place is next to Guzman y Gomez and has delicious miso soup, chicken teriyaki and the crunchiest tempura!