It was a Friday night, and my boyfriend and I decided to eat out locally. We went past our favourite local sushi place, but seeing as it was full, we decided to go to another suburb close to home and try something new. Welcome to Tokyo Sushi Bar.
Street-view of Tokyo Sushi Bar
Menu at Tokyo Sushi Bar
There were two Japanese restaurants close to the vicinity of where we had parked. I decided that we would have dinner at this one because it had a cosy wooden interior, and also because it had one of my boyfriend's favourite dishes.
Outside of Tokyo Sushi Bar
There were a few other diners in the restaurant when we came in and took our seats. A waitress came and gave us copies of the menu, and we ordered shortly after. There were lots of menu options, so we were spoilt for choice.
Traditional-looking wooden interior at Tokyo Sushi Bar
Shortly after ordering, the waitress returned with two small bowls of salad and miso soup. Both were pretty standard in quality, and I didn't bother finishing my salad but I think it's always a nice touch to add complimentary sides. The service was very polite and deferential, although I think the waitress didn't speak much English.
Complimentary miso soup
Selection of menu items that hung over the bar seating
The first dish that we had ordered didn't take long to arrive. The Salmon and Tuna Sashimi ($15.90) consisted of three pieces of tuna and six pieces of salmon sashimi. The slices were cut thicker than in other restaurants, and they were also fresh, possessing an unmistakable melt in your mouth texture.
Salmon and Tuna Sashimi
The Dragon Roll ($14.80) included avocado, freshwater eel, thin slices of cucumber, and a crab stick in a roll, garnished with dollops of mayonnaise, sweet sauce and fish roe. The avocado was amazingly soft and creamy. It went well with the pieces of eel and the sweet sauce.
Before we'd ordered, we had no idea that the sizing of the sushi rolls was so big, and thought we might have trouble finishing everything we ordered. The size of each individual sushi was huge. Nevertheless, it was such great value for money. At many other Japanese restaurants, I find that the prices for sushi are generally much higher than this, and also have a smaller serving portions.
Cute soy sauce holder
Spicy Salmon Wrap Roll
Similarly, the Spicy Salmon Wrap Roll ($14.80) was also a huge portion. The salmon slices were fresh, and contrasted with the thin slices of cucumber in the roll. My boyfriend remarked that the sauce might have been thousand island dressing, or a hot mayonnaise. Either way, it was creamy and had a mild kick of spiciness. The sauce added an interesting flavour to what would have been otherwise a plain dish.
Hoe Dup Bup- Rice with salad and slices of sashimi
The Hoe Dup Bup ($15.00) arrived last. Hoe dup bup is a traditional Korean dish made up of sliced sashimi, rice, salad, sesame oil, and mint, depending on the restaurant. You can generally tell if a Japanese restaurant is run by Koreans when they have this on the menu. Hoe dup bup is served cold, with 'gochujang,' a Korean hot pepper condiment. Tokyo Sushi Bar's hoe dup bup had an abundance of fresh salads accompanying the cool slices of sashimi, topped with fish roe and thin slivers of dried seaweed. We mixed everything with a ton of gochujang, and the result was perfect. The combination of salad and sashimi was very refreshing. We were totally stuffed after this, and ended up taking half of the hoe dup bup home.
Overall, we were really satisfied with the quality and prices at Tokyo Sushi Bar. It was an unexpected neighbourhood gem, one which I'll be frequenting in the future.
Where: Shop 1/49-52 Beecroft Road Epping NSW/
Why: Great sushi and Japanese/Korean dishes at decent prices.
Cost: $67 altogether for two sushi rolls, an entree and a main.
When: Monday to Saturday 11:30am - 9:30pm