Golden Spoons Review – Kazoku Japanese Bistro

| 26/07/2018 | 0 Comments

CNS Local Life(CNS Foodie): I love sushi, so when I noticed a Japanese bistro next door to China Village in Plaza Venezia I was quite keen to try it, and I recently managed to make it over there. It is not the most glamorous location for a restaurant but we were more interested in the food than the surroundings anyway.

We were pleasantly surprised by the interior, though – sturdy-looking thick wood tables with heavy, comfortable chairs got us off to a good start. There is a bar (unfortunately with a television although the volume was not intrusive) and a hibachi station where you can sit and watch the chefs cooking your dinner.

We decided to sit at a table instead and noticed what looked like little nibbles already waiting. However, by the time we were seated that dish had been removed and we discovered by checking out other tables that the “nibbles” were in fact decorative stones. I am assuming the dish was taken away rapidly because others had tried eating the stones as I was admittedly about to.

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Tokyo roll

So, drinks first. I ordered a watermelon mojito ($9) and my companion had a glass of Pinot Grigio ($7.95). Whilst waiting for the drinks we decided on our meal for the evening. To start we ordered a plate of gyoza ($7.50), five pan-fried chicken/pork and vegetable dumplings and a Tokyo roll ($8), which the menu described as deep-fried chicken and shrimp. This was to be followed by udon noodles ($10.50), a broth with chicken, and wakame salad ($8.50). And from the sushi menu we chose a crunchy roll ($12.50) and two pieces each of salmon and tuna sashimi ($2 per piece).

The service was good, and although we did have to wait a while for our drinks to arrive, the food came in a timely manner and the server was not overly attentive, which I appreciated. My companion thought the Pinot Grigio was lovely – bright with citrus-fruit notes that lingered. My mojito proved to be a little more problematic – the watermelon pieces kept clogging up the straw and in the end I abandoned the straw and just drank from the glass. I would not order this again as I am not convinced that watermelon mixes well enough to make a good mojito.

The gyoza was lovely, a little bit of crunch on the outside contrasting with the smoothness of the dumpling and little pocket of minced meat and vegetables inside. The accompanying hoisin sauce was not too sweet and perfect for dipping. We also really liked the Tokyo roll, which was actually thin spring rolls cut in half diagonally and served with a sweet, but not too sweet, chilli sauce. The crunchy and tasty rolls worked well with the kick of chilli.

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Udon noodles and wakame salad

Next, the udon noodles and wakame salad were served in lopsided bowls, which made passing the dishes a bit of a challenge to keep the contents from spilling. The sushi and sashimi were served together on a very nice wood plate.

The noodles came in a light broth with undertones of sesame, which I enjoyed, but there was not an overabundance of chicken pieces and the boiled egg seemed too big for the dish. The wakame was cool and refreshing with lettuce, avocado, cucumber and mango, served with a sweet chilli mayo on the side, a really good salad.

The crunchy sushi roll was a little bit of a disappointment. I was interested to see what a deep-fried roll would be like and now I know. The filling of shrimp and avocado sort of meshed together in a mush and it was not possible to find the taste of crab in the crab salad on top. The sashimi also was not great. Each “piece” was actually two thin slices which is not how, in my opinion, sashimi should be served. The fish was also slightly chewy, with the tuna slightly better than the salmon.

We put aside our disappointment and decided to try to improve our spirits with a dessert of tempura ice cream ($6.50). This proved a lovely, creation, with the crunchy tempura encasing a creamy vanilla ice cream. The tempura was a little thick but, of course, you don’t have to eat it all.

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Tempura ice cream

Overall, although we were disappointed with the sushi and sashimi (next time we will order a different sushi and no sashimi), Kazoku provided a tasty and filling meal which started and ended well with just a couple of dishes that let us down a bit.

The atmosphere was a touch more upbeat than I would have thought normal for a Japanese restaurant but as my dinner friend pointed out, it was a bistro so probably should be livelier.

The total bill was a reasonable $78.45, with gratuity not included.

Kazoku website

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Category: Dinner, Golden Spoons Review

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