Sunday, November 2, 2008

Torin Japanese Restaurant - Eastwood

I was dying for sashimi and scallops and oysters.
But given that I was in the midst of my exam period and that my partner had a plane to catch that afternoon, fish market seemed out of the question.

Rather, we picked a small Korean-owned Japanese restaurant on the "korean side" of Eastwood - Torin.


The restaurant was nice and cozy, and was busier than I had expected. In fact, the seemed to be more customers (of either of Korean or Honky decent) than the waiter could handle.

Nonetheless, we were seated, and we ordered, and the food arrived promptly.

The menu offered a vast array of Japanese and Korean food. As I was dying for sashimi, Sashimi was definitely on the agenda - the question was whether we wanted the medium ($50) or large ($80) size. My partner boasted that he could finish TWO large sashimi boats himself - so I guess that he was quite hungry. That, coupled with my own hunger - it required alot of will power to put off ordering the extravagent $80 large sashimi (it was just lunch after all).

At the end of much much deliberation, we decided on the medium-sized sashimi, gyoza (one of my partner's favourite - $12), and a seafood udon ($12).

Before our orders arrived, we were presented with a nice plate of salad each. I'm not sure what the sauce consisted of - but it wasn't bland nor overpowering.


As I looked around, I noticed that most other tables got those cool free korean condiments. But none arrived at our table (looking back, we probably should have been thankful that we didn't receive these). Instead, (much to my surprise), three delicious-looking complementary dishes ("sukedashi dishes") arrived at our table. There was this pancakey thing. Resembled an okonomiyaki - mix of flour and cabbage, yummy sauce and bonito flakes. Very very delicious.

Okonomiyaki ish dish

There was also this very red, spicy-looking dish which I initially mistook for eggplant. Luckily, it wasn't. It was salmon fish-head/bone drenched in what seemed like kimchi-ish sauce. Was it spicy? I would say - yes~ but tolerable. To my partner... spicey??? no - but tasty nonetheless.

Salmon head/bone

There was also what seems like oven-baked buttered creamed cheese corn. The corn was super sweet and the sauce mild yet complementary. Luckily, this dish was situated next to me. If it was any closer to my partner, I doubt I would have had the chance to even taste it! :P

Oven-baked corn

Now for the dishes we actually ordered - the medium sashimi platter ($50). There was salmon, tuna (3 pieces), octopus (3 pieces) and white fish. A bit uneven on the proportions - but probably for good reason. The salmon and white fish outdid the tuna and octopus by miles. The salmon was very fresh and delicious tasting - mmm... satisfies my sashimi cravings :)
I was, however, slightly dissappointed that there wasn't more variety (eg. scallops).

Medium Sashimi - $50

Now the gyoza ($12). Nice, crispy, and golden brown. When dipped in the gyoza sauce - mmm... yum.
Gyoza - $12

And then the udon ($12). I was very thankful that the udon was quite a small portion given the amount of food that was already piled on our table. The udon was... very average - like any other udon. The amount of seafood content was minimal, and the tempura was soggy by the time we got to it (our own fault).

Seafood udon - $12

So, the waiters were very busy - so not too much can be said about the service. Nonetheless, the food arrived promptly and the waiters (and the chef) was nice and smiley when we saw them. Further, the ambiance of the restaurant wasn't bad - a bit echoey on noise, but nice and cozy nonetheless. Overall, not a bad lunch place - the bill at the end of the day was only $74 and our table was covered in food - so much so that I sensed envious looks from other tables :)

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 30/40

Torin Japanese Restaurant
122 Rowe Street
NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9874 9660

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