Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Toraya - Chatswood


We were at Chatswood checking out the latest awesome foreign company to infiltrate our shores - namely Daiso (where everything is $2.80). Having walked about the shop and bought every necessary and unecessary item under the sun, I was really hungry and craving Jap food. Hence, we headed for Toraya, which is a Jap restaurant located close to the food court of the Mandarin Centre.

I have to say, walking in left me doubtful of my choice - the tables were bare and reminiscent of food-court styles. However, there was a good portion of Japanese-speaking patrons. We were also greeted with my favourite appetiser - seaweed salad - which was super tasty as always :)
seaweed salad
I decided to try something different and went for their Eringe and Hotate Batter ($9.80) which from the description sounded amazing. Supposedly big oyster mushrooms and scallops were to be cooked in a soy based batter. What I didn't expect were tiny over-cooked scallops and countable thinly sliced oyster mushrooms on a sizzling hot plate. Tiny scallops and sizzling hot plates are never a good combination - leaving us with slightly rubbery slightly non-existant scallops to chew on.

Eringe and Hotate Batter - $9.80

My partner opteded for a main of Tonkatsu ($15.80) which was crumbed and deep fried golden brown. It was tender and tasty enough and came served with seaweed soup, rice and salad.

Tonkatsu - $15.80

My partner also craved oysters ($15/ half dozen) and opted to have them grilled with cheese. This was not a bad dish although in your normal cheesy oysters, you tend to get that delicious mornal or atleast a splatter of mash which added texture and taste - which with these, were absent.

Oysters with grilled cheese - $15/half dozen

Funnily enough, the dish we thought should and really ought to come first, came last - the Salmon Platter ($25). The Japanese always harp on about how sashimi and sushi should be eaten first as the tastes are fresh and subtle - and are relatively spoilt when you eat the "heavier" tastes firsts. Nonetheless, I was grateful when a pile of salmon sashimi and sushi landed on my table. The sashimi was fresh, the salmon suchi and thin rolls weren't bad and the salmon and avocado inside out roll was yummy :) Oddly enough, it came with only one salmon roe ship - which looked slightly out of balance as everything else seemed evenly split.

Salmon Platter - $25

All up, the food here is pretty average. Dishes were relatively well priced and the staff friendly enough. If you can get over the wierd food-court style attire of the place, you could possibly settle into a good meal.

Food - 7/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 3/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 24/40

Toraya Japanese Restaurant
Mandarin Centre
Level 2, shop 212
61 Albert Ave
NSW 2067
Tel: (02) 9884 9620

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