Not a great deal has changed it seems, although the crowd on a weeknight is decidedly corporate, and in some cases, Japanese businessmen. It’s beers all round, despite the prominent positioning of many a wine bottle. But a lot of the menu at Azuma Kushiyaki is actually ideal beer food, so Sapporo it was for me.
|Tsukemono – assorted homemade Japanese pickles from Azuma Kushiyaki, Regent|
Place, George Street, Sydney
|Yaki Nasu – grilled eggplant with ginger, bonito flakes and soy|
|Ninniku Butter – oven roasted garlic cloves with butter|
|Tori Kawa deep-fried crispy chicken skin seasoned with salt|
With the option of fresh lemon juice squeezed over for additional flavour and some good nutrients, the golden fried chips of glorious chicken skin are crispy with a slight chew and that unmistakeable flavour of well-cooked skin. Watch out pork crackling, you have serious competition.
|Kushiyaki – platter of a dozen mixed skewers at the chef’s choice|
|(From top) Salmon, sea perch and prawn kushiyaki|
The paradise prawn with salt was so spot-on I quickly ordered another. Like the happiest savoury lollipop ever invented, the prawn was sweetly fresh with a nice coating of salt cooked into the shell which is intended to be eaten.
|Chicken breast (middle) and chicken thigh kushiyaki|
The chicken breast, was a little less interesting as a result of its less fatty and flavoursome flesh, despite the efforts of the pickled plum mayo.
|Wagyu beef (top two) and ox tongue kushiyaki|
The grain-fed ox tongue covered in sliced shallots was chewy with a slight metallic note and almost unnoticeable curry salt. On this occasion I managed to chew and swallow before having cow-kissing thoughts – just.
|(From top) Okra, zucchini and asparagus kushiyaki|
|(Bottom) Chicken tsukune kushiyaki|
|Shitake mushroom with prawn kushiyaki|
As the businessmen drank on civilly still, we took our leave after just a couple of beers and a whole lot of great beer food. Now if only they did takeaway packets of that fried chicken skin for home or the movies next door.