Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ju-Rin Japanese Restaurant, Crows Nest

The best remedy for a really really REALLY bad day is the following - a huge Japanese dinner, gelato and crazy Singstar with Queen songs! Ju-Rin is a little gem of a Japanese restaurant in Crow's Nest along the Pacific Highway. It was previously occupied by the Bokkemon sushi bar which I never got a chance to try. This was my first visit to Ju-Rin, but my brother is a regular and has been calling it his 'new Waqu'. (Translation: lots of awesome little dishes for a reasonable price)
I like the decor as soon as I walk into the restaurant. It's cozy and warm with comfy suede panels lining one wall and I am (as usual) admiring the pretty japanese ceramics and the cutely patterned chopsticks. It's a very small room, all the tables and the sushi bar are packed full. We order what sounds like a ton of dishes, but I don't complain as I'm starving.

Tuna belly sashimi
This is a pricey dish ($25) so we savour every morsel of fish. It's worth every penny, the fatty pieces of tuna just melt in your mouth. I could have eaten the whole plate myself if I was given the chance.
Home made fish cakes
I notice a lot of tables are ordering this and I soon find out why. These are no ordinary fish cakes, they are almost fluffy in texture with a freshly crisped exterior. I think they partly consist of beancurd which contributes to its soft white insides.


Mackerel sushi

Scallop and squid dumpling
The mackerel sushi has a great flavour without being too fishy and comes with seaweed and sesame seeds mixed into the sushi rice. Their sushi rice is cooked to perfection. The steamed scallop and squid dumpling is almost exactly like the scallop dumplings they used to serve at Waqu - held together by thin strips of sweet scallop meat. They are served with a tiny squidge of Japanese mustard which is intense and heady. My brother went straight out to Tokyo Mart and bought a tube of this wasabi-like mustard right after trying this dish for the first time.

BBQ Wagyu


The BBQ Wagyu is not great, thick and on the chewier side. But the chawanmushi is pretty good & silky smooth. The karasumi is an interesting dish - grilled dried mullet roe served with slices of radish. The radish offsets the extreme saltiness of the crispy bits of mullet roe.

Miso marinated cod

We are eagerly tucking into this juicy fish when we realise that there is only one dish to go and will need to order more. So don't be afraid to go a bit nuts, the portions are small and it allows you to try a huge variety of dishes. Just the way I like it!

Tuna belly sushi roll
We order more of this awesome fish but in rolls in the hope that the carbs will help fill up our hungry bellies. This actually seems like better value than the sashimi.

Grilled king fish head

Grilled rice balls
The last three dishes successfully fill me to the brim. The king fish head is fantastic and it's always fun picking off the sweet bits of meat off the bone. The grilled rice balls have a lovely golden crust on the outside and is full of seaweed bits and sesame seeds.

The meal felt like a feast but came in at a reasonable 35 dollars a head. Love it! Which means we can wander over to our favourite gelato spot Bravo around the corner. Everyone else decides to share a tub of takeaway hazelnut gelato but some gentle prodding gets me a share of A's scoop of apple pie gelato.

Apple pie gelato
This is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! Bravo always has fantastic flavours, my favourites are mango, taro & genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice). I am immediately drawn to the apple pie flavour when I see the chunks of cinnamon covered apple mixed through it. It really tastes like someone churned up a whole apple pie into it! Mmmm cinnamon.

P.S. I finally decided on Becasse for my graduation dinner! I think we will go with the a la carte menu. Any recommendations?

Ju-Rin Japanese Restaurant
316 Pacific Hwy
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone (02) 9966 5811
Fax (02) 9966 5822
Tue-Sun: lunch & dinner

Bravo Trattoria
6-8 Falcon St
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone (02) 9906 6630
Fax (02) 9439 3620
Tue-Thu & Sun: Noon-midnight
Fri-Sat: Noon-1am
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  1. Thanks fir sharing this! I'm always on the lookout for great places to eat North side and I adore Japanese food. Those fish cakes look delicious -actually everything looks great!

  2. :D You're welcome! I love Japanese food too, I'm glad that I have another place to frequent!


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