Monday, 20 October 2008

Orizuru (Japanese, next to Mures Lower Deck)

Orizuru was the preferred restaurant tonight for dinner. Tony and I had a rather convoluted conversation about what we’d order, with him trying to encompass menu items which he thought I’d want to taste, and me trying to select as varied an amount as possible but not appear too much of a pig!

Ultimately I settled on 3 entrees, with one as an entrée, and 2 served at mains time. Tony decided on Inari, sweet fried bean curd bags filled with rice, ginger, mushroom and kampyo (2 pieces - $3.40) for entrée and a main course sized Tempura platter $29.50. My entrees were Tempura ($15), then Kara Age ($14) – deep fried soy-ginger flavoured chicken pieces, and Yakiniku ($14) – special sautéed thinly sliced beef in Yakiniku sauce.

My food was alright, but I was pissed off to find I had to spit out 3 gristly bits of my wafer thin beef! How does that work? The Tempura was as you'd expect, and the chicken was tasty too. Tony liked his Inari, and Tempura, but I think we both were feeling that it was more on the mundane side, compared to yesterday's Yum Cha, which Tony also shared with me.

The service was fine and the food standard fine but the restaurant is looking rather tired now, and in desperate need of some love and attention being paid to the décor. It wasn’t the most outstanding meal I’ve ever had in my life (by a long shot) but it certainly wasn’t the worst. It was a tad above average, but not much. In the past, since they opened many years ago, I have been there often. I like it but if asked for a suggestion of a place to eat, Orizuru is not one that would come to mind.

I think I can wait for another 3 or 4 years before I visit again, especially with the number of other way more exciting restaurants around in Hobart (and the uncomfortable wooden chairs there!).
Posted on by Rita


sir busy grumpy said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful, Rita. And so cheap. It should get a bunch of awards,so anon can try it.
No, it's not working. Sorry, anon, I can't keep up this fake positivism.
Hope anon doesn't come down on you like a tonne of bricks for telling it like it is, Rita.

Rita said...

Sir G - lay off the sweetness and light! I can't stand it!

Anonymous said...

You didn't try any sushi or sashimi?

I highly recommend their softshell crab sushi - it's very tasty and a somewhat difficult-to-find menu ingredient in Hobart.

I've also enjoyed their large (for 2) sushi platter, it's fresh and tasty (I'm a sucker for platters)

The bento box is also good from memory - although I've not had it recently enough to compare its taste/value to that of the Kawasemi tea house's bento.

Anonymous said...

Orizuru must be the worst Japanese food I've ever had. If you don't have fresh ingredients, and Japanese chefs, it will never work.

sir toby belch said...

The above assessment wasn't me anon....I've never been to Orizuru.
Prices seem fine but.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Rita about the restaurant itself needing some 'love' in regards to the decor. But when we were in Japan a few years back, it seemed the norm for many restaurants to have that dated look and feel.

As for the food, it's a little mediocre when compared to the mainland Japanese eateries, but it is the best Japanese we have down here in Hobart (correct me if I am wrong, but Orizuru is the only Japanese we have tried that is anywhere near authentic)....

I found the service good, but a little hurried. And I was also politely reminded not to scratch their melamine sushi/sashimi plate...argh!

Rita said...

Anon 10.06 - No, I didn't go for the sushi or sashimi as I eat them so frequently at home that it's not something I would contemplate ordering out any time. Having said that, I DID notice the soft-shelled crab sushi on the menu and idly contemplated having it, but then went off in a different tangent and left it. Thanks for the hints though. Wish I'd had you there for guidance on the night!
Anon 9.19 - thanks for commenting, but I have to say there were 2 guys in the kitchen the other night who were definitely of Asian appearance and looked pretty Japanese to me. Maybe they didn't live up to your other qualification, and weren't chefs.
Sir Toby - I don't reckon you'd like Japanese as much as your standard fare of fish and chips!
Anon 11.23 - as I have never been to Japan, and never likely to go either, I can't make a comparison as to whether or not any Japanese is authentic. I suppose it really comes back to what I've said a trillion times in the past - it's your own tastes in food and flavours that dictate what you yourself find 'good' or 'bad' or 'genuine' or whatever. Take from these pages what you want, and reject what you want.
And you're right about the service!

Another Outspoken Female said...

The was one of the places I did eat at on my winter visit to Hobart. I find the standard sushi/sashimi and tempura a good test of a Japanese restaurant. This one did both dishes well and the platter for 2, as mentioned before, had wonderful, fresh seafood. By mainland standards the price was very reasonable too.

However, I have to agree that the service seemed unnecessarily hurried. Also it is a cramped, bland, generically furnished Japanese restaurant. There was no sense of the fabulous location being taken advantage of. It would make a great 'local' if it was tucked away in a suburban street but not a big occasion place to go to.

While I enjoyed the food, the whole experience was a bit of a non-event.