Over the past few months a fellow twitter friend of mine has been constantly visiting @! Restaurant non-stop. His addiction made me wonder what on earth was I missing out on so I had to go to check it out myself. When I stepped into @!, I noticed that the restaurant was predominately filled with a lot of Japanese people. You know the food is good at a Japanese restaurant when a lot of the Japanese themselves visit the place.
|@! style sushi set (gourmet) - $38|
Atsushi Saito (formally at Merivale) is the main chef at @! which explains why the food is so good. Crows Nest, Neutral Bay and the North Shore is the home to authentic Japanese. It's where you find the real deal. My addicted friend also tells me that you can customise your own handrolls here. The thought of customised and authentic Japanese gave my body a rush of excitement.. *rubs hands to get ready* It was time to eat ALL the sushi, buhahahaha!
|The back end view of the @! style sushi set (gourmet) - $38|
The sushi set was really pretty. All my mind could say was ooohhh and ahhhh as soon as it was placed on the table. As pretty as it was, it was such a pain to take a photo of the whole thing, that was the bit that hurt me the most. So after waiting about a million minutes for people to finish taking their photos (myself inclusive) it was time to dine.
One of my favourites would have to be the salmon belly. It was the first time I had tried salmon belly but mannnnnn, it was so good! As soon as you placed it into your mouth, it just melted. I secretly just wanted to be left alone in those few minutes so I could close my eyes and go 'mmmmmmmmmmm'. It was also difficult to choose which one to have next. I have way too many first world problems lol. Honestly, I could of just smashed out every single sushi that was on that plate. It might of been an expensive dinner but hey, money can't buy you happiness right? Plus sushi is healthy LOL.
|Left: Karrage chicken - $10 |
Top Right: Kingfish Kama
Bottom right: Tempura whitebait
All the things we ordered were so nomlicious. The karrage chicken was well fried and the mayo always tops it off. It was a good batch of karrage but nothing special. Though with that said, it is a bit hard to get karrage 'wrong' but how cute was the presentation of it! The Kingfish Kama was very well made. The flavours were well balanced but best of all was there was a hint of salt on the skin. When situations like such happens, all it makes me want to do is lick every single part of that fish and wish for that moment of happiness to never end.
You know the saying where you learn something every day? Well if you haven't learnt anything yet, you may soon enough. Did you know that Bonito is actually part of the Tuna family? I had no idea. Anyways onto more important matters, besides smashing out the first plate of sushi, I also could of continue to devour this whole plate of bonito. It was fresh and the meat was silky. Mmmmmmmm I want to eat everything at @! again and again.
|Left: Softshell crab handroll with spicy mayo and caviar - $7.00|
Right: Scallop handroll with caviar and spicy mayo - $5.00
Finally to finish off the night, one would usually order dessert but for me, I finished it off with some handrolls. The rolls were definitely learning towards the expensive side of things but they were so well made. It was all tucked in properly and no rice came falling out so you didn't have to do the grubby deed and pick up bits and pieces of rice and toppings from your place. There was also a generous amount of meat in these rolls.
A lot of the Japanese restaurants across the Bridge are beyond decent and they aren't like your average Japanese cafes or restaurants you find in the heart of Sydney. That being said, these places aren't cheap and you might find you may end up paying twice the amount that you would normally pay for in the CBD. If you want authentic Japanese, it comes at a price but basically at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
Gotta go eat!!