I spend a lot of time walking through the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) at Town Hall but for some reason, I hardly ever stop to eat at the various restaurants that they offer. Most of the good ones are hidden up on Level 2 of the QVB amongst all the higher end boutiques and that is where you will find Yama, a lovely little Japanese restaurant.
We decide to try their Japanese cherry green tea and it comes out in an authentic looking iron cast teaset. The teapot is so heavy (I leave it to the boy to do the pouring) and the matching cups are quite weighty too. The tea itself is fragrant as it contains rose petals and cherry pieces, but is not too overwhelmingly sweet.
Japanese cherry tea, $4.20 for pot
It’s rather late in the night now (8.20pm) and we’re quite hungry so after browsing through their extensive menu we settle on a karaage chicken soba noodle soup and a Yama bento box with Tempura prawns. Once both dishes come out, we realise that we possibly have overordered in our state of hunger because the bento box is very generously proportioned.
Torikaraage Soba Noodle Soup, $15.90
The chicken karaage is kept in a bowl separately from the steaming noodle soup which is just the way I like it. I find it extremely annoying when the crispy chicken is served in the soup and becomes soggy chicken quickly. On first impressions, the karaage looks more like a KFC crispy chicken strip and upon the first bite, I discover that it actually tastes like it too!
Yama Bento Box with Tempura Prawn, $25.90
Apart from the tempura prawn and veges which we chose, the bento box is filled with all sorts of Japanese favourites. There’s the requisite fresh sashimi (9 pieces of salmon, tuna and kingfish) as well as some nigiri (4 pieces of salmon, kingfish, sweet egg omelette and prawn), small sushi rolls (2 pieces), side salad with Yama’s special Japanese dressing, miso soup and rice. Everything was very fresh and tasty and the tempura batter was perfectly fluffy and crunchy. A very satisfying bento box that was definitely enough to share between 2 of us on its own.
I quite like Yama as a conveniently located Japanese restaurant, catering more towards the mid-priced end of the market. It gives off a different vibe from other Japanese restaurants in the city because it is decorated in the style of the rest of the QVB with elaborate stained glass windows. Best of all, it offers great value and you don’t even have to step outside from Town Hall station because it connects right onto the QVB.
Level 2, QVB, Shop 2, George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9269 0080