This restaurant has rebranded to Izakaya Samurai.
Over the years I’ve heard people rave about Sushi Samurai but somehow I never got around to trying this place. It’s located just across from Ju Ge Mu and Shimbashi, and gives it a run for its money in terms of popularity. We turned up without a booking early on a Sunday night and still had to wait for 5 minutes for a table for two because the place was just packed out.
It’s a neatly decorated Japanese restaurant, with quite a comprehensive menu covering all sorts of conventional Japanese fare (sushi, sashimi, noodles, sukiyaki etc.) We were absolutely starving so we ended up choosing a bit of everything.
Spider roll, $13.80 for 4 pieces
First up was the sushi, some spider rolls with deep fried soft shell crab and lashings of mayonnaise which were a great start to the meal. This was followed up with the mixed platter of grilled sushi which was full of melt-in-your mouth goodness due to the lovely smoky taste of blowtorched scallop, salmon, kingfish and tuna. The salty sweet aburi sauce which accompanied it was a winner, but the size of the sushi pieces were a bit on the small side compared to some other places I’ve tried.
Grilled sushi mix, $17.80
The seafood continued with grilled scallops with miso paste and mayonnaise. I usually love this dish because it combines a few of my favourite flavours together, but unfortunately Sushi Samurai’s rendition was slightly overcooked tonight. This resulted in the scallop meat being too dry and stringy, and while the miso mayo sauce was irresistible on first taste, once we got started on our second scallop it had become a bit too salty and overwhelming. I’d recommend just 1 scallop per diner rather than being greedy like us and ordering 2 each.
Grilled scallops with miso and mayonnaise, $13.80 for 4 pieces (entrée size)
Our small corner table was then taken over by the huge ramen hotpot with pork and vegies which we had eagerly ordered in our state of hunger. We found it a bit strange that they provided us with plastic disposable spoons to eat the hotpot with (hardly the most practical option for cutlery, melted plastic anyone?) but I suppose they balanced it out by also giving us a big metal ladle to use too. The noodles were presented separately on a plate, but we chucked it in anyway with the slightly spicy soup. The final result was reminiscent of a giant pot of Korean instant noodles (Shin Ramyun), just as addictive with delicious slivers of slightly fatty pork. The menu said that it could feed 1-2 people; I’d say that it would be enough for 3 or 4 people if we had ordered as many other dishes as we had.
Ramen hotpot with pork and vegetables, $25.80
While the hotpot was simmering away, it was joined on the table by the pork belly pancakes, a twist on Chinese Peking duck pancakes and this meant that we had officially run out of room on the table. The pork belly wasn’t the crisp kind but was tenderly cooked, oozing soy sauce which made it quite messy to eat.
Pork belly pancakes, $14.80 for 4 pieces
We definitely overordered at Sushi Samurai, leaving us with ridiculously full stomachs but it was still an enjoyable meal. I will be back to sample the items I didn’t end up trying on the menu but the lessons learnt from my experience are to book ahead and restrain myself from choosing everything on the menu that catches my eye!
Shop 3, 197 Military Rd
Phone: (02) 99534059