Nestled away from the main strip of Cammeray’s shops is a little Japanese eatery by the name of Toriciya. Although it’s off the beaten track, Toriciya seems to have built up quite a following, as the small space eventually gets packed out on a Wednesday night.
Toriciya’s offering is a simple, homely affair – the basic wooden decor with Japanese art on the wall hints at the authenticity of its dishes and you can see the chefs busily at work in the cosy open kitchen where they’re grilling a variety of skewers. They’re also known for their sake, so we order a small jug of warm cloudy sake to try and find that it’s quite strong, but with interesting undertones of rice.
Cloudy sake, $15 for 180ml
We start with a couple of their specials from their handwritten menu – the Popcorn Lobster is a deluxe hit of succulent lobster bits encased in a light batter and paired with an addictive smoky chilli aioli that was quite unexpected in such a traditional looking Japanese restaurant.
Popcorn Lobster, $22
The Homemade Crab Cream Croquette was less impressive in that the crustacean wasn’t quite as discernible among the creamy mashed potato innards. But the croquette itself was nicely crumbed and crunchy.
Homemade Crab Cream Croquette, $15
We also selected a few of their yakitori skewers to try – my favourite was the chicken thigh (“momo”) which was tender and still moist inside, with a lovely hint of charcoal from the grill. The chicken and shallot (“negima”) wasn’t bad either, the pork belly (“butabara”) was rather indulgent (we shared the skewer between 4, so 1 cube each) but the final quail egg skewer with soy sauce wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Yakitori Skewers – $3 each
Onto the more substantial dishes for the night – we enjoyed their divine Gindara Miso Black Cod, which had the distinctive flavour of sweet miso infused into the soft cod flesh. My only complaint was that the cod piece was quite small – but good things come in small packages I suppose!
Gindara Miso Black Cod, $15
The Simmered Ox Tongue with Nagoya Red Miso was a different story though. While the ox tongue was cooked very well with a soft texture, the thick cut of the ox tongue threw us off as we were used to the thinly sliced ox tongue usually served at Japanese BBQ restaurants and the ox tongue was definitely more strongly flavoured than we expected.
Simmered Ox Tongue with Nagoya Red Miso, $16
There was quite a long wait between the ox tongue and our final dish, which was a hearty serving of Nabeyaki Hot Pot Udon, served in a traditional hot cast-iron pot. The broth for this was absolutely delicious and we thought it was quite good value – there was enough in the pot to share between 2-3 people and there were even a couple of tempura prawns thrown in the mix.
Nabeyaki Hot Pot Udon, $18
Toriciya is an interesting mix of traditional Japanese cuisine with some fusion elements here and there. It is on the pricier end, considering the portion sizes (except for the Nabeyaki Hot Pot Udon), but the food is cooked well here – although some of the dishes may not necessarily be hits depending on your palate.
18 Cammeray Rd, Cammeray NSW 2062
Ph:(02) 9904 2277