Me and the boy were brainstorming for double date locations around the Crows Nest area when our friend suggested a constituent Japanese restaurant, Hana Ju-Rin. We jumped at the suggestion, the restaurant being somewhere we’ve driven past a million times without actually going in.
When we arrived to our booking, we were swiftly seated in a simply presented restaurant, right next to the teppanyaki ‘stand’. There is also a bar area for sushi fans to watch the masters at work. We opted to share a variety of dishes per couple, and was there was definitely a wide array of dishes available from sashimi to carbohydrate heavy dishes like fried rice.
Torched Salmon Salad, $18.80
The first dish to arrive for us was the torched salmon salad; salmon slices lightly grilled with avocado, mixed leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes and chilli lime dressing. A simple yet delicious dish we felt was a refreshing way to start.
Saikyo Yaki, $22.80
Next up we tried their saikyo yaki grilled fish (judging by the way the flesh broke off, we think it was cod), which was marinated with special miso “saikyo” style for a distinctive, smokey miso flavour that infuses into all of the fish.
Their chawanmushi, being a staple Japanese dish of steamed egg custard was also delicious, with a silky smooth finish. The beaten egg custard was filled with bits of naruto fish cake, shiitake mushroom and prawns.
Spicy Salmon Roll, $14.80
Moving onto the rice dishes, we opted for multiple sushi rolls to fill the boy’s bottomless pit of a stomach. The spicy salmon roll featured diced salmon, mayonnaise, Japanese 7 spice powder and was topped with fish roe, which was very fresh and provided a slight peppery hit. We also opted to go with the crispy and crunchy soft shell crab roll, finished with some cucumber and sweet soy sauce. The soft shell crab was fairly average, without overtly exciting the senses; both of us preferring the salmon roll.
Soft Shell Crab Roll, $14.80
Then the dessert arrived – a lovely green tea creme brulee with vanilla ice-cream, and some fruit accompaniments. Loving the first feeling of cracking the caramelised top with the spoon, we dug into creme brulee to find a beautiful matcha flavour. The texture was smooth and not “eggy”, a sure sign that it had been cooked just right. The fruits and ice cream were also a nice touch.
Green Tea Creme Brulee, $11.80
Hana Ju-rin serves up simple, solid Japanese fare and is somewhere we will definitely be visiting again in the future to sample the other dishes available from their extensive menu.
300 Pacific Hwy, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: (02) 9966 5833