Jizikana is a contemporary Japanese restaurant in Cammeray that specialises in sushi and sashimi. There's an omakase experience available but the a la carte also offers enormous platters of sushi and sashimi as well as popcorn lobster and Jizikana Fried Chicken.
Once a week my phone sends me a message telling me how long I've spent on my phone. I find it aggressive, informative and alarming. Much of that time is spent messaging with my friends. Monica is the friend I spend most of my time texting and often times it's about restaurants that we are going to eat at. She found Jizikana in Cammeray and lured me with pictures of sashimi and sushi. Jizikana means locally caught fish in Japanese. "Jizz tonight!" we messaged each other, excited about the idea of enormous platters of sashimi.
It's a cold and rainy night. We are shown to a large table on the corner of a banquette. It's a spacious restaurant with lots of pale wood panelling and an atmosphere straight from Japan. There's a double sided food menu with mostly Japanese items although a couple of things like cheese filled jalapeno poppers and Korean fried chicken also pop up onto the menu.
Monica and I always seem to hone in on the same menu items which makes choosing easy. We decide to go for the special sashimi platter rather than the sushi one as we all prefer sashimi to sushi. We order drinks and I also order extra mayonnaise and pickled ginger in anticipation of the sashimi platter.
Marco orders a Sake and they bring a tray of cups to choose from. Mr NQN orders a Ginger Ninja. This is a case of expectation not quite matching reality as a bright red cocktail glass makes it way to our table and our waitress automatically assumes it is for me. It's more strawberry than ginger but not bad if you're going for a Bali cocktail vibe.
They did ask if we wanted any entrees but none really interested us so we decline and make the special deluxe sashimi our entree instead. The food does take a while to come out but when it does, it provokes such joy and excitement that the adage to "Make 'em wait" has some merit here. The special deluxe sashimi is a beautiful selection of sashimi on ice. There is 33 pieces of sashimi including 2 pieces of toro, kingfish, John Dory, salmon, tuna, trevalley and 3 pieces of scampi. We are all in heaven trying all the sashimi and there's so much variety. It's wonderfully silky in texture and very fresh.
The popcorn lobster is tempura'd pieces of lobster tail served with tobiko roe and a Bombay Sapphire gin cream sauce on crisp lettuce leaves. This is delicious and crisp and I would order this again as the lobster pieces are tender and not chewy at all but it is a smallish serve with half a dozen pieces.
I couldn't resist ordering the Jizikana or Korean fried chicken too and this is a very generous serve with truffle salt and mayonnaise on the side and a choice of soy sauce, chilli sauce and snow coconut cheese (we opted for the latter two). The fried chicken has a light, crisp batter with tender, juicy boneless chicken pieces. Although I can't taste much truffle in the salt, I love dipping it into the mayonnaise, chilli sauce and then coconut cheese snow (which tastes exactly like it sounds: coconut flavoured cheese powder).
"Can we get a fish head?" asked Monica when choosing our dishes and they go to check the fish heads they have available and we choose the kingfish. It's enormous and comes out on a large stone and wood square platter. You have to get in and use your hands to prise all the sticky collagen-rich meat and skin off the bones but it's surprisingly filling too.
While we enjoyed everything that we ordered, if there's a weak point it's perhaps the service. Although friendly, it's very hard to get their attention and they seem under staffed this evening. Also dishes are brought to the table without any explanation and then they rush off. When we ask about the type of fish on the sushi they don't really know and guess. It's good although the aburi isn't quite as luscious as salmon aburi (and all I can think is we would have been better off getting more sashimi).
There's are half a dozen choices on the dessert menu and Marco wants the yuzu Eton Mess which is layers of cream alternated with sharp, tangy yuzu syrup which he finishes with a relish. There aren't a lot of meringues, just three small ones on top and this is more a parfait than an Eton Mess.
I was excited to try the Yokan because I haven't eaten Yokan for years, probably not since my last trip to Japan. Yokan is a type of jelly made of agar agar but this is version is more dense, like a firm and creamy ganache flavoured with matcha with finely diced strawberries, cream and sweet red beans on top. Monica loves it but I had a hankering for yokan (and travel memories) so this doesn't quite satisfy that need. I keep thinking I should have ordered more sashimi for dessert instead!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you spend a lot of time on the phone messaging with friends? Are you team sushi or sashimi?
This meal was independently paid for.
Cammeray Square, 16/450 Miller St, Cammeray NSW 2062
Hours: Monday closed
Tuesday to Thursday 5:30–10pm
Friday to Sunday 11:30am–2pm, 5:30–10pm
Phone: 0426 233 113