Yukino Washoku Japanese Grill is a Japanese restaurant that serves up Japanese classics with friendly service. It is located on busy Canterbury Road and the food comes out fast and fresh. See why it is one of my friend's favourite local Japanese restaurants!
It has been weeks since we saw Valentina and Peter and this evening's dinner is for Mr NQN's birthday. Yukino Washoku's is one of Valentina's favourite local Japanese restaurants. It's within walking distance of her house and many time since it opened in April I had seen Valentina dine out there numerous times. There are two dining rooms at Yukino, one with higher bar style seating and another with regular tables. We leave ordering to Valentina and Peter as they know the menu so well. We end up with a lot of starters which I really prefer eating but there are also set menus and bento boxes, donburi, udon and sashimi (notably there's no sushi on the menu here).
My beige flag is that I always ask for a serve of mayonnaise with Japanese food. I love dipping my sushi in it and fried food always need a bit of mayonnaise.
Do you ever arrive at dinner absolutely famished and cannot wait for the food to arrive? Thankfully the food arrives in a very timely manner - not too fast (alarming in itself) and not too slow. The fried prawn gyoza come four to a serve with a tasty prawn filling. I could easily devour a second one of these.
The panko prawns have a crunchy coating of panko crumbs as well as Japanese tartar sauce which I absolutely love. Japanese tartare has very finely chopped egg white added to it that adds a lot of flavour as well as texture and it's so tasty with the panko prawns.
I don't often see chicken nanban on the menu so when I see it I order it as I used to like it a lot when I lived in Japan. The chicken thigh fillet is fried and then served on a bed of mashed potato with the tartar sauce.
We also order some takoyaki that come as four enormous, puffy balls with a small pieces of octopus inside as well as lots of that tangy takoyaki sauce.
We also ordered some of the freshly fried lotus root chips that come in a deep bowl that are perfect for sharing.
I always love seaweed salad and it's so good for you too. I always have packets of seaweed salad in my freezer.
There's a spicy or non spicy version of the soft shell crab but the spicy version isn't particularly hot. The soft shell crab is tasty and served with a sweet and sour sauce. And this is where you want to dip the crab in a bit of mayo to make it really pop - trust me!
The sashimi comes out beautifully presented with salmon, tuna and a little bonus of kingfish (I think because Val and Pete are such regulars). The salmon is beautifully melt in the mouth and the kingfish is so fresh. The tuna has a slightly mushy texture which I've had a few times and I'm not a huge fan of it but there's plenty of salmon to make up for it.
I didn't expect the wagyu beef tataki to come out like this but it comes out as 6 thin, chilled slices on a bed of salad. Usually beef tataki is presented as slices of beef but this is mostly salad with a bit of beef.
Our last dish is the chicken yakitori that comes in lots of two. When ordering it Valentina (who is Cypriot) calls it the Japanese souvlakia. "We invented it but you can call it yakitori," she says laughing. The chicken thigh is so tender and juicy alternated with pieces of spring onion and plenty of tare sauce brushed on top.
There's no dessert here but there is a Lebanese sweets shop called Sea Sweets across the road. The chocolate baklava is my favourite of the selection and if you find baklava too syrupy then you may enjoy the baklava here.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your beige flag? Do you usually arrive at dinner famished?
These meals were independently paid for.
Yukino Washoku Japanese Grill
Shop 3/352 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury NSW 2193
Hours: Monday closed
Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am–3:30 pm, 5–9:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday 12–3:30 pm, 5–9:30 pm
Phone: (02) 8068 4233