Japanese cuisine, for the most part is about quality not quantity. At En Toriciya, you get both without burning a hole in your wallet.
En Toriciya is the sister restaurant to Toriciya, a local favourite hidden in the quiet streets of Cammeray. I was invited to sample the 8 course degustation ($60 pp), which is recommended for first time visitors.
The extravaganza starts with a Kingfish and Jalapeño Carpaccio. Small dabs of jalapeño puree add a burst of flavour to the thin slices of fresh fish.
Following the refreshing appetiser, we are served the Kasujiru Vegetable Soup. The soup is made from sake lees, the leftover yeast from producing sake. A few sips in and I can taste faint traces of alcohol, which adds some sharpness to the otherwise rich and creamy broth.
The Oven Baked Truffle Savoy Cabbage started out as a humble dish during staff meals and has now transformed into a signature dish.
Next up we have two types of chicken in the form of Yakitori. In the photo below, the skewers on the bottom are made from chicken tail (bonjiri) and leeks. While, the skewers on the top consist of chicken meatballs (tsukune). Both types of skewers are grilled over charcoal, which imparts an aromatic smokiness.
Heading back to seafood, we are served Popcorn Prawn garnished with flying fish roe (tobiko). This dish instantly reminds me of mayonnaise shrimp, a childhood favourite of mine, which I would always order at Chinese restaurants.
For mains, we have Charcoal Grilled Black Cod and Wagyu Steak. A dark char has developed on the black cod and provides a layer of texture to the oily fish, it also helps cut through the richness. Sitting on top a bed of sliced cucumbers, the wagyu steak is cooked medium rare and tastes divinely buttery.
By this point, I was well and truly full, ready to call it a night. But then Chef Fukada comes out of the kitchen, bearing a plate of sushi with Uni AND otoro. Suddenly my appetite returns. I dive straight into the otoro and my tastebuds are in heaven. The fattiness of the tuna melts instantly and coats the inside of my mouth with joy.
Green tea desserts at a Japanese restaurant is a given and En Toriciya serves up a Green Tea Creme Brûlée. The creme brûlée is fragrant and not overly sweet, a perfect way to end the feast.
Don’t be fooled by the wine glasses, sake is most definitely the drink of choice at En Toriciya. For an additional $20 per person, guests can experience a sake pairing with their degustation menu. During my dinner, there was an array of six sakes from all across Japan.
Despite the minor language barrier, staff are cordial and take the effort of describing each dish and the paired sake.
The wall of empty sake bottles, Japanese artworks and mood lighting mimics the atmosphere of a traditional izakaya, minus the drunken merriness one would find in Tokyo.
Provided you can get to Crows Nest, En Toriciya is a value for money Japanese joint that has a variety of cuisines and an extensive range of sake.
This review was based on an complimentary meal, thanks to Washoku Lovers.