Looking at the comprehensive list of Japanese restaurants that Neutral Bay has to offer, it was just too hard to pick one. In the end, we settled for Totoya upon being assured by Ken's statement: "The chef of Azuma is a regulars at Totoya"
It was a tiny farewell dinner with a very special friend with whom I have bonded greatly ever since the first day we met four years ago. I could still vividly remember our first ever conversation:
friend: what's your name?
friend: where are you from?
friend: where's that?
pinkcocoa: near Malaysia
friend: so you are a Malaysian?
pinkcocoa: no. I am a Bruneian
This one-way conversation continued on for a while before I started to talk back. Yeah, I am the type who would give a sharp cold stare when approached by a stranger. Not the friendly type, I am afraid.
♥ tabemashita @ Totoya, Neutral Bay on 9 dec 2004
♥ Enoki Mushroom in Butter Sauce A$8
This dish was from the special menu. It arrived on a hot sizzling plate with thin pork slices at the bottom topped with a generous portion of enoki mushroom and green onions in a buttery sauce. The buttery flavour is rather intense in this dish yet it is not overly oily.
It would have tasted more appetising if we had sprinkle lemon juice over but this humble slice of lemon served other purpose. ;-)
♥ Grilled Salmon marinated in Sake Miso A$10
This is another item from the special menu. It comes with paper-thin pickled daikon (bottom right). The salmon is nicely flavoured and seasoned with a strong distinctive sake taste. The tangy pickled daikon is a perfect balancing condiment to the saltish salmon.
♥ Udonsuki A$28pp (min. order 2 person)
We ordered udonsuki for two. We were thoroughly surprised by the volume of the ingredients. The portion was so huge that we had to cook the food in four batches. The soup has a tid bit of sour zap in it. A little strange at first but quite nice once you start slurping udonwhich was chewy yet soft on the teeth (what Chinese called 'Q').
♥ the gigantic udonsuki ingredients for two!
This is how much stuff you get from a two person udonsuki. We couldn't finish the whole portion even though there were four of us altogether.
The udonsuki contains the best from the sea and land! There were at least 5 different types of fish, prawns, squids, octopus, pippies, oysters (this is where our humble piece of lemon comes useful. The oyster were devoured raw with a squeeze of lemon!), well-seasoned chicken thighs, spring onions, chinese cabbage, beansprouts, silken beancurd, slices of bamboo shoots, some other greens, konyak and of course udon!
♥ Chef's 5 pieces Yakimono Selection A$11
Finally came the famous fare of Totoya: yakimono, grilled food on skewers. Yakimono occupies two full pages of Totoya's menu. There were just too much to choose from. Being lazy, we ordered the 5 pieces yakimono selection (chef's selection). There were also 10 pieces selection.
From top to bottom are chicken giblets, beef tongue, meatball, chicken thigh and porkbelly. The yakimono were truly delightful. It's something about the sweet savoury taste of the sauce that makes people craves for more. Now we clearly see why the chef of Azuma is frequently spotted here. Totoya's yakimono is just delish!
It got a little sad at the end of the day. This is inevitable when you have to say goodbye to someone important in your life. Worse when you don't know when's the next time you are going to see each other.
See you in three-five-seven-year, my (not by blood) twin sister! *muaks*
♥ Totoya Japanese Restaurant
Shop 13, 166-174 Military Road
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ph. (02)9908 7045
Lunch Sat - Sun
Dinner Mon - Sun
*Totoya opens til midnight from monday to saturday. Now you know where to grab yummilicious Japanese late-night snack!