Monday, January 17, 2005

Yutaka Japanese Restaurant

This place is definitely for the budget conscious who is not fussy over quality and taste. YangWoon and I headed to Yutaka for buffet lunch last week. It's A$12pp for adult with a 60 min limit or A$16pp for 90min. Definitely dirt cheap, considering the restaurant is in the city.

♥ tabeshimashita @ Yutaka Japanese Restaurant on 12 Jan 2004
The restaurant was already quite packed when we got there at around 12noon. We took a glance around and noticed most of the tables were either Chinese or Koreans. There were also quite a number of Australians but the Chinese and Koreans definitely outnumbered Japanese and Australians! There were many tables with kids too.

By 12.30pm, there was already a queue outside the restaurant. Lucky we got there just before the peak hour.

♥ sushi
We started off at the sushi bar. There were sushi of salmon roe, tuna salad, potato salad, seaweed and seafood salad.

Maki Zushi
♥ Maki-Zushi
Here they offered teriyaki chicken roll (right), seafood (?) and vegetables (left).

If you are looking for quality sushi, this will be disappointing. The seaweed sheets were soggy and soft. I found it hard to chew off. The fillings were alright. Rice was on the soft side and not so much vinegarette flavour. I dipped mine in lots of wasabi and soy sauce.

Salad Bar
♥ Salad Bar
Followed after sushi, we had some salad. Sorry about the bad photo here. A lady just came out of no where all of a sudden when I hit the button. I didn't manage to grab another better photo because the restaurant was packed. There were a lot of people waiting at the counter to be seated and the salad bar just happened to sit right next to the counter. I felt a little embarrassed about snapping photos in such a busy place. People were staring at me. *blush*

The salad bar offered cooked prawns, potato salad, edamame and mixed salad. Many came for the prawns and I saw many tables with mountains of empty plates of prawn shells.

Wakame Salad with goma dressing
♥ Seaweed Salad
I enjoyed the seaweed salad very much. This was actually on top of the mixed salad. I grabbed plates and plates of this with generous drizzle of goma (sesame) dressing. This was very refreshing and the dressing was flavourful.

I would love to make this at home. Anyone could help me out there? Please? Pretty please?

Miso Shiro
♥ Miso Shiro
Bowls were pre-filled with wakame (seaweed) and tofu cubes. All you have to do is scoop and pour the miso soup yourself.

Hot Food Bar
♥ Hot Food Bar
The hot food bar offered a numbers of popular Japanese dishes.

Top row from left to right: Oden, sweet corn, teriyaki chicken, spring roll and karaage chicken, steamed rice, and yaki soba.

Bottom row from left to right: agedashi tofu, tempura, teriyaki beef (I think), assorted deepfried stuff, Japanese curry, and fried rice.

Noodles & Gyoza
♥ Noodles and Gyoza
There were also noodles and gyoza. You could choose to have either hot or cold noodles. Hot noodle broth was just next to the pot of miso soup. There were two types of gyoza: yaki gyoza and shui gyoza. The gyoza had thick and floury wrappers with very little fillings.

Hiya Yakko
♥ Hiya Yakko
The tofu was very smooth and silky. I had plates after plates of this. Don't think I will ever get sick of eating this! I found the soy sauce too salty so I had the rest of this tofu with Japanese mayonnaise, BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of green onions and bonito flakes. No photos I am afraid. Time was running out and I had spent most of the first half photographing. So the second half of the hour

Hiyashi Soba
♥ Hiyashi Soba
This was YangWoon's. She had it cold and said it was alright. Nothing spectacular about it besides it's very easy to make at home!

Hiyashi Somen
♥ Hiyashi Somen
I had the somen (very thin noodles) instead. I agreed with YangWoon. It was nothing spectacular. Just something very normal.

Desserts Bar
♥ Fruits and Desserts
After a few rounds of the savouries, we headed back to the salad bar. On the left of the salad bar were fruits and some cakes.

Frozen Cake
♥ Cake
YangWoon had the cake before me. She gave me a strange look after her first bite. Then took another bite.

YangWoon: what is this?
pinkcocoa: isn't it coffee cake?
YangWoon: no, I mean is this cake?
pinkcocoa: huh? It's cake of course. It looks like cake.
YangWoon: but's frozen!

♥ Fruits
I guess fruits were a better choice!

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♥ Snacks
This is definitely a kids section. I saw a lot of kids enjoying all these snacks and not have any of the savouries.

If you are after quantity, head to Yutaka for lunch. My guess is most food came from those heat-and-eat frozen pack or ready to eat packs. Just look at the frozen cake, you'll know what I mean. But I guess I can't complain much since it's so cheap! The restaurant is also very popular with students.

Yutaka also serves dinner but it's much pricier. Their dinner buffet is A$30pp but offers a much greater variety: fresh oyster, mussel, grilled eels and assorted sashimi.

♥ Yutaka Japanese Restaurant
125-129 Bathurst Street
Sydney NSW 2000
tel. 02 9264 3700
mon - thur 11am-3pm & 5-10.30pm
fri & sat 11am-3.30pm & 5-11pm

Dinner Buffet:
A$30pp (mon-thur)
A$32pp (fri, sat & public holiday)
A$20pp 7-10yo
A$10pp 2-6yo

Lunch Buffet:
A$12pp (mon-fri) 60min limit
A$16pp (fri, sat & public holiday) 90min limit
A$10pp 7-10yo
A$8pp 2-6yo