Except in this case, where we went to a Japanese-style barbeque joint. And (vegetarians, beware!) the photos are pretty much all of raw meat! In this instance you are not visiting a place for their cooking skills, although there are of course cooked items on the menu to be enjoyed, but rather the quality of the produce, the marinades and sauces used, and the service.
The pork neck (pictured above, top left) has an excellent ratio of meat to fat with the fat crisping up to a bouncy sort of crunchiness when cooked, but without any greasiness. The scallops (top right) require some seasoning but I do like how they come with the roe attached. Mushrooms (bottom left, foreground) are expensive at $3.80 for only 4 of the little guys, but the ox tongue are thinly-sliced and grill up to be crispy. The ‘Wagyu short rib’ (bottom right, foreground) is tasty from the soy marinade and tastes like beef jerky once cooked, whereas the ‘LA short rib’ is meatier in flavour being attached to small pieces of bone and mildly sweet from the use of honey. ‘Miso Chicken’ (unpictured) is sadly a little lacking in miso flavour.
Butter corn (unpictured) is well seasoned and provides some crunchy relief in amongst all our meat. As does the tofu seaweed salad which awakens the senses with a rather tart dressing! Mistress and Monsieur Poisson share the yukke which they report as being creamy and rich (and not frozen, heh), whilst I sit to one side and watch their consumption of raw meat.
Things which will impress you about this place are the fact that coals are used for the cooking process, resulting in a most smoky flavour, but there is no need to dread that clinging post-barbeque burnt stench because their downward-adjustable exhaust fans are most effective.
For me, it also proved to be a relaxed à la carte experience versus the somewhat rushed feeling of all-you-can-eat versions with time limits. And with getting older and not being able to consume as vast amounts of food (Damn you, slowly metabolism!), this is much kinder to the stomach. Make sure you make a reservation though, as it is cosy and seating is limited.
7A Falcon St, Crows Nest NSW
Tel: (02) 9906 7393
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch)