Dredging through all the email in my inbox the other day I stumbled across one that I thought had sneaked past my usually reliable spam filter. The filter hadn't blocked the picture contained in the email, which it usually does if there's a chance of virus or trojan, but it still looked like spam mail to me. Unlike the usual spam mail I've grown accustomed to, this one didn't try to convince me that I needed a replica rolex, or to last longer in bed. What it did offer was something that most certainly was too good to be real. As much as my common sense said to steer clear, it hit me in my weak spot. It was suggesting cheap, quality food so I had to investigate further.
The picture in the email was a little cartoon sketch of a caterpillar, a dragon, a stick of dynamite, and a spider ordering sushi from a sumo. The location was a reputable place, well known to many in Sydney so I booked a table for lunch with a few work colleagues. I figured if the email wasn't true, I would end up paying a heck of a lot more for lunch, but at least I could cross the restaurant off my 'things to do before I die' list.
We arrived at King Street Wharf 5 minutes before our booking and were promptly shown to a table. On the cab ride to the restaurant, I practiced and practiced the secret handshake which would show the maitre d' I was one of the privileged few that knew of this secret deal. The handshake didn't seem to work, and plan B which was a slight inclination of my head followed by a slow wink was only acknowledge with a quizzical look. Plan C was to sheepishly pull out a copy of the email to show the maitre d' that I wasn't just making this up, but fortunately I didn't have to go that far. When we were seated, there was a nicely bound menu on the table that read wonderfully like the email I had scrunched up in my pocket.
It read: Kobe Jones All you can eat sushi. $25 Lunch Mon-Fri.
It's like Christmas in July, and as we sit back and wait for the feed, we are able to soak in the view, giddy with anticipation. Although a little cluttered, it's still an harbour view and it's a glorious winter day.
We perused the extensive drinks list and hoped that the sun would set unusually early so that we could try some of their tempting cocktails, but alas it was only midday and there was still work to get back to afterwards. Another temptation was the $940 bottle of 1988 Penfolds Grange Hermitage but after much debate it was decided that it didn't go with the theme of the day. (Hopefully next time, save me a bottle Kobe!). In the end it was a round of still water (impressively at no charge) and a couple of sparkling minerals ($8 a bottle).
The food arrives promptly and it's all that we could hope for and more. I swipe savagely at eager hands with my wooden chopsticks, delaying the inevitable demolishing of the plate just long enough to grab a quick photo.
So let's try to break this down:
The salmon, kingfish and tuna Nigiri was soft and velvety, wonderfully fresh and served at a perfect room temperature. Next up was the Dragon roll, a combination of tempura prawn and crab salad, topped with a sliver of avocado. The Caterpillar contains my favourite unagi and is simply delectable.
Dynamite rolls were made up of salmon today and induced with fiery sauce. The Spider Rolls (soft shell crab) seemed to be all crunchy legs and lacking the crab flavour but the winner of the day had to be the Volcano roll. Oven baked scallops in an amazing creamy sauce, this sucker couldn't be simply contained in a roll, it needed a porcelain fortress to contain all the goodness.
For the vegetarian who sacrifices for his beliefs, there was a vegetarian bento box for $30. It comes out as a three course meal, the first course being sake. Yes I consider the sake a entree, look at it. It's was about four shots of hot liquid. Comments on the bento box were not particularly favourable, but there's only so much you can do about flavour without meat. Plus the dessert of pannacotta more than made up for any short comings of the main.
So this is the end of an epic lunch. The whole event took 2 hours so if you are going, be sure to have a good excuse ready to give the boss when you get back to work.