As any self-respecting, Sydney-dwelling, Japanese connoisseur would know, Neutral Bay on Sydney’s Lower North Shore boasts an array of restaurants offering some of the best Japanese Sydney has on offer. Shake up your usual Tuesday night sushi train routine by subbing in one of these tried-and-tested restaurants, you won’t be disappointed.
An unwavering reputation as one of the Lower North Shore’s best Japanese restaurants, Kyushu is forever packed with families lured back by their offering of people’s favourites at reasonable prices. The teriyaki beef ($18.60) is always a hit and it’s impossible to go past the crunch of a prawn tempura ($18.50) especially when teamed with a crisp Japanese beer. Fresh kingfish or salmon sashimi ($12.80) is served up on a bed of ice and the beef tataki ($11.50) served with garlic, ginger, chopped shallots and ponzu sauce is the starter not to miss.
9-11 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay
Elegantly chic Jugemu & Shimbashi sets itself apart with an offering of both the Jugemu Teppanyaki style of cooking and Shimbashi hand-made soba. You can choose to dine in either the vibrant modern space of the jugemu style or the calmer atmosphere of shimbashi with regular and traditional sunken tables. While the menus are separate, you are free to order from either, meaning you can team duck and mushroom soba noodles ($23) with Japanese Teppan-Yaki scallops in garlic butter and wasabi mayo ($16). We’d also be loath to miss out on one of the savoury pancakes with wagyu beef slices, shallots and garlic chips ($20).
246 Military Road, Neutral Bay
A compact little restaurant priding themselves on fresh seafood and high-grade wagyu cuts, Tobikiri is the place to head for a fuss-free feed. Pan fried pork gyoza ($6.50) will keep the tummy rumbles at bay while you wait for a luscious serving of chilled silken tofu ($5) or the Kara-age chicken ($8.50). The Dengaku eggplant ($9) is the perfect preamble to a large soft shell carb roll ($15) or a spicy pork bento box ($23). Japanese beer and several sakes are also on offer, ideal for washing down that gyoza.
4/48 Yeo Street, Neutral Bay
Sushi Studio Japanese Restaurant
Delicious, affordable Japanese dishes with a generous range of sushi and sashimi, with seafood bought fresh from the markets daily. The inside out spider rolls with deep fried soft shell crab, avocado, lettuce and mayonnaise ($13.50) are a popular favourite, and it’s hard to go past such a perfectly executed pan fried ginger beef in a light soy sauce ($18). The sautéed wagyu beef roll with shallot and teriyaki sauce ($20.50) is utterly moreish and a side of tofu salad ($10.50) brings a little balance to the meal.
75 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, Izakaya Samurai draws huge crowds in need of a delicious (and efficient) lunch or dinner. The booth seating and table top tablets provided for speedy ordering makes the experience somewhat of a novelty. The Samurai seafood salad ($12.50) will give you a clear understanding of the venue’s focus on high quality seafood, while the prawn tempura udon noodle ($13.80) will ensure you don’t leave hungry. If you’re worried about keeping the kids’ hands off the tablet menus, the kids play area is the perfect distraction.
5/197 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Kintaro Sushi & Ramen Izakaya
Inexpensive fare and simple, authentic dishes are the cornerstone of this Neutral Bay restaurant on Young Street. The kingfish with jalapeno and yuzu soy ($15) or chilli and garlic edamame ($9) will ease you into a heavenly chicken katsu ($18) or the raved about wagyu teriyaki beef ($19.80). The chilli miso pork nabé hot pot with noodles ($26) will fill even the most voracious eaters. If their selection of wine doesn’t satisfy, fear not, Kintaro doesn’t charge corkage for BYO and be prepared to compete with throngs of hopeful diners if you arrive between 6.30 and 7.30pm.
19 Young Street, Neutral Bay
Serving Osaka style sushi Hako, where sushi rice, fish, egg, prawn and other ingredients are pressed in a wooden box to create squares of delicious, fresh sushi. Komaru also serves a mean aburi chirashi – a style of sushi where a variety of toppings and king fish are placed on top of sushi rice in a bowl ($20). The oyako udon with chicken and egg soup ($12) will sort you out on a chilly night, while a sashimi salad ($10) is the only way to dine on a steamy evening.
222 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Garlic Teppanyaki House
The cosy little venue in Neutral Bay’s Big Bear shopping centre is a favourite with the locals for its quality food and entertaining Teppanyaki flair. While the flamboyant chefs are happy to serve up sashimi ($15) and tempura seafood ($16.50), the real fun starts with the Teppanyaki a la carte; scallops, prawns, salmon, lamb cutlets and tenderloin steak are all available to be tossed on the grill before your eyes. You’d be mad to leave without trying one of the lemon, sugar and ice cream pancakes for just $5.50.
17/116 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Serving up Japanese classics with a twist, if you’ve had your fill of sushi train over the past month the dishes at Tamagetaya will renew your love for the Asian cuisine.
Kick things off with a couple of cheesy Mentai gyoza ($8.80) and BBQ eel, ($14.80) followed up with chicken breast cutlet on egg ($13.80) in a gleaming ladle-like dish. The meal wouldn’t be complete without a popcorn roll ($6.80) and a healthy serve of green tea ice cream ($3.80).
5/197 Military Road, Neutral Bay
Tanpopo devotees credit their obsession to the Tonotsku (pork bone) ramen, a thick broth made by boiling the bone for more than eight hours over open flame. Their signature ramen ranges from $12.50 to $16.50 for the Cha-Shu ramen with marinated pork belly. A tidy serve of the nasu dengaku – eggplant smeared with sweet miso paste ($8) goes down a treat, and not to be sycophantic, but the Tanpopo volcano roll ($13) is heavenly. Dessert-wise, at only $3 a scoop the black sesame ice cream deserves both your attention and affection.
3/81 Military Road, Neutral Bay