Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Ainoya, Kirribilli

Ainoya's Noren

A friend sent an sms one day asking whether I'm interested in trying out a supposedly good Japanese restaurant across the bridge. I'm all up for trying out new places, so I'm in along with a few others that simply just loves Japanese foods.

Sake Stand ; Lantern ; Slippers & Shoes ; Green Tea

There are 2 sitting options at Ainoya, the more traditional (or not so traditional) sunken tatami style area or the western tables and chairs. There's also a more private dining area located at the back with tables and chairs.
We were seated in the tatami area, where we of course have to take off our shoes. They have also prepared some slippers for ease of use when there is a need to go to the restrooms :)

We were advised that as the foods will not come out of the kitchen at the same time and in order, it is best to order foods to share.
We opted not to do as advised because one of us is pregnant so raw foods are a big no no for her :)
So we end up ordering our dishes individually, which turned out to be alright actually. Even though the foods came out at different times, we didn't have to wait too long for the other dishes to arrive. Except for the wagyu steak that they forgot and we had to prompt them for it.

Grilled Scallops w/ Soy Butter

There are 4 scallops served on their shell per serving. The smell of the soy butter was really good and they did get the tick of approval from the friends who had them.

Kamo Tataki

The grilled duck breast served with ponzu sauce was disappointing. There was not much flavour in the meat and it was quite chewy. Perhaps it would have been better if the slices were thinner.

Aburi Sushi Platter - Medium

There are 3 sizes available for the aburi sushi platter, me and my cousin ordered the medium platter to share. We had salmon, scallop, kingfish and tuna aburi sushi on the plate, 2 of each. $24 for 8 pieces of sushi may not be cheapest, but they are the best aburi sushi I've ever tasted in Sydney !
They were brushed with a sweet sauce and then lightly grilled. The flavours were amazing, the freshness of the seafood were undoubtable, sweet with smoky aroma.
We should have ordered the larger platter as we were craving for more after the last piece.

Tempura Scallop Maki
Tempura Scallop, Cucumber & Mayo

We also ordered a tempura scallop maki to share and like all of their sushi rolls, you can order them as hand roll instead. We were quite pleasantly surprised with this dish as well, the scallop tempura was prepared perfectly, not over cooked at all. The flavour of the scallop was still the star even though there are other ingredients in the rolls. This tempura roll is also a must order if you dine at Ainoya.

Teriyaki Chicken

The teriyaki chicken, though nicely caramelised and delicious, was ordinary according to my friend.

Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki

The wagyu beef sukiyaki on the other hand got the tick of approval ! The portion size was quite big, probably can be shared between 2 people.

Wagyu Tri-Tip Steak Fillet

The steak that was the last to arrive because they forgot about it :P
It was served with wafuu sauce (soy sauce and ponzu blend) and some nicely arranged steamed vegetables. 
I didn't try this as I was quite full by then , but it did looked quite dry and slightly overcooked. 
My friend was not complaining though, either he was too hungry to care or perhaps the steak were good.

So, is it as good as we have heard ? The sushi are definitely very good, one of the best places in Sydney in my opinion.
There seems to be hit and misses with their other dishes, delicious but nothing out of the ordinary.

I'm planning another return just to have more of their aburi sushi and try out their other sushi rolls :)

Tunnel ; Ainoya's Lantern

Ainoya Japanese on Urbanspoon


  1. take me with you to try the aburi sushiiiiiii =p

  2. i shall take you !!! when you are out of your cast maybe ahahah...