October 7, 2012 by eatfreak
A spur-of-the-moment decision to venture out of the Eastern Suburbs (*gasp*) and wander Newtown’s eclectic King Street led us to Hikaru Japanese. Hikaru is a small non-descript courtyard restaurant, very no-frills, and I’m guessing it hasn’t seen a lick of paint since the 80s. That’s actually putting it politely. The place looks like it’s falling apart, but it adds to the charm, – I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s the most unassuming places that produce the best goods.
Despite appearances, Hikaru receives rave reviews on and offline with a girlfriend urging me to try it for sometime now. Finally, we were here.
The lunch menu is more limited than the dinner menu, however has some really good bento boxes and combinations so you can have a bit of everything. Rather than going with a set menu, darling eatfreak and I decide to share a combination of dishes. Trying to be ‘healthy’, my only regret is not ordering the gyoza.
Firstly, the chicken karaage don was a solid dish, although some pieces of chicken needed to be crispier. We noticed that the rice wasn’t as sticky as we are used to at other Japanese establishments, although that’s not a complaint, merely an observation.
The teriyaki salmon don was a top pick and I wish there could have been one more salmon piece on the plate! A nice smoky taste to the salmon, which was perfectly cooked, crispy edges and the fish flaked apart. For $8.80, three bits of salmon is probably a pretty reasonable serve and it’s a pretty satisfying lunch option – but I will ask if I can pay more for extra salmon next time!
It was a fairly long wait for the large sushi plate and it arrived some time after we finished the rice dishes. Consisting tuna, salmon, king fish, inari, prawn and sushi roles. The sushi was good but not outstanding. Strangely, Hikaru had run out of fresh tuna so we just doubled up on the prawn sushi. I quite enjoyed the prawn sushi and the small tuna sushi rolls. As an observation, I do find cucumber sushi such a waste of space!
Return factor? Hikaru is the epitome of cheap and cheerful, which tends to be my modus operandi, so I think it’s safe to say we would be back. Service was decent without being overly-memorable. The place is BYO, which makes it an attractive dinner option, and apparently the salmon chip entrée is awesome (quoting directly from the friend here).