Cnr Argyle and Harrington Streets
The Rocks NSW 2000
(02) 9252 2431
Dinner for 2: We had tuna sashimi, prawn tempura, deep fried oysters, agedashi tofu, seaweed salad, chawanmushi and pink rock salt wagyu.
Verdict: Delicious Japanese food in a serene dining environment.
Shiki is the “longest established Japanese restaurant in Sydney” according to the restaurant’s website, and celebrates 27 years in 2011. It’s been part of The Rocks’ landscape for so long now that perhaps future customers overlook it in favour of more recently hyped restaurants, such as the relatively new “Sake” across the road. Having never dined at Sake, I can’t draw a comparison, but Shiki serves reliably delicious traditional Japanese fare each time I have been here, and this night is no exception.
We don’t have a booking but it’s a sleepy Sunday evening and we are promptly shown to a table (prime position by the window – score!). We make our order, and the service is excellent (accommodating my request for just 4 pieces of tuna sashimi as my dining companion does not eat raw fish – the usual serving size is 12 pieces). The tuna sashimi is fresh and I savour the smooth texture, the perfect beginning to our Japanese dining experience. The prawn tempura is excellently done – the batter so light and crisp, with a juicy plump prawn inside. The agedashi tofu is silken and delicious, served with a sweet broth and mushrooms. Seaweed salad is one of my staple orders in any Japanese restaurant, and this one meets my hungry expectations. The same applies to chawanmushi – I love the creamy texture and lovely flavours. The only dish I probably would not order again is the deep fried oysters – they are a lovely deep-fried brown, and an experimental order; I prefer oysters fresh with just a squeeze of lemon.
The most exciting thing we’ve ordered is the wagyu short rib, which is to be grilled at our table on a natural “gan-en” pink rock salt plate. Hubby cooks the meat just right and we indulge in the moist, fatty mouthfuls of scrumptious wagyu. This is certainly the climax of our food story tonight. We end with green tea ice-cream and leave with our tummies full and happy.