If you’ve ever read the 50 or so reviews of Kansai on eatability, you’ll notice that they’re very varied. Many have said that they’ve had good experiences, many say they’ve had terrible. Lucky for me, every time we’ve been here, it’s been brilliant even though the food is often inconsistent- not so much in quality, but in what you actually get.
The dinner all-you-can-eat offer is $38 a head-which is about the most our family will ever spend on dinner (we usually come here for our birthdays). There’s also another option of $28 per head, which excludes the hot pot and sashimi boats, but it’s not as fun! They give you their usual menu and you can order whatever you want. Which is great because unlike buffets, you not have to get up (haha….we’re so lazy) and the food is also hot and freshly made!
The sashimi salad is great- it’s one of our favourties which we order everytime. You can’t really see in the picture, but they give a generous amount of sashimi with the vegetables- usually salmon, tuna and kingfish. But what makes this so good is the dressing- it’s a special japanese salad dressing which tastes slightly like soy sauce, only ten times better!
The sashimi salad is so good that we re-order it. The second one is much larger than the first- see what I mean about the inconsistency? haha. But it tasted the same…. which is all that matters =]
The gyozas are pretty good. Although you order from a menu, they let you choose how much you want of everything- we order 8 pieces for the four of us. They’re pretty good, and they all get eaten quickly (as they taste better when hot) but they’re not the best I’ve ever had.
The eels are delicious! Covered in the special terriyaki sauce, it tastes slightly different from the ones you buy from asian supermarkets- only better! You can order it with or without rice (personally, I think it tastes better with rice) but we order it without, since the hand rolls have plenty of rice in them already! And since this is an all you can eat- you don’t want to fill yourself up with too much rice!
Salmon Roe Sushi
I’d only ever had salmon roe once, and that was quite a while ago so I’d forgotten what it tasted like. These salmon eggs remind me of nemo….which makes me feel slightly bad eating them. When you bite into it, each egg quirts out the liquid inside, which tastes rather like salty water. We each take a bite and then leave the rest for my dad, the only one who likes these.
Soft Shell Crab Hand Roll
This is another one of our favourites at Kansai. The first time we ordered it, we were dissappointed in the size of the crab, compared to the amountof rice in the hand roll. But being freshly fried, the soft shell crab is very crispy and tastes great with the mayo and the rice. We leave the rest of the rice to eat with the eel!
Salmon and Avocado hand roll
My sister orders this- I’d much rather have the soft shell crab! Again, there is a large amount of rice compared to the amount of filling but my sister loves it!
This was the first time we ordered this, so we only ordered two pieces. It’s a good thing we did too- it looks nothing like what it did on the menu. Notice how one piece is like 5 times the size of the other? haha. The salmon is overcooked- it didn’t have the nice, soft texture you would expect of salmon- instead the texture is rather like that of chicken. The sauce is supposed to be teriyaki but just looking at the colour, it was obvious that it didn’t really taste like it. We were therefore, very dissappointed in the dish.
Prawn and Vegetable Tempura
The tempura is the best! Like the gyozas, you can specify how many pieces you want and you also have the choice of prawn and vegetable. The first time we ordered, we were wondering why they didn’t ask us WHAT vegetables we wanted but then it came and we realised that they don’t fry pieces of specific vegetables but vegetables all shredded and mixed together. And it tastes so good! Mainly because, apart from the normal vegetables like carrots, it has a LOT of onions (I’m an onion lover!) The prawn tempura is also good- if the vegetable tempura is already so good, what can go wrong with the prawns? The tempura is freshly fried and is therefore very crunchy, and comes with a tempura dipping sauce, which is like light soy sauce. Needless to say, we re-order this a lot of times.
We try a couple of the sushi- the more unusual ones of course. We order tobiko, after looking at it on the menu and wondering what it was (we asked the waiter) and then found out that it was the normal orange fish egg-like things. We also order the scampi, as I had no idea what it was (well my dad told me is was raw prawn and since I’d never tried it before I might as well try right?). It wasn’t as cold as it probably should have been (sashimi is supposed to be cold right?) and so it was kinda disturbing and scampi tastes really weird! It’s kinda like the texture of most sashimi only it’s a bit goo-ey. It wasn’t all that great. Lastly there was the…umm…kingfish? I don’t really remember (since I didn’t eat it!)
The first sashimi ‘boat’ we ordered was not actually a boat but a bridge…..
Today there are three types of sashimi- tuna, salmon and kingfish. Sure, it doesn’t look as pretty as other sashimi boats I’ve seen but as always the sashimi on the boat is fresh and cold (unlike the scampi…*shudder*) and tastes great! Once, we got a boat with only salmon and tuna though……
And then we order another one. And this time it was actually a boat!
For some reason, this boat was smaller than the first one (in terms of the number of pieces of sashimi)- we were sure we’d ordered large again! But oh well.
This is much more like teriyaki then the salmon was. The beef is nice and tender. It’s nice to have something diffferent, something not seafoody.
Lastly, there’s the seafood hot pot. It doesn’t look like much- the first time we came here, we didn’t order it because it seemed like a huge pot of udon noodles. Besides, eating everything else makes you too full to order a huge hot pot. But out of curiosity, we ordered one on another visit and it was so good, we order it everytime!
There are three choices of hot pot on the menu, seafood being the most expensive option. You get a choice of either a miso or chilli broth. Since us kids can’t really stand hot foods, we always go with the miso. What you get inside the hot pot really depends on the day- but there’s usually a couple of mussels, prawns, and a huge octopus which then shrinks to normal cooked octopus size after is cooked. It’s really cool to watch the octopus shrink! On this occasion, there was also soft shelled crab- but it seemed like so much of a waste as it didn’t taste all that great in soup. There’s always salmon fish heads underneath the udon, which make the broth taste seafoody (in a good way though). We usually drink a lot of the miso, instead of ordering miso soup. After eating a lot of sashimi, and other foods, it’s always nice to have something warm!
At $22.50 a head (normal price), just the hot pot and the two sashimi boats we ate before (normally $58 each) add up to more than what we pay for our bill!
Kansai Japanese Restaurant
Shop B1, 7 Hunter St
Phone (02) 9231 5544