Sakura Sushi, Corrimal Street - Wollongong CBD
Very compact, this sushi delight is run by a young crowd from China, but they do a good job in recreating the small bar atmosphere beside a narrow lane as one can recall when going off the main path in most Japanese cities and villages. The town this time is Wollongong CBD, off the beaten track along the food strip that is Corrimal Street. There must be only like seven tables but every time Wills organises for me to go join him there, the tables are quickly filled up by twenty somethings and a m ostly non-Asian cohort. Wills and I love the sake there, maybe more of Wills but I find this relaxing and get into a mellow mood by the time the meals come - especially when Howard joins us as well.
There are perhaps two main menu options at Sakura Sushi - the hot stuff and the cold raw cuts of seafood.
I love both, and although I have patronised this place several times, I did not try the piping hot udon noodle soup until during my most recent visit. They do not have ramen but the udon was tasty and warming on a rather unexpected cold evening in Wollongong CBD. I appreciated the quality of this stock offered. Howard and Wills called for the beef and tofu combination in a hot pot (picture below).
The sushi platter had a fresh oomph on the palate, with generous tender moist cuts of tuna, salmon, cucumber, all ready to be savoured with a choice of mayonnaise, soya sauce and the hot green stuff that can only be taken in tiny bits and dissolved first - the wasabi. Always accompanied by vinegared rice shari, sushi does come in many forms now, especially when exported in practice away from Japan - I like the California rolls, mango rolls and spicy shrimp rolls, although my favourites remain the Unagi (or teriyaki roasted freshwater eel), the Ikura Gunkan-Maki (sea urchin eggs) and the Toro (fatty tuna belly). Such selections can also be best accompanied by ocha or green tea. In Sukara Sushi, there is no kaiten zushi or sushi train, but servings come on flat wooden boards that also add character, presentation and style. My group of three later adjourned to the nearby Bars on Legs, opened a few months now up a staircase nearby Samara's and opposite the road from the Harp Hotel.