|Final preparations just before lunch hour.|
Yamato - the name usually refers to an ancient reference for Japan up to the 8th century AD, but it also specifically indicates a province in Nara Perfecture in Honshu Island. The Nippon script for this name is a combination of characters meaning great and harmony. The Yamato Izakaya in the heart of Sydney CBD is an oasis huddled away amidst the teeming streets of Koreatown, a corporate banking building and looking out into a modest plaza. Guests are greeted enthusiastically and with a verbal fanfare. The ingredients utilised are fresh, the pricing is value and the service is friendly and responsive. On Thursdays and Fridays, complimentary wine and ice cream is provided. The ambiance is cool and away from the stark Sydney sunlight, but seating can be filled up quickly during popular days.
|Getting into a summer's day.|
Yamato serves cod, soft shell crab, salmon and scallops - and what I love best is their sushi bento, as opposed to deep fried tempura. The servings are generous especially for an office workday lunch. The restaurant is also accessible to Town Hall Station by cutting across the lobby of the ANZ Tower. The menu can be viewed as less than some other competitors but I reckon sufficient. The restaurant caters for large groups or twosomes. A get together group I have met up for over twenty years, City Lunch Australia, recently met up there and we were allowed to be ourselves in the middle of a busy business day. The interior has a wood rustic feel and there is also a private function dining area at the back. Basics like donburi and teppanyaki are also available, together with cocktails for those who are not really into alcohol with their meal.
|The gathering and meal gets going. Photo credit - Ms Zoe Yu.|
Go to any large city around the world and you are bound to find a Japanese restaurant by the same name. In Sydney the place is casual, the gyoza is good but there seems to be an eclectic menu rather than one with a specialised provincial style of cuisine. There is more of a bistro feel here rather than a pub but it is a delightful place to try if one needs to be introduced to the spectrum of Japanese cuisine. They even provided a spoon for the miso soup!
|Closure to a meal - a dollop of green tea flavoured ice cream, still with the ice from freezing.|
|My fav at Yamato Sydney - the sushi bento.|