Judging from the number of posts about Japanese restaurants on this blog, you can safely guess that I love Japanese food. Having lots of cheap and cheerful places that serve fresh and tasty Japanese food around my area is a bonus. Sushi Samurai is one of those places that we go to frequently and we’ve never been disappointed.
The cream croquettes and miso eggplant are dishes off the normal menu that we order pretty much every time we go. The croquettes are filled with a creamy, potato-like filling that is supposedly crab flavour, but my favourite part is the crunchy exterior that are deep fried to a crisp. And who doesn’t like miso eggplant? The eggplant is deep fried until the insides are soft and creamy, and a sweet miso paste is slathered on top for flavour. A few sprinklings of sesame seeds later and we’re digging in to cubes of soft, sweet eggplant which are thoughtfully pre-cut for convenience.
There is also a specials menu which changes daily. We try the tempura dumplings and baked scallops from the menu which are quite generous servings. The crispy tempura dumplings have a pork and vegetable filling, and are drizzled with soy and Japanese mayonnaise. The scallops are served in the half shell, and baked with a miso mayonnaise.
The sushi and sashimi is also great, and with a large group we tend to go for the large sashimi platters and sushi rolls which are pretty good bang for buck. The sashimi party platter is for 4-6 people and has salmon, tuna, kingfish, scampi, scallop, cuttlefish and some salmon roe as well. The rolls are simple but delicious and perfect for filling up stomach space if you’re still hungry.
Sushi Samurai has recently introduced a sushi buffet menu option which is $24.80 for the basic all you can eat sushi menu. There is also a deluxe menu which is a bit more expensive at $29.80pp but allows you to order from a larger menu including other non-sushi items. My ears immediately pricked up at the words ‘sushi buffet’ so Sir D and I went to try it out.
The menu includes a choice of two set starter plates which must be finished before ordering more sushi. Both of the starter plates also include agedashi tofu and miso soup.
Sir D goes for starter plate B which includes a salmon avocado roll, cooked tuna avocado roll, salmon cucumber roll, salmon aburi nigiri, tuna and prawn nigiri and a couple of pieces of karaage chicken.
I order starter plate A which has a number of assorted nigiri including salmon, tuna, kingfish, scallop, egg and prawn, as well as a sea urchin and salmon roe sushi. There are 2 pieces of karaage and 2 pieces of salmon cucumber roll on starter plate A too. The rice is a little bit packed in for both of the plates so we’re a tiny bit full by the time we get around to ordering from the sushi buffet.
There is a pretty good range when it comes to ordering additional sushi, with the usual salmon, tuna, kingfish, scallop, sanma (mackerel), prawn, squid and egg. There is also salmon, scallop and kingfish aburi which is deliciously smokey and we order a whole lot of these. Some of the options are limited for the basic buffet menu – you can only order 2 pieces of scampi, sea urchin and salmon roe per person. There’s also several rolls like salmon avocado, chicken avocado, cooked tuna and avocado and california. We end up eating around another 3-4 plates of sushi (mostly aburi) and we’re absolutely stuffed by the end.
But, for those of you who still have room for dessert, one of my favourite desserts at Sushi Samurai is the green tea tiramisu. It can be ordered on its own or as part of the dessert platter, which also includes a melting chocolate cake (which sadly wasn’t melty at all) and a scoop of ice cream (green tea, vanilla or mango). The green tea tiramisu has light-as-air layers of green tea sponge and green tea flavoured cream. A heartier dessert is the zenzai which has glutinous rice balls (mochi) in a red bean soup, with a scoop of ice cream on top.
The sushi buffet is available at both Sushi Samurai in Pyrmont and Neutral Bay. The whole table must participate in the same menu (either the basic sushi buffet course or the deluxe course). In both courses you must finish the starter plates before ordering more dishes and there is a 90 minute time limit starting from the first order of the starter plates. We found that the waitresses were prompt in taking our order, and the food came out quite quickly so we were full before the 90 minutes were up. I would recommend booking a table because the restaurant can fill up quite quickly, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Shop 5/197 Military Rd
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Ph: +61 2 9953 4059
Open 7 days from noon-3pm and 5.30pm-10pm