Erashai, Ultimo

Erashai is a cas­u­al Japanese res­taur­ant on Broadway mid-way between UTS and USyd. I’ve walked past it count­less times on my way to Little Devil Cakes & Bakery in Glebe for banh mi thit, but nev­er registered it as some­where I’d vis­it — I’d assumed it was run by Koreans mas­quer­ad­ing behind a Japanese name. Turns out, it’s legit­im­ately Japanese without a speck of kim­chi on the menu and serves sake impor­ted from Japan in all its won­der­ful fla­vours, like yuzu (and sak­ura and plum etc).

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It’s a cozy place and fills up through lunch. The menu has all your staples — sushi, sashimi, udon, don­buri, cur­ries — with the excep­tion of ramen. In true Japanese fash­ion, they have these super cute dishes aimed at kids. I’d have been keen to order them for kicks if I weren’t there with colleagues.

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Instead, I go for the Kaisen Don ($13.50) with cubes of tamagoy­aki (Japanese egg omlette), cucum­ber, and crit­ic­ally, sal­mon and tuna, on a bed of sushi rice and a sprinkle of ses­ame seeds.

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The cucum­ber and tamagoy­aki were enjoy­able addi­tions to the kais­en don that I’m used to from Ramen Kan. The tamagoy­aki added sweet­ness with a firmer soft­ness than the raw fish, while the cucum­ber added a sat­is­fy­ing crunch and the ses­ame seeds gave a pleas­ant toasty fla­vour. That said, I’d have enjoyed a more gen­er­ous serving of fish.

Erashai is indeed a cas­u­al res­taur­ant that serves up a decent and authen­t­ic Japanese food at afford­able prices. It’s not some­where I’d rave about or even intro­duce to oth­er people, but it’s some­where I’d go back to for a quick fix.

Erashai is at 169 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007.