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).
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.
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.
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.