I’ve got a very special guest post for you guys this week. Meet Emma! We used to sell phones and teh internetz at a telecomm shop. We’re cool like that. Nowadays we both prefer writing about food to smiling through a stream of cusomter abuse.
Recently a work pal and myself broke a dirty force of habit, all thanks to the lure of a newish Japanese
haunt at Hamilton. Instead of saying that we should go out to dinner together and then end up ‘drinking’ the equivalent of entrée, dinner and dessert in a bevy of tasty cocktails we actually made a formal reservation with the new Japanese kid on the block, Hosokawa on Racecourse Rd.
Hailing from a suburban west side upbringing, even just mentioning I had dins at Racecourse Rd on a school night makes me cool by association. The idea was to have achieve the near impossible- go out for a midweek meal that’s tasty and yet healthy without having to run a half marathon at the gym the next day. After all, summer is menacingly close now!Japanese seemed the obvious answer.
We had both heard good reports from friends and family that had already tried the place which recently opened, so maybe we placed our expectations a little high. The décor was what you would expect from a casual Japanese restaurant, simple, clean and minimalist. Service was friendly and speedy, although admittedly we had booked the ‘senior’ timeslot of 6pm so we could go straight after work.
I have a penchant for good hearty Udon soups with big chunks of vegies and crazy mushrooms or fresh seafood, however the menu had little variety on this front, with half served as cold. I however was still enthusiastic with our choices: scallops wrapped in bacon (Hotate- $7 for 2 pieces), simmered vegetables (Yasai Nimono, $12), handmade fishcakes (Satsuma Age, $8) and grilled squid with teriyaki sauce (Ikayaki, $12).
The scallops and vegie dish were the first to hit our table and we eyed them off with gusto. The vegie dish was great, all sorts of interesting and tasty vegetables and types of tofu to expand on my rich mental catalogue of vegetables from other cultures I might never know the name to- delicious regardless, with my favourite part being the soft fluffy potato balls, all in a tasty sauce and cute bowl. The scallops wrapped in bacon were also delicious and succulent with a more natural flavour, however rather small in portion size
for the price.
The first two dishes were followed in quick succession by the squid (which I was particularly looking forward to) and fishcake, not to mention the obligatory must of miso soup. I had high hopes for the squid, it looked rather special when it arrived- and had I taken it on surface value alone it would have scored top points. However I was disappointed to be greeted with a chewy texture and sauce that tasted suspiciously
the same as my vegie dish in flavour and consistency. I wanted to like it, I really did. Maybe they had an apprentice chef on, maybe they had their favourite episodes of 2 and a half men playing as their distraction, but this particular dish missed the mark a bit. The fish cake was good, succulent but lacking in flavour or condiments, the miso…..well it was miso!
We pondered our eclectic feelings over a glass or three of reasonably priced bubbly, which is always a winner. I would definitely be interested to try some of their other dishes, especially ones that had enticed the good reports from our friends and their larger sushi selection ($8- $12 for two pieces, or $32 for a platter of 11 pieces). Perhaps a lunch date is in order…followed by a dessert cocktail at a new schmick looking joint back towards the city I eyed off on the drive home- some habits never die hard!
Shop 3/53 Racecourse Rd
(07) 3868 3762