I had received an email from Daniel, one of the owners of Shiro Izakaya inviting us to go try out their new Japanese restaurant in November via Urbanspoon but hadn’t seen the message until the Christmas break. So earlier this week we went for an early dinner after work to see what Shiro had to offer.
Shiro is nicely decked out with modern décor with pop music playing in the background…the chairs are comfy and the outlook is nice.
What I like is that there are benches looking out to central park which is great if you’ve just finished work and want to grab a bite to eat on your own and not feel uncomfortable sitting alone amongst all the other diners.
Shiro opened October 27 and has been testing out their menu by offering diners different items on their specials menu every day to see what they should include on their official menu.
I tried my first saki tonight…burger boy & I actually shared the small as we didn’t know if we’d like it…
The uragasumi saki was great that it didn’t make my face go red like other alcohol (the alcohol preservative remover I use only works for wine & champagne) and it tasted ok. I was intrigued by the sake cocktails so I may have to try one next time as I don’t mind the taste although I can’t see either of us becoming regular sake drinkers 😉
Whilst we were deciding on what to order…Daniel brought out broad beans and green tea salt for us to snack on – I found the green tea salt quite intriguing as I hadn’t heard or tasted it before Shiro! I went through half of the bowl.
We thought we’d be different tonight and add a cold dish to the mix. We initially ordered the namban tsuke (cold fish tempura) as recommended by our host but after we ordered all our hot dishes and when Daniel asked if we were big eaters based on what we had ordered…the cold fish tempura was the first to go.
To start with we had the seafood yakitori skewers. The teriyaki sauce was delicious – sweet and sticky just the way I like. The salmon was one of my highlights, it soaked up the flavours of the teriyaki sauce amazingly and was super tender yet well cooked through. I could have just had a skewer full of salmon! The prawns and mussels were also tasty but the scallops were a bit chewy / bitter – Daniel tells us that the scallops will be taken off the menu and there won’t be mixed seafood skewers on the final menu as the cooking time of different seafood varies which makes it hard to cook perfect everything on the skewer.
After all the pork and meat we had over Christmas, I really thought I was over pork belly but Shiro changed that for me tonight. The pork belly was slightly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. And again the sauce was a winner – the caramelised miso was out of this world! There were 9 pieces of pork belly ($28) on this dish – we were very happy with the portion. The pickled cabbage on the side was tasty too.
I was keen on trying the tooth fish but Daniel said his personal favourite was the snapper so we tried that instead – can’t go against the recommendation of the owner right? The grilled snapper ($33) was served with bok choy, puree pumpkin, roasted vegetables and a side mix of avocado, corn & half a cherry tomato.
The snapper was a good portion, skin was crispy and inside was soft enough (didn’t melt like the tooth fish would have though) – everything it was served with was nice – except the side mix of avocado, corn & cherry tomato…which was an odd citrus flavour which we felt didn’t match the rest of the flavours on this dish.
The wagyu beef (8/9 marble score and from Margaret Rivers) was my other favourite dish of the night – we ordered the 75g special ($38) to share and requested for the beef to be cooked medium and it arrived exactly how we wanted.
Rather than go the safe green tea ice-cream option which my mum makes really well, we went for the yokan which is a sweet pumpkin jelly like dessert ($7)…
The portion was very small…perhaps too small for my liking but it worked out as I can’t say I really liked this dessert. Perhaps a bit too plain and the texture/sweet potato flavour as a dessert didn’t work for me.
We spent $125 for the two of us with a 10% discount and had a nice evening. And if you’re wondering what to wear to Shiro, it’s pretty casual – I came straight from work and burger boy was in shorts, a tee and his havs.
We wish Daniel & the team all the best with Shiro Izakaya.