Tucked away in a little store on Sturt street is Adelaide’s newest Izakaya: Nishiki. Chef Yass Tanase (a Nagoya native and former part-owner of En Japanese on Goodwood Road) has opened the doors to this charming, welcoming Japanese bar/café in the CBD.
For those who don’t know, an Izakaya is a popular style of bar in Japan. It’s often visited after work for a few drinks and nibbles and has a relaxed, social atmosphere. Nishiki has captured this welcoming, laidback vibe while also incorporating an Australian twist with lunch items and a beer garden in the back.
We were lucky enough to try a variety of their menu items, including the Sushi/Sashimi platter, Niku Moriawase (assorted meat platter), Yakitori Moriawase (assorted chicken skewers platter), Eihire (charcoal grilled ray fin) and Satsuma Chip (deep-fried sweet potato chips).
The Sushi/Sashimi platter was tasty and standard for your typical sushi platter. The quality of fish was particularly good, with the melt-in-your-mouth tuna as a standout of the dish.
The Yakitori Moriawase (chicken skewers) provided some interesting variety for such a staple meat. The first skewer we tried intrigued us, because it didn’t even taste like chicken!
Similarly, the Niku Moriawase (meat platter) featured four different types of meat, prepared in different ways and paired with various seasonings. The variety on this dish ensured there’s a little something for every meat lover.
While all these platters were delicious and intended for sharing, they were fairly small in serving size. It’s important to note that this is typical of the izakaya dining style, as dishes are typically ordered constantly throughout the night as a kind of ‘bar snack.’ It’s a way of grazing that’s a little more exciting than munching on nuts and pretzels.
Surprisingly, the stand-out dishes for the night were the tapas dishes. The Eihire (yes, sting ray!) were crunchy and chewy, and served with a kind of mayo sauce. The saltiness of this almost-chips-but-also-fish-jerky was almost addictive and was a great little ‘grazing’ dish.
Our absolute favourite was the Satsuma Chip (sweet potato chips). While it was a simple dish, it featured literal honey mayo (a dollop of mayo in a dish of honey) that just paired perfectly with the chips, as well as with our Asahi beers.
And speaking of beer, of course this izakaya features a range of alcohol: from Japanese Beer, to Shochu and a huge selection of Sake (both dry and sweet). Chef Tanase is incredibly friendly and always happy to recommend dishes and pairings for you to try. He’s definitely worth trusting, too: I usually hate beer, but absolutely loved my dark Asahi with my sweet potato chips.
Adelaide Food Central would like to thank Chef Tanase and his team for their kind hospitality.
Words by Olivia Henry
WHERE: 21 Sturt St, Adelaide