Ju Ju, Kings Cross

Salmon sashimi

Mixed sashimi platter $16

We are in hip and trendy Kings Cross tonight. As I circle the neighbourhood looking for a park in this busy entertainment hub, Mysaucepan spots an vacant space almost immediately. “This is almost too good to be true”, I exclaim. “And close to the restaurant too!!” I add.

We are dining at Ju Ju tonight, a casual Japanese restaurant and karaoke lounge.

Staircase leading down to Juju Japanese restaurant

Staircase leading down to Ju Ju Japanese restaurant

The entrance is on busy Darlinghurst road and a staircase leads us down to the restaurant below.

"Please remove your shoes, thank you"

My shoes and a friendly waitress

As we reach the bottom of the staircase, a waitress greets us “Konbanwa, would you please remove your shoes, thank you”.

The entire restaurant is decked out with lacquered wooden floorboards and we are given white plastic bags to hold our shoes.

Our sunken cubicle

Sunken dining cubicle

Sunken dining cubicles are the novelty feature of this restaurant. I am thankful every cubicle has leg room so we are not sitting on the floor unlike some Japanese restaurants as I find that rather uncomfortable.

Waitress taking our orders

Waitress taking our orders

We peruse the extensive menu and soon after, a friendly waitress appears to take our orders.

Appetizer

Appetizer

An appetizer of daikon with roasted sesame seed seasoning is fresh and crunchy but it is a tad too salty. Nevertheless, we nibble and gaze around the restaurant where each cubicle is separated by wooden barriers.

Green tea

Green tea pot for two $8.50

A pot of hot green tea is doing wonders in neutralising the saltiness of our appetizer.

Unagi

Grilled unagi $11

A unagi platter arrives where the piece of eel is soaked with sweet teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds and chives.

Unagi

Grilled unagi $11

I believe this dish is almost fail-prove in any Japanese restaurant. I separate one half of the eel for each of us and true to its form, our eel tonight is soft and succulent with that slight smoky aroma of the grilled unagi. The sweet teriyaki sauce and roasted sesame seeds are beautiful  accompaniments as always.

Mixed sashimi

Mixed sashimi platter $16

A mixed sashimi platter arrives with the usual salmon, tuna and kingfish and a small dallop of fresh wasabi.

Sydneysiders are a lucky bunch as far as seafood is concerned. This city is a seafood mecca and because of the daily abundance of fresh seafood that is readily available all over the city, we generally we take fresh sashimi in Japanese restaurants for granted. I wonder if our sashimi tonight can be any fresher and doubt if sushi chefs can or even need to further improve on this iconic Japanese dish which has been a Japanese staple for hundreds of years.

Saba shioki

Saba shioyaki $12.80

One of my all-time favourites is saba shioyaki or salt grilled mackerel. A squeeze of lemon juice onto the crisp and flaky skin adds another dimension to the slightly salty meat of this fish.

And every mouthful should be accompanied by a small pinch of shredded daikon to neutralise the saltiness. Again, I believe saba shioyaki is another fail-prove item in Japanese restaurants. It is everyday comfort Japanese food and I contemplate making this at home as I savour each mouthful of this simple yet delicious fish. Better still, mackerel is relatively inexpensive compared to other fresh fish and it is one healthy meal that I can have everyday.

Soft shell crab

Deep fried soft shell crab $13

Deep fried soft shell crab comes in a long platter with salad leaves, tomato, cucumber, corn, surimi and laced with Japanese mayonnaise.

Soft shell crab

Soft shell crab $13

Diners at Juju Japanese restaurant

Diners at Juju Japanese restaurant

 

Ladies enjoying karaoke

Ladies enjoying karaoke

Diners at Ju Ju are young and generally out for a night of fun and laughter.

For dessert, we are entertained by diners who go on stage to sing their favourite karaoke numbers all in the name of fun.

Star singer of the evening

Star singer of the evening belting out his number

One particular guy was especially good with his funky moves on stage as well.

Bar at Juju Japanese restaurant

Bar at Juju Japanese restaurant

The food at Ju Ju is inexpensive and pretty standard Japanese fare. It is difficult to fault comfort food and as long as the service is also good, we know we will have a good night out.

In the Kings Cross area with all its trendy bars, cafes and restaurants, entertainment is sometimes more important that what’s on the plate.

Juju Japanese restaurant

Ju Ju Japanese restaurant

So dear readers, what is your favourite Japanese dish?

Ju Ju
Shop 320, Kingsgate Shopping Centre
Bayswater road,
Kings Cross, Sydney
Tel: + 61 2 9357 7100

Ju Ju on Urbanspoon

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13 Responses to Ju Ju, Kings Cross

  1. The dishes are presented beautifully. I have gotten in trouble at Japanese restaurants before for putting wasabi on too many things :( I can’t help it if I love it too much, can I ? I can’t do the sitting-on-the-floor thing or I get numb legs, but if the food looked that nice and fresh, I would be tempted!

  2. A park in Kings Cross is definitely a miracle! :P And the people doing karaoke look like they’re having so much fun! :)

  3. Mmmmm, may I have that sashimi plate? :D

    I love Japanese food, but I must admit it’s almost always a bit too salty for me. When I cook at home, I use no to very little salt, so I’m really not used to eating much of it.

    I never was at a restaurant where there was karaoke at night … My neighbors’ children somtimes do karaoke in the apartment above me, so I’m used to having that around. ;)

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    The sashimi looks amazingly good. I could eat Japanese food every week if left to my own devices. ;)

  5. Sounds like a very interesting restaurant as far as design and atmosphere. And the food looks very good too.

  6. sugarpuffi says:

    love how at juju’s u have to take ur shoes off although not very nice if your friends feet stink haha!

  7. Sissi says:

    The restaurant looks perfect. I have never seen salted and grilled saba, but always aji (horse mackrel). I will remember your photo next time I see mackerels at my fishmonger’s. I am very curious how it might taste with saba.

  8. Shu Han says:

    for a moment i got really happy because my school’s at king’s cross, but then i remembered you were living in sydney not london. anyway i love sashimi and I like a good ramen broth, but when I was younger, I hated sashimi and my favourite was agedashi tofu and takopachi, hmm.

  9. That guy does look like he is having the time of his life haha. I love it when karaokers get well into it! The food here looks great and I love the sitting on the floor authenticity. I’ll have to check it out :)

  10. So lucky to have fresh sashimi in Australia! SF is okay if you pick a good Japanese restaurant, but I have to say there are too many Japanese restaurants who don’t serve good quality raw fish (they care more about quantity not quality). In some restaurants in Japan, the bottom of the table has heater in it and it’s so comfortable to put feet under. A lot of restaurants nowadays have those “feet in” tables for young generation. I can’t sit too long at those old fashion tables. Also, the daikon one is called Tsukemono (pickles) and it should be served with rice…not alone….it’s too salty by itself. I always enjoy your delicious report. Can’t wait for the next post! ;-)

  11. Lori says:

    That sashimi looks amazing. What a cool place. I have to be honest. I don’t think I know enough Japanese cuisine quite yet to pick a favorite. I have a lot left to explore!

  12. Raymund says:

    That unagi looks so delicious! Will dine in here the next time I visit Sydney

  13. alanabread says:

    oh ju ju! i used to come here all the time with my uni pals. i had heard a rumour that they’d stopped the karaoke thing but i guess that’s not true.

    this post has inspired me to head back real soon and get some of that delicious soft shell crab and an apple cocktail! thank you!

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