Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

“What makes you think I want a good piece of steak for dinner?”, I say to Mysaucepan about where she wanted to go for my birthday.

“Well, that’s what you mostly choose whenever we go out to eat”, she says.

“Not really!”, I replied.

“I actually feel like a nice bowl of ramen noodles since it’s been pretty cold lately”, I added.

We finally decided to go to a popular neighbourhood ramen noodle bar at Crows Nest in Sydney’s lower north shore on this Saturday night, hoping to get a table as there is a no booking policy at this tiny restaurant.

We arrive at the restaurant at 8.15pm and to our disappointment, the waitress stops us at the door to inform that they are closing for the evening.

Hakutaka Kinmatsu Tokubetsu Junmai $23

Hakutaka Kinmatsu Tokubetsu Junmai $23

“What, at 8.15 pm on a Saturday night?” I asked her.

“I’m so sorry sir”, she apologises.

“We very very busy tonight, so no more ramen soup, all sold out, we need to close”, she further explains.

So that’s Sydney for you, dear readers.

From my previous  blogpost about a food safari in Sydney, I mentioned there are so many good restaurants around town these days.

Many of these are local or neighbourhood restaurants that serve good honest food and they appear to be thriving in the midst of the current lean retail and hospitality times.

“What do we do now?” I asks Mysaucepan.

“I know”, she says with a glee of excitement on her face.

“Why don’t we try that new Japanese yakiniku joint nearby? That way we can still have Japanese and you can also have some steak.” she reasons.

“Oh well, it’s 8.30pm now, we might as well”, I said, resigned to the fact many restaurants may be fully booked at this time on a Saturday night.

Pickled sweet ginger

Pickled sweet ginger

We finally arrive at Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku restaurant located along Pacific Highway in Crows Nest.

This restaurant now occupies the same site of the previous renown local Chinese, Ying’s Seafood restaurant. It is newish and the dining room has received a complete make-over.

The decor is minimal, the lighting subdued and the ambience is dark and modestly classy.

Service is courteous and immediately upon our orders, condiments and sauces arrive like clock-work efficiency.

Already we can smell the aromas of meat sizzling away on the tables around us.

2010 btw Shiraz by Zilzie wines $36

2010 btw Shiraz by Zilzie wines $36

The menu is nicely presented with colourful pictures of sashimi, sushi rolls, oysters, yakiniku BBQ, salads and side dishes.

The restaurant has a fresh sushi counter although there don’t appear to be bar stools to sit and munch on fresh sushi and sashimi. Nevertheless, looking at the meats sizzling around us, we unanimously decide to order a few yakiniku dishes to sample.

Sweet light soy, sesame oil and black pepper and light soy

Sweet light soy, sesame oil and black pepper and light soy

A small platter of the classic yakiniku sauce combination arrives after we order a serve of the premium wagyu scotch fillet. I love the sweet savoury soy combination as it truly brings out the flavour of grilled meat or seafood.

The sesame oil and pepper is one of my favourite combinations as well because the nutty flavour is so aromatic.

Deep fried oyster $20.80 for half dozen

Deep fried oyster $20.80 for half dozen

Our deep fried oysters arrive on a heavy platter filled with rock salt.

Deep fried oyster $20.80 for half dozen

Deep fried oyster $20.80 for half dozen

I am an avid fan of fresh oysters but I also love a good oysters mornay, kilpatrick and last but not least, deep fried oysters in a crisp and crunchy breadcrumb crust.

Crispy outside, succulent inside: Deep fried oyster

Crispy outside, succulent inside: Deep fried oyster

I have tasted a few good interpretations of deep fried oysters in some of Sydney’s good Japanese restaurant.

On my first bite onto these deep golden brown nuggets, I have no doubt Nishiki’s interpretation is by far the best I have tasted in a very long time. The crust is hot and crispy from the fryer. Dipped into a thick Japanese mayonnaise, each bite is a taste and textural sensation.

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

Our order of premium wagyu scotch fillet comes with seven slices of the wonderfully marbled meat drizzled with a sweet soy with some roasted sesame seeds.
We can see quality on a plate because each slice shows an intricate weave of red meat dotted around a layer of fat. These slices of meat are definitely not for the faint heart-attack worriers.

Nishiki claims to be Australia’s only yakiniku restaurant specialising in full blood wagyu beef. Approximately ninety percent of wagyu beef sold within Australia is cross-bred wagyu infused with Australian cows such as Angus.

A full blood wagyu is a pure and direct descendant of the Japanese bloodlines where the meat has more intense marbling and flavour. Since wagyu cows arrived in Australia via America in the early 1990s, Australian breeders have learnt to perfect the art of raising wagyu with as little stress as possible to the animals.

Wagyu scotch fillet on the yakiniku grill

Wagyu scotch fillet on the yakiniku grill

I place a few pieces of the wagyu onto the red hot grill and it immediately starts to sizzle.

Wagyu scotch fillet on the yakiniku grill

Wagyu scotch fillet on the yakiniku grill

The aromas of this meat grilling are truly a meat lover’s dream – smoky and charred as the fat begins to melt and caramelise as it cooks.

I cook the meat to a gently well done state to maximise the flavour and put a piece into my mouth. This meat is definitely one of the very rare and special eye-closing moments because it is juicy, full of beefy flavour and so tender, it literally melts like butter in your mouth.

Fat from the wagyu beef caramelizing in the fire

Fat from the wagyu beef caramelizing in the fire

The menu also explains the owner of Nishiki runs a wholesale business that supplies Australia’s most premium wagyu beef to fine dining restaurants and clients overseas.

He handpicks full blood wagyu with a marble score of 7+ that is traceble to their supplier, Cabassi & Rea.

Beef tripe $10.80

Beef tripe $10.80

In contrast, a beef tripe is rubbery and we savour this dish for its slightly chewy and gamey flavour.

Vegetable egg soup $6.80

Vegetable egg soup $6.80

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest, Sydney

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest, Sydney

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

If I had to come back again to Nishiki, I am happy to just have the deep fried oysters and wagyu beef.  But come back I shall, very soon, with a whole group of hungry meat lovers too.

So dear readers, do you like wagyu beef and which is your favourite Japanese yakiniku restaurant?

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku
270 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest 2065
New South Wales
Australia

Tel: + 61 2 8021 6688

Trading hours: Dinner Mondays to Saturdays 6pm – 10pm (Last order)

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku on Urbanspoon

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17 Responses to Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest

  1. What gorgeous photos :) I have never been here but I do love Crows Nest for variety so will check it out next time. Thank you!

  2. Deep-fried oysters! Yum!

  3. Yay! I LOVE yakiniku! That beef looks amazingly great. I’ll be adding this place to our list right away!

  4. I have never had Wagyu before but that looked beautiful. I thought it was fish but you say its meat? What does it taste like? Just beautiful with all the marbling.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Vicki,

      The meat is beef and a good piece of wagyu has a beefy taste that is very tender and literally melts in the mouth.

  5. Ann says:

    I’m so glad you had wagyu and described it. I’ve always wondered and wanted to try! Lovely as always! …and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  6. Sophia says:

    Sad you didn’t get your ramen…but glad you still enjoyed your birthday meal! Now how old are you now? ;)

    I don’t know if I’ll like wagyu…that a LOT of marbling! Does it taste very fatty?

  7. What a great find. I haven’t had Wagyu beef, it does look wonderful. I’ve had Kobi beef in Japan which I think is similar with the perfect marbling. It was so delicious. A belated Happy Birthday. GG

  8. Would you take me to this restaurant next time???? You take great pictures in this dark restaurant. My yakiniku pictures from Japan trip completely failed! Beautiful marble on meat and I think this place is pretty authentic.

    I truly think Australia has more authentic Japanese restaurants than America… Or at least I feel that way by everyone’s reviews on Japanese restaurants. I should ask my friends who studied abroad there.

    We have a famous ramen shop where it closes as soon as soup is over. It’s common to wait 45 mins outside for tiny ramen shop. All the famous ramen shops are kind of like that. They can only make certain amount of soup for the day. Ok I wrote too much. I got so excited from your yakiniku post now I can’t sleep! Lol. I’d love to have a Japanese meal with you one day. I know you understand it so well and it must be fun!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Nami,

      I would gladly take you to this restaurant if you and your family make a trip to Sydney! The restaurant was quite dark but we were given a table where there was fairly good light.

      I believe there are some really good Japanese restaurants in Sydney inspired by the abundance of fresh seafood.

      I have never quite been a fan of ramen until recently and if the most important element is the stock, I now understand why they prefer to close the restaurant when they run out of stock so to not compromise quality and taste.

      I would love to have a Japanese meal with you one day but I will be a little nervous knowing you are such a talented chef for Japanese cuisine!

  9. Forgot to wish you Happy Birthday!!! =P

  10. Kimby says:

    The closest I’ve come to wagyu beef is on Food Network. :) I can see why it’s so prized with the unique marbling, and your description of the taste — “an eye closing moment” — convinces me it must be spectacular. Tickled for you that your birthday dinner turned out so memorable — Happy Birthday!

  11. celia says:

    Oooh, happy birthday, dear! And nice to see you did get steak after all! :) The oysters look divine too. Can’t believe Yings is gone – that place was an institution!

  12. Juliana says:

    Happy Birthday! What a nice meal…I just had Wagyu only once…I love the pictures and you sure know how to celebrate :)
    Again…Happy Birthday and hope you are enjoying your week!

  13. Happy Birthday!! And how funny about that ramen restaurant. I think I know it and the ramen is amazing. Good to hear that you found another place. Good wagyu just makes me melt :)

  14. Olivia says:

    Love love love Wagyu! It just drives me nuts that all restaurants I need to try have to be on the North shore :) I too, love a good steak for my birthday!
    Happy birthday!

  15. Hotly Spiced says:

    Happy Birthday! I love Crows Nest. It has so many restaurants that are so varied and mostly, all at a fairly reasonable price. I haven’t been to this Japanese restaurant but it does look good and at least they are still serving late bookings! xx

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