Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

It is not often that I venture into a restaurant twice within a space of a week. If I do, it’s either the food is really good or the restaurant offers exceptional value.

Octopus sashimi at the sushi bar

Octopus sashimi at the sushi bar

However, when a few of my friends read about our previous visit to Nishiki the week before, they were a little curious.

There are many Japanese yakiniku restaurants in Sydney and many would offer the usual chicken, beef, pork, beef tongue ala carte which can taste very similar to a Korean BBQ.

Given the huge selection of Korean BBQ around Sydney that can offer a hearty meal for $20, what is the attraction of a Japanese yakiniku restaurant that sets you back $30 for a just few pieces of Wagyu beef?

Wine service at Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

Wine service at Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

Different strokes for different folks perhaps but it could be a little more than just taste.


The answer may depend on whether you would settle for a car made by Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia or prefer a Honda or Toyota from Japanese car-makers who have had hundreds of years of experience.

This is not to say Korean BBQ is inferior to Japanese yakiniku.  By any measure, both have their own elements to excite and tantalize the tastebuds.

What it boils down to is price – you pay for what you get.

And at Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, one is paying for more quality over so many Japanese yakiniku restaurants sprouting out around Sydney like shitake mushrooms.

Corkage for BYO wine is $5 per person. This relatively expensive charge tells me the restaurant would prefer that you order from their cellar.

Represented by a short little wine list, there appears to be an obligatory bottle or two for every varietal – red, white, pink or sparkling. For good measure, this short little list even includes a 2005 Penfolds Grange for $988.

2010 Waipara Hills Pinot Noir

2010 Waipara Hills Pinot Noir $36

The 2010 Waipara Pinot Noir that we choose tonight is light and plummy. This wine is good to drink on its own or with a few pieces of sweet red meat that we have chosen on the menu.

Dining room, Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

Dining room, Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

To me, this wine is a perfect “middle ground” for the six of us here, the girls pining for some fresh sushi while the boys are obviously eyeing the yakiniku red meat on the menu.

Salmon belly sashimi (7 pieces $12.80)

Salmon belly sashimi (7 pieces $12.80)

I put my hand up for the salmon belly sashimi and it arrives with pieces of the delectable orange fish on a bed of ice.

Salmon belly sashimi

Salmon belly sashimi

Creamy and milky is how I would describe this super fresh piece of fish as it melts in my mouth.

Deep fried oyster (Half dozen $20.80)

Deep fried oyster (Half dozen $20.80)

We had the deep fried oyster on our last visit here and I told my friends we have to have it again.

Deep fried oyster (Half dozen $20.80)

Deep fried oyster (Half dozen $20.80)

The crispy golden brown crust on the outside and hot succulent oyster inside is just how I remembered this delicious mouthful from a week ago.

Natural Pacific oyster with yuzu vinaigrette (Half dozen $20.80)

Natural Pacific oyster with yuzu vinaigrette (Half dozen $20.80)

This visit with six diners, we decide to order half a dozen deep fried oysters while the other half is natural Pacific oysters with yuzu vinaigrette.

I normally like fresh oysters with a dash of Tabasco and a twist of lemon juice but the yuzu dressing has such a refreshing lemony lime flavour. It is like having a fresh oyster with some sweet, homemade lemonade.

Agedashi tofu $6.80

Agedashi tofu $6.80

A bowl of the trusty agedashi tofu arrives with its bonito flakes quivering on top of a few golden brown tofu nuggets.

It is delicious and so it should be for a simple appetizer. I would imagine any Japanese restaurant will be in trouble if they get this one wrong.

Spinach & Bacon Salad $12.80

Spinach & bacon salad $12.80

I like Japanese salads because of their texture. You either get corn flakes, roasted oat meal or some kind of crispy chips for a bit of crunch and it makes a salad so much more interesting.

The spinach and bacon salad comes with loads of shaved parmesan drizzled with ponzu dressing.

Spinach & bacon salad

Spinach & bacon salad

There is something about the tangy taste of ponzu – it is appetizing because it is sour. Paired with savoury bacon and fresh young spinach leaves, I can eat this salad everyday.

Homemade tofu $6.80

Homemade tofu $6.80

A homemade tofu is bland as we would expect. Topped with bonito flakes, diced shallots and ginger, you would enjoy it for the soft, creamy texture and subtle taste.

Premium Wagyu Short Rib $18.80

Premium Wagyu Short Rib $18.80

With a few more hungry people tonight, we order a few more dishes.

I like the premium wagyu short rib because it has some beautiful flavours after being seared on th grill. It is not as expensive as the premium wagyu rib eye but is not short in taste and flavour.

This is one dish I would recommend if you have not tried wagyu beef cuts and do not want to pay the price of a wagyu sirloin or rib eye.

Premium Wagyu Ox Tongue $23.80

Premium Wagyu Ox Tongue $23.80

The premium wagyu ox tongue is tasty with a bit of chewy bite to it. It is almost the price of a piece of steak but texture and taste is what you are paying for.

With a twist of lemon juice and a dip of sweet soy, each mouthful of this offal is just as tasty as a regular piece of meat.


Searing Tzubozuke pork belly ($15.80) on a yakiniku grill 

I especially like the thin strips of pork belly because it is marinated in a sweet and gingery marinade.

After a few minutes on the grill, it is nicely charred on the outside and the layer of fat is juicy and sweet. This dish is a perfect complement for the plummy Waipara Pinot Noir that we are drinking tonight.

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

Premium wagyu scotch fillet $29.80

Lastly. the piece de resistance of premium wagyu scotch fillet arrives in all its glory – specks of intricate red meat doting a palate of white fat.

Drizzled with sweet soy, roasted sesame seeds and some finely diced ginger, we grill these slices to the point they are slightly well done and just like last week, I have another eye-closing moment when I pop a piece into my mouth.

Dining room, Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

Dining room, Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku

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

Tel: + 61 2 8021 6688

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

Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku on Urbanspoon

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23 Responses to Nishiki Wagyu Yakiniku, Crows Nest

  1. I love this place! I go with family quite often :) I like that they serve full blood wagyu because it really does make all the difference in taste. Their homemade tofu sounds quite interesting, will try that next time

  2. Whaaaaaaaat you went again (without me)???? lol. I can tell you love this place and I would too. I was going to ask if this place is more popular by families or business people. When there is a high end Japanese restaurant in our area, usually it’s packed by Japanese expats (probably on company’s expense?). For me, it’s a lot cheaper to pay for the quality of food at this kind of restaurant in SF than paying the airfare to eat this in Japan… Maybe if there are enough Japanese residents then restaurant can survive. I know it’s pretty expensive for “BBQ meal”, although like you said, you are really paying for the great quality of meat – and the experience is simply amazing and worth for me. Thanks for making me hungry and missing yakiniku.

  3. Sissi says:

    It looks like heaven on earth. I can only dream of such a restaurant here… And it’s really affordable (even compared to French prices, not to mention Switzerland). I love every single dish you have presented and it’s been such a long time I wanted to taste deep-fried and breaded oysters (I think I will have to prepare them on my own like most Japanese dishes I know…). I am also very curious about the Australian Pinot Noir. It’s by far my favourite varietal (Burgundy wines are the love of my life when it comes to red wines, all the other French regions could disappear, really!) and I still remember the lovely surprise I had tasting a German Pinot Noir. It was elegant and excellent (like all the good German wines). Lucky you!

  4. Charles says:

    That restaurant looks fantastic – it reminds me of a very good yakiniku restaurant we had in Paris… unfortunately they converted it to a sushi restaurant (and not a very good one at that). It wasn’t wagyu beef, but still a very excellent little eatery. I’d love to go to this place… Japanese BBQ is some of my favourite, along with Korean BBQ – always reminds me of cold winter days when we’d go to the place in Paris and watch people walking about in the ice and slush outside, while I was grilling meat from the comfort of the restaurant 😀

  5. Winston says:

    WOW!!! I’ve always trusted your taste and recommendations, even in other regular posts. But for YOU to go back twice within the span of a week really does say something. Good and high quality Japanese food really is such a joy. Salmon belly sashimi, wagyu scotch fillet, oysters. What a treat. I am so hungry right now. Another place I would keep in mind. Though, I may skip the wine so I can spend more on food lol

  6. Asmita says:

    This restaurant looks outstanding! Looking at the photographs, I am just starving right now. Yummy!!!

  7. I adore tongue and that one looks so melt in the mouth I can almost taste it! :)

  8. Raymund says:

    I am so jealous, I want to have those seafood. They all look awesome, specially the salmon.

  9. The fact that you went back and wrote about it is enough to make me drop everything and go there now! It is also in my neighbourhood! Those oysters natural with the yuzu look and sound just exquisite. Great post Chopinand!

  10. Maureen says:

    When you go twice and take photos that nearly jump off the screen, it’s a restaurant we should all try to visit. I’m so hungry now I can’t stand it.

  11. Carolyn Jung says:

    That shot of the oyster is just incredible looking. It’s as if it’s right there on a plate in front of me. Great job on the photo! 😉

  12. Sophia says:

    I recently had an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ for $8.99…but the meat wasn’t half as good in quality as this!

  13. Ahh this place looks amazing! We don’t get Japanese places like that in NZ (or at least not that I have seen!) which makes me incredibly jealous right now. Those deep fried oysters look lovely and it’s cool how they’re served in their shells..

  14. InTolerant says:

    This does look lovely indeed! The wagu would be sublime, yummo!

  15. LOVE korean and jap bbq but i love malaysian skewers AS WELL AS the good old aussie bbq LOL. Not the biggest fan of fried seafood, ruins the seafood in my opinion but I love a good bbq as you have probably gathered

  16. Juliana says:

    Amazing…everything looks unbelievable delicious…when visiting Australia, I will make sure that we eat there…the meat looks awesome! It is like oh…wow…yummie…as a look at the pictures and description of the dishes…
    Thanks for this awesome post and hope you are enjoying your week :)

  17. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m glad you went again because I’ve been able to see more of the dishes. It all looks lovely except I’m not sure I’d be keen on the tongue! xx

  18. The wagyu has a lovely marble. All the dishes look delicious.

  19. sugarpuffi says:

    whaaa im drooling over the premium wagyu beef!

  20. Food looks delicious. I want some of them deep fried oysters! If only I didn’t so far…..

  21. Kimby says:

    Hi! I’m playing catch-up again and what a post to start out with… that Wagyu beef looks exceptional, as does the salmon belly sashimi. Your food photos bring out the details, much to every food lover’s delight. Thanks!

  22. milkteaxx says:

    i’m going to nishiki tonight, thx for your lovely review!

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