Many years back my New Zealand mate and I did five foodie frenzied nights in Sydney.
Some decent sized names where on the itinerary: Christine Manfield’s Universal; number 34 in Gourmet Traveller’s 2015 Food Guide, Aria; and Milgate and Abrahanowicz’s lauded Bodega.
Weighed down with anticipation of hefty meals and bigger prices, I booked Japanese for a reprieve mid-way through the culinary excursion.
I don’t remember the name of the restaurant; it wasn’t a heavyweight. It was early in my learning about food and I remember I didn’t have the vocabulary to fully understand the menu. It was here I was introduced to yakitori.
Skewered meat cooked over a charcoal grill is a universal language. Kebab, satay, in Japan, yakitori.
Traditionally, yakitori makes the most out of a chicken, although other meats and vegetables can also be found skewered and grilled. It’s served with spices like ichimi togarashi, shichimi togarashi, or sansho; where a little bit goes a long way.
Now we have our own Japanese charcoal grill at Three Japanese.
The first week they were open I had mistakenly tried to walk in, only to find a full house.
The second week I made a booking and took the Lovely Deputy out for tea.
We found a stylish, casual eatery with a view from the restaurant into the kitchen and excellent service. Three Japanese seats thirty people; they take reservations for twenty-five. They don’t want walk-ins to get in the way of their capacity to provide the best customer service possible to customers who have booked ahead.
The Lovely Deputy was offered the Karakuchi 80 2013 sake by the glass made from rice and water, the way sake was made before the Americans added alcohol during WWII. Not a big sake drinker, This Girl chose a Tasmanian Pinot Gris.
Tip: the side plate on your place mate is designed to help remove the meat from the skewer. The cup on your table is for your used skewers.
What we ate:
Tsukemono (Japanese pickles), $10
Yaki-onigiri (rice ball), $10
Kushi Set, five skewers, choice of meat and/or vegetables, $20 (2 servings of for $40)
For dessert the creamy Sesame Pudding with Green Tea Mascarpone, $15.
The restaurant imports their Japanese ingredients for authenticity and sources their perishables locally and daily; continuing the Ethos Eat Drink tradition of which they are a custodian.
We also enjoyed one of the day’s specials, a tempura okra which was delicious.
This Girl is suspicious that Hobart’s pricing is increasingly heading north and emulating Sydney menus. The meal was just shy of $140, which included two glasses of wine each. It was probably $20-30 more than I would have been comfortable paying. Maybe I’m just tight. Regardless, Three Japanese is doing great food with great service and they’ve brought a new, fresh style of eating to Hobart. They’re definitely worth paying a visit.
Find them at 133 Elizabeth Street, Hobart.
Call first, you’re likely to need a reservation on (03) 6231 8035.
They’re open Monday – Saturday, 5.30 pm until late.