Good food and good fun have finally sprung up on George Street in the subterranean spaces formerly occupied by Bar Ace and Maloney’s.
This is Australia’s largest izakaya (pretty much the Japanese equivalent of a gastro-pub) with 1200 square metres and a $3.5 million dollar refit! Wander through 24 private dining rooms all with karaoke facilities past illuminated cherry trees, into a labyrinth of comfortable dining booths with touch-screen ordering.
Browse 200 menu items (all thankfully with photos) – house specialities kushiyaki and kushiage (grilled/ crumbed skewers) are perfect if you have a microphone in your hand!
Slurp a Pacific Oyster with Ponzu Mousse ($9.80/ 3)...
...before trying the moist and flavourful Drunken Chicken ($8.80) cooked in sake sous vide at sixty degrees. I was lucky enough to get a special plate of entrees to sample, including the ‘deadliest catch’ Grilled Alaskan King Crab Leg ($16.80). They also have a wide selection of sushi/sashimi which is popular with Western diners in particular.
Mains include tender Premium Wagyu Beef Fillet ($22.80) and BBQ Lamb Backstrap Steak ($16.80) with mint (these may be larger than the usual servings, we had a group).
I also enjoyed the tasty Teppanyaki Chicken ($10.80) & Teppanyaki Vegetables ($8.80) featuring amazing shimeji and enoki mushrooms.
The star of the show was this Seafood Hotpot ($33.80/large) that showed off spanner crab, pipis, salmon, fish balls, prawns and scallops with great clarity.
Stylin’ young Asian clientele already look at home in the long illuminated halls and vinyl padded rooms...
...but my eyes were still full of wonder as I spooned up my Green Tea Shiratama ($4.50) sundae with red bean paste and glutinous rice balls.
As for the drinks, I tried a few wines and a set of low-alcohol Mizuya Test-Tubes ($18) which are fun but probably not great value for money. Their flavours included lychee, mango and pink-grapefruit.
Basement, 614 George Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9266 0866 www.mizuya.com.au