Ever the restaurant critic in the making, I must say though that I was not overly impressed, having eaten much more outstanding Japanese food at other Sydney restaurants. If you are looking for more exciting Japanese food in Sydney, I would highly recommend Matsuri on Crown Street, Surry Hills for sushi and sashimi, or Ju Ju's on Bayswater Road, Kings Cross for their takiyaki (octopus balls) and other hot food. However, for a neighbourhood Japanese, Sushi Bar Rashai does a perfectly reasonable job, at a very reasonable price.
For an entree we shared Ebi Katsu ($11.80) (deep fried crumbed prawn balls) which came with two sauces, and bitter leaves in a creamy dressing. It was probably the dish of the night.
My partner had a combo meal, which included teriyaki chicken, mixed tempura, miso soup and salad ($25.60). The miso was excellent, and full of flavour. The teriyaki was nice, though some of the bits of chicken were a little fatty for my taste, and I noticed that one of my other dining companions received a serve with almost no sauce! The tempura was bland, though the beans were very nice.
For my main, I ordered a mixed platter of sashimi and sushi ($19.90) which was nicely presented, and fresh. The tuna was very light in colour, and not particularly flavoursome. Whilst it was all nice, it lacked a 'WOW' factor.
The food came in a reasonable time, but we didn't receive that much other attention from the staff. One of my intrepid dining companions (the lovely ms_victoria), noting the absence of service, was heard to remark upon ordering a bottle of sake: "Can you come back... er... often?"
And this kind of summed up the service. They were attentive when presenting dishes, but didn't seem to visit much in between. Each time they did come, I had to ask them to clear dishes, and pass them the dishes that I wished taken away. Generally I have come to expect a higher attention to detail from staff of Japanese restaurants.
But that said, for a local area restaurant, the prices are good, the ambiance is fine, and the food is fresh and plentiful - just not innovative or spectacular. I wouldn't go out of my way to return, but I wouldn't mark it down as a failure either.
Sushi Bar Rashai
241-243 Parramatta Rd, Annandale