By the time you read this, I will be in the land of sushi and all things cute and quirky. Yes, that is Japan. I am only spending a short time here and will be staying around the Osaka and Kyoto areas. I have my laptop with me so I will try to keep you updated on my culinary adventures while I’m over there.
In the mean time, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite casual Japanese restaurants back in Sydney’s Inner-West – Sushi Bar Rashai.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - restaurant interior

It is easy to overlook Sushi Bar Rashai as it sits within a strip of wedding boutiques along the ageing Parramatta Road. On all the times I have been here (too many to count!), it has always been packed, so bookings are recommended.
I love their tagline, ‘Bit Slow But Friendly‘, which I think really summarises the experience at this charming restaurant. That, plus the generous serving sizes makes it a great venue for a casual night out.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - sake, miso soup and healthy drink

Sushi Bar Rashai is both licensed and offers BYO. Here we have some sake, miso soup ($3) and a ‘healthy drink‘ which is essentially a honey lemon tea.
I always start with the same dishes, takoyaki ($7.80) and chasoba salad ($8.80).
Takoyaki is a popular street food in Osaka – I can’t wait to indulge in takoyaki every day!
At Sushi Bar Rashai, they’re deliciously toasted on the outside and moreish on the inside with small chunks of octopus. It is finished off the classic way, with a sprinkle of bonito flakes, Japanese mayonnaise and a tangy sauce.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - takoyaki balls

The chasoba salad features luscious threads of green tea noodles, mixed salad greens, tomato, thin shavings of carrot, cabbage and some alfalfa sprouts. The home style salad dressing adds vibrancy to this simple dish.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - green tea noodle salad

We also have the ninja balls ($8.80), the seaweed delight ($6.80), agedashi tofu ($8.50), and edamame ($6.80). The ninja balls turn out to be divine deep-fried potato and chicken mince gems, which we gleefully demolish. The seaweed salad needs no introduction – its marinade is so aromatic. I also love the sticky gum texture of the agedashi tofu… Mmmm…

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - ninja balls, seaweed salad, edamame and agedashi tofu

The beef tataki ($10.80) is served on a bed of sliced raw onion which while may sound hard to swallow, adds a really clean and crisp texture to the seared beef. The light soy vinaigrette wraps the flavours together, producing another magnificent dish.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - bef tataki

Kicking off the meatier dishes, we start with the nasu miso steak ($9.80) – the vegetarian’s winning combination of grilled eggplant and earthy miso.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - eggplant and miso

The kaki fry ($10.80) are deep-fried oysters in a breadcrumb batter and is a dish all oyster lovers will enjoy.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - deep fried oysters

Next up are soft shell crab karaage ($8.80), king prawn tempura ($20.80), tori karaage ($9.80). Both the karaage dishes feature a light golden brown crispy coating which accentuates the juicy flavours within. The prawns in the tempura dish are definitely king-sized – the crunch of the outside and succulent tenderness of the fresh king prawns inside… oh so good!

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - chicken karaage, prawn tempura and soft shell crab

The small party sushi and sashimi platter ($42.80) is a fine work of art. It is clear that each piece has been prepared with extreme precision and care. There’s a bit of everything – hotata (scallop), unagi (eel), hamachi (kingfish), tobiko (flying fish roe), maguro (tuna), sake (salmon), tamago nigiri (omelette sushi) and more.

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - sushi and sashimi platter

Sushi Bar Rashai, Annandale Sydney - bit slow but friendly

Overall this restaurant is a favourite of mine, and every dining experience here only excites me even more about the delicious time I’ll be soon having in Japan!

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Sushi Bar Rashai
241 Parramatta Road, Annandale, NSW
Phone: (02) 9560 3007

Japanese Restaurant Sushi Bar Rashai on Urbanspoon

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.