Mystery Diner Review: Yachiyo Japanese Bistro
AFTER A STUNNING DEBUT AS OUR RESTAURANT CRITIC, MOSMAN'S MYSTERY DINER IS BACK ... THIS WEEK SAMPLING THE DELICATE FLAVOURS ON OFFER, AT ONE OF MOSMAN'S BUSIEST JAPANESE BISTROS.
It’s early on a recent Saturday evening and a light mist of cool rain falls over Mosman, as we arrive at Yachiyo Japanese Bistro.
The philosophy of its chef, Mitsuhiro Yashio, is for his food to awaken the senses and nourish the soul. After a busy week and with the rain capping my mood, I must admit this sounds like the perfect evening out.
Yachiyo Japanese Bistro has been a Mosman staple for about 8 years - and with a recent renovation, the small space has a cosy feel.
Its modest size means that the restaurant is noisy - and for larger tables it can be a competition to be heard. That said, the (mainly) local crowd is upbeat, despite the miserable weather. A great mix of families and larger groups, eager to enjoy one of Australia’s favourite cuisines.
Right from the get-go, our waiter made us feel incredibly welcome. And even though the dining room was at capacity, he generously took the time to run through some his most loved dishes.
The wine list is short; just three whites and two reds - with a small selection of beers. But when it comes to sake, the restaurant caters to all tastes, with some 20 different types on offer!
Mentored by Hiroke Abe (the Michelin Star Chef from Kyoto) - Mitsuhiro Yashio has a love of seasonal produce, with the aim of delivering memorable meals from his open kitchen that's a hive of activity.
Seated comfortably at a table-for-two in the window, and with a glass of wine in hand, our first course of Yuzu Carpaccio promptly arrives. It is a faultless King Fish sashimi, with sesame chilli dressing and the tang of Japanese Yuzu.
Although not renowned for her love of raw fish (or small birds - as mentioned last week at Chiosco) my beautiful dining companion remarked that this dish was a winner!
Sydney has recently undergone a Bao explosion - and it seems Mosman has not been spared. Our Pork Belly Katsu buns were the perfect combination of pillowy soft dough, encasing the sharp crunch of katsu coated, sweet pork belly.
Next to arrive, is a generous serving of square Gyoza, but it's soon overshadowed by beautiful Corn Tempura - a crunchy fritter mix, cleverly offset by a well-balanced yuzu chilli miso.
Our char grilled pork belly skewers were tender and moreish, with the pickled ginger soy glaze an absolute highlight (disclaimer: I’m a complete ginger freak). The chicken skewers were also a standout, with our serving of smoky thigh meat topped by a dusting of house made shiso salt. Utterly delicious!
Emerging from Yachiyo onto a rain soaked footpath, we felt an appreciation of Chef Yashio and his approach to Japanese food. When it comes to easy, casual dining, this place remains one of Mosman's top local spots for young families, larger groups - or couples looking for an inspiring meal at a reasonable price. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.
* This meal was independently paid for.