[invite] Bianca: Blink and you’ll miss it, Kenny Rens has been charming the locals for over a year now. The front of the restaurant serves as a takeaway sashimi/ poke joint but go past the wooden sliding doors and you’ll reveal a cosy, dimly lit dining area. With the restaurant in full swing, the mouth-watering smell of meat cooking on the robata grill will give you your first introduction of what’s on offer.
It’s probably not ideal for large groups, as most of the seating is geared towards tables of two but if you enjoy some theatre with your meal, I’d suggest the seats at the bar/grill – dinner and a show!
Perfect for snackages, the Edamame $6 satisfies those immediate hunger pangs. Probably not my initial choice but at the urging of one of the staff, we tried the Lobster Tail lettuce cup -w/ tomato salsa & umami cream $26. The lettuce ‘cup’ was a genius way to showcase the lightly battered tempura, we did find the lobster a little on the ‘fishy’ side.
The Zucchini Flower $18 filled with prawn mousse was wonderfully crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. We’d probably recommend these if you’re after tempura but something a little different to the norm.
A MUST order is the Aburi Salmon Avocado Roll -w/seared salmon, avocado, lettuce, mayo & sweet soy $14. I would honestly put this up there with one of the more memorable pieces of sushi I’ve ever had. The subtle torching of the salmon really added a whole other dimension of creaminess to each bite. Absolutely delicious.
For those that like a bit of spice in their lives, you’ll enjoy the Spicy Tuna Roll -w/ Avocado, tobiko & chives $14. Succinct ratios of ingredients, a prominent kick of spice, with an excellent velvety texture.
Ness and I can never go past fried chicken. The Chicken Karaage -w/yuzu & wasabi mayo $16. Juicy, tender pieces of chicken thigh, with an almost dusting like coating of breading. This is probably one of the better versions we’ve had. The citrus note in the mayo was revelatory!
Equally delicious was the Nasu Dengaku Eggplant – Miso glazed $18. Delicate chunks of Silky, melt in the mouth eggplant.
We’re big big fans of any rendition of a miso cod, NOBU has simply spoiled us. We were keen to try this version, the Glacier 51 Toothfish -w/ saikyo miso, soy pickled radish $46. Elegant and understated, the toothfish was the star, naturally. Buttery and flaky, pulling away at the slightest prodding. I did find the miso incredibly potent and intense, almost vegemite like. If this was dialled back a little this would be a knock-out.
And to finish, the Raspberry Pannacotta $18, the caramel(y)/ sesame(y) tuile was a highlight, paired with the creamy pannacotta and sour notes of the raspberry compote. A perfectly light way to end the meal.
I would recommend if you were in the area and on the hunt for good Japanese, it’s worth the visit for the Aburi Salmon Avocado roll alone.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Kenny Rens.