Friday, October 23, 2009

Review: Hoya, Sydney

It's always nice to try new places out and not know what to expect. I suppose that really is half the fun.

Let me set the scene.

*Clears throat*

'Twas a dark and stormy night. Rain bucketed down heavily and quickly turned CBD roads into grand rivers....

Yeah, no not quite. But you get the drift. Long story short the place we had originally wanted to go to was booked out, and we were silly enough to attempt to find a place to eat in the city without a booking on Friday night. Oh and let me add, we were in a rush to get somewhere as well.

Surely Maccas or KFC would have sufficed me very well that night, for all I cared about was getting to somewhere warm and dry. But alas the foodie in me got the better of me, and before we knew it, we showed up like a couple of starved, stray cats drenche from head to toe on the doorsteps of Hoya.

"Where are we?"
"Somewhere. At least there are seats."
"Has anyone been here before?"
"I don't think I've even read a review on it."
"Err guys, you know empty restaurants kind of scare me a little."
"It's okay. Guys. We're going on an adven-chuurrrr. Yeah Charlie, we're going on an adven-chuuuurrr."
Pep talks aside, it was a while before we finally decided what to order. But luckily we did it as quick as we could, because the wait for the food was possibly the worst I've ever come across. It took well over 20 minutes for the first few dishes to arrive, and then even longer for everyone else's to arrive. I think during times when you're really hungry, waiting ridiculous amounts of time for your food probably ranks worse than receiving less-than-average food.

Bad first impressions aside. Service is simply one of many criteria to judge a restaurant by. If the food is good, then maybe we can still be friends.

Tofu & Avocado Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing - $11

First up, being a lover of Japanese salad, I ordered the Tofu and Avocado Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing. I must say I was a fan instantly, not only of the taste and the appeal of the whole dish, but also with the sheer size of the serve I received. The whole dish went together beautifully, and the only complaint I have is that they could have been more generous with the dressing. As much as I love tofu, bland tofu just doesn't hit the spot sometimes.

Spider Roll - $9

Unfortunately the Spider Roll did not receive the same positive reception when it came out. The sushi rice barely stuck together, which meant that the roll easily collapsed upon itself when you try to pick it up. As you can also see from the picture, there was barely any soft shell crab present either.

Chicken Katsu served with salad and Tonkatsu Sauce - $14

AY went for a totally different approach and headed for the Chicken Katsu instead. While there was little to complain about with the chicken katsu, AY found himself unsatisfied after eating it, and ended up ordering a serve of Spider Roll as well.

Sushi and Sashimi Deluxe - $25

AW and her new boy TC decided to share two dishes for the sake of variety. First up was the Sushi and Sashimi Deluxe, which contained a selection of different fresh sashimi.

Curry Udon - $12

They also shared a Curry Udon. The smell emanating from the bowl was simply divine. And is it just me, or do Japanese food always photo well?

BBQ Eel and Rice in Stone Bowl, served with Konbu Dashi Soup - $20

Lastly, FW opted for the BBQ Eel and Rice in Stone Bowl. This seemed rather similar to the typical Unagi Don minus the egg and plus the stone bowl. FW said he had no complaints, and happily finished off the bowl.

Sea Urchin Boat Sushi - $9

He also treated himself to a serve of Sea Urchin Sushi. I've been told that it resembles Lobster brain. I think I'd have to up my experience as a Foodie a little more before I think I'll tackle the stuff.

Basement, 119 York Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9267 0822

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