You know the place is going to have good food when there are only a few items on the menu, you're the only non-Japanese diner in the place, and the staff are all Japanese communicating in broken English.
The quaint cafe style restaurant, accessed by going down a few steep stairs, is hidden and different from the other ChinaTown restaurants where attractive waitresses try to lure you in at the door by offering whitened smiles and today's specials.
Here at Kanjuro, no-one notices you've walked in. The decor is basic, there is no music, and the only sounds are diners conversing amongst themselves. After we seat ourselves, a waitress hands us each the one page menu with no descriptions of the item but a sample photo accompanying some, then promptly leaves. Orders are taken by a second waitress.
There is a selection of wine, soft drinks, and Japanese beer and sake. I recommend the chilled sake, served in a glass beaker, sitting within a traditional wooden cup – poured to overflow into the cup, signifying welcome and plentiful food and drink.
Pork Katsu @ Kanjuro Japanese Restaurant
Gyoza @ Kanjuro Japanese Restaurant
Kanjuro's signature dish is Motsunabe, which is a hot pot of beef offal, cabbage, tofu and chives; we, though, ordered small dishes to share – winged gyoza, wagyu beef tataki, fishcake tempura, prawn katsu, pork tenderloin katsu, and chicken teriyaki. Oddly, all were delivered at different times, perhaps as the waitress didn't write down our order and had to be reminded of two missing dishes. The food, as anticipated, had simple, delicate, and authentic flavours, and was pleasing to the palate and stomach.
Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and dinner on Saturday, Kanjuro offers traditional Japanese cuisine.