Located along Sturt Street in Adelaide, Nishiki Cafe & Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant that operates like an Izakaya, a Japanese bar that serves alcoholic drinks and small dishes. It is very popular, so making a reservation is advised to ensure you get a seat.
Their Niku Moriawase is a great way to try the restaurant's grilled meat skewers, consisting of one serving each of Wagyu Beef, Sausage, Buta Negima (Pork and Onion) and Kamo (Duck Breast). All the meat were cooked just right and had a delectable char-grilled flavour. Aside from a soy sauce-based dipping sauce, the skewers also came with some wasabi. Take care with the wasabi as it packs a potent spicy kick.
Niku Moriawase (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Much like the Niku Moriawase, Yakitori Moriawase allows diners to try out a selection of their Yakitori dishes, consisting of a portion each of the Mi (Thigh), Negima (Thigh and Spring Onion), Tsukune (Chicken Meatball), Hatsu (Chicken Heart) and Chicken Wing skewers. The Mi, Negima, Tsukune and Chicken Wing skewers were all succulent, with the sweet-savoury flavour of Yakitori. The Chicken Heart skewers may sound confronting at first but was actually quite tasty, with a firmer texture than chicken meat. Accompanying the dish was some Japanese mustard which can be used to add a spicy kick to the dish.
Yakitori Moriawase (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Offered as a special during our visit, the Yaki Onigiri consists of sushi rice moulded into triangular shapes before being grilled. The grilling process was what gave them their toasted flavour and outer crust. They were brushed with a special soy sauce that included bonito flakes to impart them with a slightly sweet flavour. Served with the dish were pickled vegetables whose tangy taste complemented the Onigiri well, they are best enjoyed by wrapping the nori it was served on around them before eating them. This was our favourite dish of the night.
Yaki Onigiri (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
All the vegetables in the Prawn & Vegetable Tempura still retained a bit of bite and the prawns did not taste fishy, which is an indication of their freshness. The light and crisp batter coating of the tempura did a good job of complimenting the ingredients. As expected Tentsuyu, the sauce that typically accompanies tempura, was served as a dipping sauce.
Prawn & Vegetable Tempura (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The flesh of the Kara-age Chicken was juicy and was contrasted nicely by the light and crisp exterior. It also had the gingery taste that we associate with a tasty Karaage. In addition to Japanese mayonnaise to dip the chicken in, a lemon wedge also came with the dish to provide a hint of sharpness.
Kara-age Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The restaurant is fairly small in size and the wooden decor gave it a cosy feel. Customers that visit during lunchtime can order from a lunch menu, with the dishes more along the line of those usually offered at Japanese restaurants in Adelaide.