Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Koh-ya, Neutral Bay

Koh-ya
http://www.yakiniku.com.au/kohya-syd/
1/9-17 Young St Neutral Bay NSW 2089
+61 2 9904 5036
Lunch: Sat & Sun 12-2:30pm
Dinner: 7 days 6-9:30pm

Koh-ya Buffet

Price
Having been to I'S Holdings other 2 Japanese BBQ Buffet restaurants Rengaya and Suminoya, it was time to try out their other restaurant Koh-ya. Rengaya is the most expensive at $69, then Suminoya at $55 and finally Koh-ya is considered the "budget" restaurant at $39.80.

My dining companion and I also went for the extra $5/person on top for unlimited Calpico drinks. A nice refreshing drink that I think complements the BBQ meats nicely.

Together with the $1 mesh charge, the bill came to just under $91 for 2. Suminoya would have been $122 and Rengaya $150.

First Impression
Upon entry into the restaurant on a Monday evening around 7:30pm, what hit me first was the smokiness. I knew that we were going to leave smelling of BBQ, but that is one of the things you endure for yummy food.

Nothing particularly special or notable about the decor. Not as pretty as the other 2 restaurants. A plus is the table size. The tables are arranged in a communal table kind of format with a BBQ on either end each long table. The good thing about this is that there is a lot of table for all the dishes. I find it rather frustrating when you're stuck with a tiny 2-person table and there is simply not enough save to put all the plates (which tends to happen quite a lot for Japanese BBQ).

Food
The drinks promptly came. Even on a Monday night, the restaurant was packed and the food was slow to come.

The specials for that day were tuna sashimi, gyoza (Japanese pan fried dumplings) and garlic prawns.

What we ordered:

Entree
- Gyoza
- Yukke
- Dried Seaweed Sheets
- Namuru
- Egg Porridge (no rice)
- Tuna Sashimi
- Squid Sashimi

BBQ
- Ox Tongue
- Beef Rib
- Beef Loin
- Beef Harami
- Under Beef Tongue

Dessert
- Green Tea Ice Cream

The gyoza wasn't bad, I've had better but definitely had worse. The filling was a bit too wet though, and the outside could have been crispier, but this is a Japanese BBQ place, I didn't expect much from the gyoza.

Tuna and squid sashimi were decent enough.

I prefer the namuru at the other places to here. Here, they use bok choy and chilli. The other places generally use spinach instead of bok choy which I think is tastier.

Dried seaweed sheets are the same as that you get from packets from Korean groceries. I quite like these tasty morsels. I like stocking up on these at home for snacking purposes... and seaweed is good for you... right.

I didn't have the yukke or egg porridge

The BBQ was pretty decent given the price. I liked the ox tongue here as these were cut in thicker slices than all other places I've tried, which really gives it an extra chewiness and texture which is wonderful.

There wasn't as much choice of BBQ meat as at the other restaurants. The Under Beef Tongue was new though but my dining companion mentioned that the under beef tongue was pretty much the yukke, but cooked. The ox tongue here was good, and there was enough beef meat to bbq to keep one's carnivorous side happy.

The green tea ice cream here was quite delicious. A lovely end to the meal.

Final Thoughts
- The cheapest option of the 4 Japanese BBQ buffet I've been to (Nishiki, Rengaya, Suminoya and Koh-ya)
- Less variety on the menu
- Lesser quality meat
- Ox tongue is cut thicker which is fantastic
- Not bad overall given the price

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