Arashi Kushiyaki bar - Wellington
Had a small bite here after a movie at the Paramount. Handsome place inside, faux painted walls, sleek wood, a small tatami-like area in the front and a bigger regular seating area in the back. Hardwood floors, so the noise level is at the *exciting* level. heh.
The SO had some of the kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and I had a bowl of the soba noodle soup w/tempura. (I didn't want to eat too much as i had a platter of leftover fried chicken at home i had made the night before and i don't what is better: fresh hot fried chicken or leftover room temp fried chicken, hehe). The SO overall liked the skewers, ordering most of them with a teriyaki-style glaze (fish, chicken livers, chicken skin, pork belly w/onion) and shio-yaki squid (salt-grilled). I make my own soba noodle soup and found this one lacking the smokey sweet flavor of katsuo (dried bonito) in the sauce/soup, i mean it must have been there, i could taste the mirin and the sugar and maybe even the kelp, but katsuo should be front and center. anyhow, it was satisfying and even though there was just one shrimp and fish serving, there was also mushroom, potato, broccoli and green pepper, so plenty of food. The kushiyaki was around $3-5nz per skewer and the soup was $11nz.
We went to Katzu (the Tory street branch) t'other day. Interior sounds very similar to what u say about Arashi, very clean, very shinto. We went mid week so wasn't super busy but plenty enough to give it a good vibe. Service was typically Japanese, efficient and not too in your face.
We ate Sashimi platter which was presented beautifully; tuna, whitefish, oysters, salmon, a shellfish that I couldn't ID. Maybe some other bits that I cant recall also. All super fresh and very tasty, especially the oysters which were divine. Seaweed salad had that delectable firm but chewy quality and lovely sesame undertone. Raw (?) octopus salad was a little uninteresting to my SE Asian blitzed palate but the Japanese girls I was with said it was very good. The sushi-maki was the only let down in the meal, wasn't bad, just didn't better any other sushin in Welly.
All in I'd really recommend it and not too pricey, a 1 bowl / plate meal was about 20$ with combinations of smaller things probably totalling about $25 for a decent feed.
PS - I felt really bad ordering fried chicken pieces from the starter section (KFC flashbacks) but the girls insisted and they were REALLY good!
Oysters! omg, i'll have to check it out. what kind of oysters? we had some of the fine bluff oysters in Dunedin: salty, tangy, and *crunchy* is my take on the famous bluff oysters. my SO found some live clams at the local Moore Wilson with which we made a simple steamed clams dish and they were delish.