As I stepped out of my car ready to eat, I was greeted with a daggy, dreadlocked, unshaven but nevertheless friendly gentlemen holding spray bottles and a windscreen cleaner.
"Want your windows cleaned mate?", he asked.
I paused. "Sorry I've no coins!" I responded cheerfully and with as much truth in my voice I could project across.
This didn't phase him by any means, as he proceeded to spray my car screen anyway.
"That's alright, I'll just do it for free. I've got nothing else to do"
Naw. I strode back to the car with shame in my step and fumbled around for loose change that usually lives under my car seat.
I sheepishly handed him my spare change and made my escape before we both realised that I had just lied to his face.
So you would have picked up what sort of environment Osaki Sushi is located in from that little excerpt. It's definitely not intended to have bad implications, as it instead left me with a positive impression of the locals. Free window wash with your dinner, with complementary streak marks. Nice guy though!
|Teriyaki Chicken Set - $10|
A Red Rooster craving unsatisfied at 10pm led me to discover this small, undiscovered Japanese haunt quietly doing its business in the suburbs. I took an immediate liking to the place as soon as I discovered a second row of chicken underneath the top layer!
Generosity is a rare gem.
Usually teriyaki flavour gets sickly sweet for me after a while, but this one was a-okay! Their bento sets are such good value and they really are filling. Tender teriyaki sauce coated pan-fried chicken thigh fillets still have a slightly crispy layer of skin attached, with the bottom row fully soaking up the moat of sauce surrounding it.
On top of a miso soup, the 3 pieces of mixed sushi becomes a challenge to eat if you leave that until last. Typically you'll get a chicken, a california roll and a vegetarian sushi that become really effective tummy fillers.
|Teriyaki Chicken Bowl - $8.50|
|Would you like some rice with your chicken?|
Your usual big serving of rice isn't the case here, with the portion being close to completely overtaken by thigh.
On this tastier version of coleslaw!
|Teriyaki Prawn Set - $11|
Personally I'd be more excited at the prawns if they were still crispy and less soaked. But this very characteristic means they are bursting with moisture and flavour, sacrificing the *crunch crunch*
|Tempura Soft Shell Crab Bowl|
When it was placed in front of me, I tried to contain my disappointment. Not at the dish itself, but more at the amount of batter on there. It was an impressive amount of crab in there with the bowl laden high with gold chunks...yet looking a little dry.
Soft shell crab would make you think the whole thing is edible, shell included. That's why upon eating this, you'll find feathery crab gills still in tact, battered. You're going to have to be like me in this instance, painstakingly peeling off the batter as you eat to pick out all those indigestible breathing tubes.
|Tempura Soft Shell Crab Bowl - $12|
And this is where the accompanying dipping sauce comes in with its creamy texture and mild sweetness that won't overpower other flavours. A taste somewhat similar to honey mustard with a squirt of mayonnaise - the sauce that never fails in any circumstance.
|Tempura Soft Shell Crab Set - $14|
Even a voracious eater will probably be satisfied by this!
|On the table|
With hardly enough space to fit the second small table, this place has seriously limited seating even with 2 tables outside. You're not spoilt for choice in terms of seating options but the abundance of choice in the menu compensates.
With something bad, comes something good :)
Small, no ambiance and a complete lack of a restaurant atmosphere doesn't deter me from taking an immediate liking to this place. It is small and cluttered and for that it exactly resembles to that description of a shop having a homely feel to it. And for such a small eatery it does a great job in kicking on to late hours when most other shops are closed, except for every other shop in its immediate vicinity with flashing bright lights beaming an open sign for 24 hours.
Osaki appears as a family owned and operated shop, as it is only ever the same 2 staff taking orders and cooking. They come across as the most accommodating staff I have experienced in a while and are ever so friendly that I feel particularly...warm when eating there :) My usual habits of taking half my life to decide on my orders and turning up to restaurants 3 hours later than a normal person would is not a problem here, as patience is their virtue while I weigh up my dinner choices like it's my last supper.
Menu wise, it boasts a large range of choice for such a small (you can really tell my emphasis on small can't you!) shop and at affordable prices that give no sign to the large serving size you get. It's pretty slow and quiet all the times I've visited so food is cooked and served fast with no compromise on freshness. Unfortunately they have notified a $2 increase to their prices when I popped in to grab a takeaway menu to write this blog post. Sad, but modest. Things only ever go up these days!
With a little TV droning away in the background in their kitchen, it provides much needed sound to take away the silence of dining in this seemingly secluded restaurant. It's a little treasure I was introduced to when I couldn't get my fast food fix and I love finding neighbourhood eateries that are unknown but really should be discovered, for it is unexpectedly good. And with pretty much ZERO activity on Urbanspoon with only one positive vote on there, I hope to see Osaki's successful, thriving business in future!
Plus with their advertising of "Japanese Dinning & Take-away", people seem to accept and embrace this little eatery, spelling mistakes and all.
Open Tuesday - Sunday: 11am onwards
(08) 9242 4408