After more recommendations than I can count, we finally made it to the lovely Banzai. Tucked away in a little plaza on Dominion Road, this is a little treasure. Gorgeous food, friendly service and immaculate presentation of meals –— all at a reasonable price to boot!
It’s not very big and booking is a good idea due to its popularity. The inside is clean — nothing to get excited about, but you don’t really go there for the decor.
With four of us we decided to share small dishes rather than eat individually, so much more fun!
We ordered Edamame ($5) the obligatory nibble of boiled and salted soybean pods. I’ve always wondered why westerners don’t adopt a more healthy bar snack. Sure beats peanuts in the health stakes! We also had the Agedashi Tofu ($6) and it was perfect slabs of golden deep fried tofu in that irresistible, slightly sweet soy sauce. We have a thing for Japanese pickles so we had a side of them too ($3.00)
The Prawn and Vegetable Tempura was divine ($12.90) delectably light and delicate and went perfectly with the Seaweed Salad ($5.00) with layers of fresh marinated seaweed, shredded cabbage and lettuce garnished with curls of carrot and sesame seeds
We couldn’t go without a Sashimi dish and the Mixed Tuna and Salmon didn’t disappoint ($16). Very fresh and presented like a work of art. That came out with the Chicken Yaki Soba ($9) which tasted just like it does off a BBQ grill at a festival in Japan. Warning — don’t order this if you don’t like pickled ginger. It’s soba noodle fried with chicken and vegetables in a sweet soy sauce garnished with fish flakes, dried seaweed and red ginger pickles. We loved it but it could be considered an acquired taste.
We’d been told the Sushi was great so despite being pretty full we managed to squeeze in a couple of rolls. The spicy salmon teriyaki roll with spicy garlic sauce ($9.80) was a wonderful explosion of flavour and the Chicken Teriyaki Roll (8.5) was pretty fabulous too.
Highly recommend this place for authentic Japanese, beautifully presented at reasonable prices. We understand why everyone raves about it now.