Our dining patterns this year have changed considerably, with our discovery that some coupon deals aren’t as shonky as we’d previously thought. So whilst in previous years, dining out mostly meant visiting the same handful of cheap Asian eateries (where most Asians tend to flock), we’ve now added almost monthly ‘coupon outings’ to new restaurants all over Sydney.
The latest coupon has taken us to Sushi Samurai in Neutral Bay, a 1.5 hour drive away from home, for an all you can eat sushi deal ($65 for four, from Groupon). We were quite excited with this particular deal, as we’d had a memorable dinner at Sushi Samurai a year ago and had been meaning to go back.
The all-you-can-eat menu is a lot more organised than at our previous coupon experience at Wasabi Bistro, as it is an option that is normally available, but at a higher price, of course. When we arrive, the waiter explains the format of the buffet to us. Each person must start of with a starter, of a sushi platter, of which there are two choices, before being able to order the sushi and other dishes from the all-you-can-eat menu. We went with two of each of the platters (to share) to try a bit of everything.
We hadn't read the menu properly at the time of ordering, so we were surprised when miso soup came, swiftly followed by adegashi tofu (it turns out that they're included as part of the starter 'platter'). The adegashi tofu was surprisingly delicious with its smooth texture, crispy exterior and incredibly tasty tentsuyu broth. And best of all, it was steaming hot on the insides! Even my mum, who isn't usually fond of adegashi tofu, loved it.
Because we were in a relatively early timeslot (6:00pm- a result of the limited availability of groupon seatings per night), the sushi platters arrived quite quickly after. They were beautiful, and were well worth $17 in their own right, though we would have much rather chosen our own selection of sushi, as there were quite a few pieces of sushi that we weren't too fond of. We ended up eating everything anyway, but noticed that many other groupon diners left behind quite a bit of uneaten sushi, which was a bit of a waste!
Option A consisted mostly of nigiri, with salmon, tuna, prawn, kingfish, squid (though the menu stated scallop instead) and egg omlette varieties on offer. We're not usually really fond of (raw) scallop/squid sushi because of its texture, and unfortunately, this was no exception. The salmon, tuna and kingfish fare much better, though we though the rice was rather dry for our liking.