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184 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
Tel : +61 2 8095 9260
Cuisine: Japanese
License: Fully Licensed (no BYO)
Price Range: $$$$
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Newtown’s first authentic Japanese izakaya is here and buzzing. Drawing the crowds to its funky, earthy restaurant interiors with a menu of Japanese delicacies and a tempting selection of Japanese tipples, Iiza is bound for culinary success.

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On the north (city) side of King Street, between Brown and Watkin Streets.

Although it’s easy to walk past Iiza and not even notice the great mistake you’ve made, this venture on the King Street dining strip definitely deserves your attention. As the first authentic izakaya in Newtown, Iiza comes with certain expectations – good cuisine, a selection of Japanese tipples, a pleasant atmosphere and Newtown prices – and it is successful. Unpretentious and simple in decor, it has enough Japanese touches and sake bottles lining a high shelf on the wall to make you aware that you’re there to dine on Japanese cuisine and drink the nation’s beverages. Waitresses dressed in traditional geisha (or maiko) kimonos add a fun, quirky flavour to the experience.

Begin your dining session with a flask of sake (although equally tempting is the shochu, beer and plum wine). There are several alternatives of the well-recognised Japanese rice wine, available hot or cold and organised from sweetest to driest so you can match it to your taste. With that decision out of the way it’s time to turn your attention to the food menu and here you might struggle a little more. Iiza makes a particular effort with the range of cuisine it offers. Segregated into sections that increase in size, from starters to sashimi, salads, sushi, “grilled” and “slow-cooked”, it caters to every appetite. Begin your experience with wagyu beef tataki which comes in a spectacularly zesty sauce. If you’re a fan of zest, the tuna yuke also bites the tongue in a pleasant way. Traditional gyoza are superb, as are inventive “tuna sashimi tacos” – raw tuna on wonton chips topped with tomato salsa. There are also larger selections like yakiniku Wagyu beef and kakuni pork belly. The servings are generous, the service attentive and meals come flying out of the kitchen mere moments after you order.

Agnes Gajewska
de Groots Best Restaurants of Australia
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Restaurant Features
Bar / Wine Bar
Late Night Dining
Outdoor Dining
Suitable for Functions
Suitable for Groups of 10
Suitable for Hens Nights/parties
Suitable for Pre Theatre

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