Near the Shirley Road intersection of the Pacific Highway. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Relaxed, intimate and completely unassuming, Crows Nest’s Ju-Rin restaurant leads a modest life. Where many restaurants herald their greatness, it prefers to keep a low profile with dark, earthy decor, allowing its reputation to do the talking instead. Walking past, you’d never know that it was voted “favourite Asian restaurant” by the 2010 SMH Good Food Guide. But it was; and for good reason.
Nab a seat at its sushi bar or – better still – at an intimate table and see what the fuss is about. You may want to order a Japanese beer, a glass of plum sake or try one of the many sakes or Japanese whiskeys to start. Although the menu is broken down into sections, it may take you a while to figure out your plan of attack. Try to include homemade gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and kakuni
(Okinawa-style melt-on-the-way-to-your-mouth pork belly), you won’t regret it. A sashimi plate, whether large or small, is also a great way to get into the cuisine and shows off what this restaurant does very, very well. Options like yuzu
(marinated kingfish with Japanese pepper) may make you want to centre your entire experience around the sashimi page, but if you flip over you’ll also find a grilled and stir-fried section with favourites like teriyaki chicken and some desirable Wagyu options, as well as a deep-fried section, noodles and rice section and rolled sushi section. To make the decision just that little bit harder, Ju-Rin also runs several options on a glass board. These may include anything from premium-quality Wagyu to baby abalone. Order up. The meals are beautifully presented, the staff very obliging and did I mention the sake list? It is impressive. Pick a variety and write Ju-Rin up as your Asian favourite.
Agnes Gajewska, May 2010