PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
This stretch of Chapel Street is full of restaurants offering all kinds of food at various prices, though primarily at the lower end of the scale. The street is always busy and so is Kanpai. It's a long, narrow restaurant, not very big, with a sushi bar to one side and small, bare-topped tables in the centre. The mood is casual, the service is fast and the food is typically shared. If you want Zen tranquillity or thoughtful elegance, this is not your place. There's always a diverse crowd, with efficient waitresses doing their best to keep up with the demands of the tables.
The menu comes in a laminated card with photographs and dishes numbered in categories. Number four in the maki sushi section will give you six pieces of rolled and cut vegetarian sushi rolls. Number one in the sushi section will give you five pieces of sushi, as a kind of entrée. The food is straightforward rather than exciting, designed for quick service. There are lots of grills, fried food and stir-fries, mostly arriving bubbling hot on a cast iron platter. Sashimi of tuna and salmon in various sizes make a striking contrast to the heat and sizzle. The yaki udon dishes – stir-fried meat or seafood with noodles – come with vegetables, but a dish of yasai – mixed vegetables – is a good idea for extra veg, and at $8.50, won't break the piggybank. The drinks list is small, but there are wines by the glass and vino prices are very reasonable.