My interest was piqued, as it so often is, by one of my foodie gurus – dbites. After reading her review on En Japanese Bar and Restaurant I knew I had to get there as quickly as my Birkenstocks would take me.
Last Wednesday night was the fateful night when I was in charge of choosing a dinner location. I saw my chance and I took it. By 6.30pm we were hoofing through En’s door to see what they had in store #rhymetime.
My first impression of the place was a positive one. There’s a reasonabley sized room at the front which is kinda done up like an outdoor space with faux grass and a wooden verandah type structure. This room holds tables for 4—6ish peeps. If you mosey on through to the back you’ll see this room is a smaller Japanese bar style room with dim lighting and the option to either sit at the bar or at a table for two along the wall. The décor was simple, clean and of course ‘Japanesey.’ Am I allowed to say that? Well, I just did.
The menu is jam packed full of varying dishes from sushi and sashimi through to hot entrées and larger dishes. As I was dining with my extremely indecisive boyfriend I knew he would take at least 45 minutes to make any food decisions so we ordered some drinks first to get the ball rolling.
Not off to a great start, I ordered a Coke Zero which they poured from a 1.25L bottle. It was as flat as a model’s front. The boyfriend however made a much better order with a Japanese canned bev called Calpico. A milky, sweet drink which was surprisingly pleasant and refreshing. It pays to take a chance on something new! Order regrets, the worse kind of regrets.
Now I had already seen a photo of the Sweet Potato Chips served with Honey and Mayo and I was intrigued to see if the flavour combination would work. Oh-ho-ho it worked! The creamy mayo mixed with the rich, sweet honey was something to behold and the sweet potato chips were a crispy and palatable device to transfer this condiment of the gods into our appreciative mouths. Food dreams people, food dreams.
We also decided to go with the Dengaku Nasu, a Grilled Eggplant with Miso Sauce. I’ve never had an eggplant dish quite like this before and it was super enjoyable. The eggplant was soft and juicy and the thick Miso sauce paired with it perfectly making a seriously delectable dish.
I’m a bit of a grilled octopus fan so it’s pretty bloody surprising that I was yet to get some Takoyaki balls in my mouth. These tasty morsels really couldn’t have been more down my food alley. The crunchy outer layer generously drizzled with Okonomi sauce and mayo combined with the creamy texture inside and the perfectly cooked occy was a total hit in my books. I’ll find myself hunting down some more of these pretty soon I’m sure!
For another classic Japanese dish we ordered a ‘Larger Dish’ of Teriyaki Chicken with Salad. The chicken was tender and the sauce was flavoursome. A solid meal yet I wouldn’t describe it as a showstopper.
The only downer of the night (apart from the flat Coke!) was the service. The waitstaff were all lovely but they were indisputably understaffed and just couldn’t stay on top of things. The owner needs to fork out the dosh for an extra set of hands as it undoubtedly effected the overall experience. However apart from some undesired delays it was a totally enjoyable experience.
Which should be the next restaurant on my Japanese tour?
Until next time…That’s what she said.