Japanese and more in North Hobart

From the moment you walk up the stairs and through the first Noren, you are transformed to a hip-Japanese enclave equal parts performance as dining experience.
The restaurant is compact and decked out in black. A few murals adorn the walls. Filling the footprint of the former Cool Wines, the kitchen demands a third of the floor space. Seating is closely packed but the proximity with your companions-in-eating is charming. Except on this occasion as my dining companion for the evening, Ms Kitty, and I, share a certain workplace experience we still like to keep up-to-date on and well, it’s Hobart. We sat side-by-side to reduce the chance that EVERYONE else in the restaurant would hear us. The staff who are delightful, slip effortlessly
between tables and the service counter.
The well-thumbed menu is ample and you can eat in either of two ways: a choice of options from a three course set menu for $35 per person, or order a series of small plates with a range of prices and loads of selections.
A few pages of the menu only
We went for a Sapporo each. A Japanese beer seemed the right thing to drink with the food and the causal environment.
We chose chopsticks in the pursuit of authenticity. But like Ms Kitty said, ‘Chopsticks, sometimes I’m in control, sometimes I’m out of control.’ It’s a true thing that some Japanese plates are easier to eat with chopsticks and others.
Hey, this is not a game of pick up sticks here. We’re supposed to be eating!
We went for the small plates. This is what we ate:
Seaweed salad $6, flavoured with sesame, light, simple and delicious.
Tempura with vegetable $7, served in clusters, rather than individual vegetables. This was more stab the meal followed by pick up sticks, than experienced epicure does Japanese. Sometimes ya just gotta use your fingers…or say yes to the knife and fork option. The tempura was a bit ordinary, more onion than anything else. Great if you’re partial on the Japanese equivalent of an onion ring.
Takuzo’s Yakitori, Japanese chicken kebabs $9. This is a harder dish to share because each of the miniature kebabs is distinctly flavoured. It’s a bit fidderly to divvy them up so you might just go an
individual serve of these little babies. There was a wasabi, what looked like a cheese or similar sauce, and this Girl suspects the third was a traditional yakatori sauce, largely soy and mirin.
The fourth dish was the Okonamiyaki, a vegetable pancake from Osaka. You’ll be asked to say ‘when’ to how much Japanese mayonnaise they apply. They’ll want to make it look pretty which means lots of mayo on top of the pancake’s traditional sauce. This makes for a very rich meal so unless you accustomed to it and like the taste, ask them to go easy on the mayo.
They paced the courses so we could enjoy each in turn. The beer was the thing that took the longest to arrive.
This was heaps of food. In fact we couldn’t finish the pancake. In total and it cost about $25 each, ostensibly for two courses and a beer each. Myabi markets themselves as sushi and crepes. We can’t comment on the crepes because we had no room to consider dessert. We’d be keen to hear your experiences though.
It’s seemed okay value and it’s a fun place to eat. Hobart is doing fine for Japanese but Myabi is offering a different style of Japanese food with a moderately priced menu, so it adds a legitimate option to the cuisine here.
We were the last to leave, and when we did, the chef met as at the kitchen’s Noran and bowing and yelling Haroshimose! Haroshimose! (or at least that’s what we think he was yelling). BTW, there is a welcome on arrival too.
Last year this Girl had the pleasure of a fortnight in Japan and a number of very fancy Michellin star restaurants in Kyoto where the maître de, often a woman in yukata kimino, would bring us our shoes and escort us to the street bowing. One restaurant we left it was raining cats and dogs and we could not convince her to return to the restaurant and out of the elements until we were tucked up safe and dry in our cab. As we drove down the road, she was still on the street bowing to us.
At Myabi, our table attendant followed us downstairs and bowed and waved as we sauntered down the street. On this occasion, I wasn’t sure if it was tradition, or just that she wanted to make sure we left…

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