Quick Bite Hato Gyoza & Grill

This cute Japanese gyoza restaurant in located right off Elizabeth Street in the laneway that connects to the Rio Tinto building at 123 Albert Street.

The authentic fit out – red lanterned façade, giant sake bottles and displays of sample food servings – gives the feel of a small Tokyo izakaya with its.

Order at the counter and receive a table number printed in Japanese on a large wooden spoon in a jug.

We arrived just on 12 noon before the lunch time rush and ordered from the regular menu and the lunch specials.

It seemed to take a long time for any food to arrive but the authentic flavours of Japan made it worth the wait.

The Tempura Prawn Udon was light and crispy (and served on a separate plate so it stayed that way) while the broth was simple and the noodles were thick and tasted home made.  The tempura plate consisted of three large prawns, sweet potato, broccoli, enoki mushrooms and a Shiso leaf. It was quite a generous serving for $19.

Our second main was the Aburi Salmon Don which was a lightly torched piece of salmon served on a bowl of rice with a savoury donburi sauce and a heavy handed dollop of Japanese mayo on top.  The salmon was cooked just right and the tabiko (flying fish roe) added a nice pop of saltiness.  A few slices of tamago (sushi style egg omelette) was a surprising yet welcome addition to this flavoursome dish.  It also came with a nice small bowl of pipi soup on the side.  At $16, we rated this lunch special at very good value.

Our third diner chose the Panko Chicken from the Grill menu (which is served with your choice of sauce, veggies, a fried egg and your either spaghetti or chips) and the Katsu chicken (served with a trio of sauces) from the Share/Side menu and added a bowl of rice on the side. This was a huge serving of lightly crumbed chicken for $10 and with the side of edamame (soybeans) that we ordered for the table it was more than enough food for a workday banquet.

Itadakimasu!

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