Nikuya Japanese Bbq & Tonkatsu
From the stunning contemporary décor with traditional touches to the extensive menu of exquisite authentic Japanese dishes and East meets West drinks list, Nikuya (which means ‘meat stop’) is one of the Valley’s leading dining destinations.
Following Japanese tradition, the restaurant is divided into two levels, each with their own cuisine specialty: the ground floor is the go-to for Tonkatsu and the top floor the place to enjoy traditional a Japanese BBQ where diners get to choose their grade of meat before it is cooked.
Downstairs diners can pull up a sturdy wooden chair on the al fresco terrace or at one of the tables by the street front or cosy up in a barrel booth or one of the dark wood panelled booths tucked away in the rear.
Here, the Tonkatsu restaurant menu revolves around a fantastic range of Tonkatsu dishes (Panko-fried delicacies) featuring the must-try signature house specialty – melt-in-the-mouth Kurobuta Pork (traditional fatty full-flavoured pork), which comes crumbed in Panko ( Japanese golden bread crumbs), with shredded cabbage (with choice of Japanese salad dressings), miso soup, rice and a side bowl of sesame seeds that diners get to grind with a pestle and add, according to taste, to the delicious Tonkatsu sauce.
As well as pork in all varieties, house specialties also include Panko crumbed free range corn fed chicken, Hokkaido scallops, New Zealand oysters, Soft Shell Crab or Salmon fillet.
Another star feature are the Yakimono (Grilled) Skewers, most of which come in pairs or, for those who want to sample them all, as a Mixed Skewer set of 5: Wagyu Beef, Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken, Kurobuta Pork and Tofu. Otherwise, for a real taste sensation from the Grill try the Ebi and Avocado Yaki, a luscious giant king prawn topped with buttery avocado, fish roe and mayonnaise.
Also on the menu are Sashimi, including the highly recommended ocean fresh King Fish Carpaccio, Sushi Maki and Nigiri, Appetizers like Gyoza (try the classic Buta Gyoza), Rice and Noodles and Katsudon (including Katsu Curries and Wafu Kinoko Spaghetti).
Sweet tooths should leave room for the classic dessert which features in restaurants throughout Japan and that is a favourite with Japanese diners.
On the drinks front, Both restaurant levels share an impressive list to match any to be found in Japan, including: Premium Japanese Whiskeys ranging from 12 year old Suntory Yamazaki through to 17 year old Hibiki; Japanese Craft Beers like Ichigo (Rice Lager) and Kinshachi (Red Miso), Kirin Apple Ciders and Sapporo or Kirin Japanese Draught beers on tap.
Otherwise there’s Plum Wines and a comprehensive Sake list of some 20 Sakes, divided into 3 levels of rating: Junmai (Standard), Junmai Gingo (Mid-Range) and Junmai Dai (Top Range), while amongst them are Draught, Cloudy and Sparkling sakes.
With so many sakes and so little time, highly recommended is the Sake Tasting List, which comes as a set of 3 or 5.
And for the non-drinkers who want to keep it traditional there’s Japanese tea or Kimura Ramune (Japanese house lemonade).
Meanwhile those looking to enjoy a Western style drink with their meal will find a decent range of wines – red, white sparkling and rose- as well as a mix of craft and classic beers.
Nice to know: Diners looking for a quick great value lunch will find plenty to enjoy at Nikuya for $22 or less, including bento boxes of Katsu chicken, fish or Kurobata pork or sushi/sashimi sets.
Need to know: All Nikuya customers can enjoy 4 hours of free secure undercover parking at the nearby Connor St Parking Station. When paying the bill ask for the parking ticket to be validated.
Shop 8, M&A
100 MacLachlan St
Daily 11.45-3 (downstairs)
Daily 5-late (downstairs)
Daily 6-late (upstairs)