Hicksons Izakaya is situated in the perfect location for a relaxing evening, right on the water in Walsh Bay, surrounded by boats. The area, once an industrial wharf area, but these days a cultural hub with multiple theatres and this restaurant would be perfect to dine at before a show. Though they also have lunch specials, in particular bento boxes if you’re out of the office for your meal. This Izakaya restaurant has classic and modern styling, with a number of tables and bar seating that are harbour facing. The kitchen is open, allowing you to watch Chef Hiro and his staff in action. He was also lovely to talk to and learn from, and he’s been a chef all his life.
In Japanese, Izakaya is typically designed for you to share some plates of food and enjoy some beverages at the same time. This place fits that bill perfectly with a range of tasty food on offer, to be paired with their quality drinks list which includes; a range of Japanese beer including Sapporo on tap, Sake, Japanese Whisky and of course wine, as well as some non alcoholic beverages.
The menu contains a number of flavoursome tapas with some creative flavour combinations, delicately prepared sashimi, sushi, salads, larger bites and bento boxes which contain a bit of everything.
The oysters and the seared scallops were both presented in their shell, combining zesty citrus flavours, ponzu and with a little bit of honey. The honey paired with shellfish was some what of a revelation, however Chef Hiro says it is a delicate balancing act to respect the seafood and not to overpower the dish. These items paired nicely with the Sapporo draft beer and a glass of prosecco.
One of the most popularly ordered Japanese meals is the teriyaki chicken, which is always a solid choice. The Hicksons Izakaya offering tender chicken with a nice teriyaki sauce in a perfect tapas option. The sashimi platter was a great fresh and healthy option with salmon, tuna and king fish. I commented on how fresh it tasted, and this was marinated allowing for it to be soft and tender. This was nicely presented, as is the Japanese way. We also also shared a generous portion of the seasoned soba noodle salad, and really enjoyed this accompanying the meal. This amount of food was perfect to share between the two.
If you’re popping by on a weekday lunch, or want a bit of everything, we recommend the bento boxes, which looked amazing.
When we saw chocolate sushi on the dessert menu we were intrigued and had to give it a try. When this dish arrived we were wowed by its Instagram appeal and on top of this, its incredible taste. The centre contains a choclate flake and strawberry rolled in sushi rice dusted in cocoa powder and drizzled with chocolate sauce. This is an absolute must order and we’ve never had this before, we’ll certainly be keen to have this again! At this time, a Japanese whisky was the perfect accompaniment, the Hibiki Hamony and it’s delicate flavours providing a nice contrast.
There were moments we felt like a light band was in the corner, we were bopping away to the soft tunes, but this simply was the “acoustic hits”, which was an absolutely perfect compilation for the venue and made for lovely ambience.
This Japanese Izakaya restaurant, on the wharf at Walsh bay, with a great atmosphere and food. The staff are friendly and welcoming, providing excellent service all round. Chef Hiro serving up quality traditional Japanese meals and adds his creativity to the menu by combining unique flavours that work.