Last month we took a trip along to Harajuku Kitchen on Gillespie Place to get our Sushi on, as it turns out it had much more to offer. We were warmly greeted by the waitress when we arrived and shown to our table by the window.
The interior has a nice authentic feel to it, no flashy signs, neon lettering or anything else that seems to be so often associated with Japanese restaurants these days or more specifically Sushi restaurants. Just well set out tables with stylish understated decor. After all it’s the food that’s the important part.
We ordered a Kirin Ichiban Beer for me and a Kitsch Cucumber and Fennel Seed Soda for her and quickly got down to the business of studying the menu. There was lots on offer and having only been for Japanese food a couple of times it took us a few minutes to work out where to start. The variety of the menu is excellent with lots on offer from mackerel miso casserole to teriyaki chicken and everything in between.
We finally decided on the salmon nigiri special, the pork gyoza dumplings (scottish, outdoor reared, minced pork, lettuce and nira, served with a vinegar soy with chilli oil), stir fry noodles with king prawns and tonkatsu curry (panko breaded pork with rice and Japanese curry sauce) which also came with sticky rice and miso soup.
Our waitress took our order and quickly disappeared down the stairs to the kitchen. We really didn’t have long to wait at all before the food arrived at the table and the lovely aromas hit us like a train. I was so keen to get stuck in that I had a bit of a malfunction and all of a sudden lost the ability to use chopsticks. I was determined I wasn’t going to take the easy way out and ask for a fork so I powered on with the chopsticks using a unique half chopstick half finger method of eating until I got the hang of it.
The salmon nigiri was fantastic. Two really good sized pieces of salmon which were perfectly cooked and almost melted in the mouth. The salmon and the bed of rice were very tasty indeed.
I’ve had pork dumplings a few times in various restaurants and to be honest I’ve always been slightly disappointed. It sounds like something I would really enjoy but for whatever reason they never really hit the spot. Well that was until now. The pork gyoza dumplings were gorgeous, lovely and soft casing with a very slightly crisped underside and the pork inside was packed full and tasted great. The vinegar soy with chilli oil was a perfect accompaniment which had a nice little kick to it.
Miss Edinburgers stir fry noodles with king prawn was again very good. There were plenty of good sized king prawns and everything tasted lovely and fresh. There was also a really good variety of veg and seasoning within the stir fry.
The miso soup was something I’d never tried before and again was very enjoyable. It had a quite salty, nutty taste to it which probably wouldn’t add much on it’s own but went really well with the tonkatsu curry. Speaking of which the curry was the star of the show for me, the portion of pork was very generous and the breadcrumbs were nice and crispy. The curry sauce was really tasty, quite sweet with only a slight heat to it. There was so much of it I even allowed Miss Edinburger a couple of slices.
We had a great evening at Harajuku Kitchen, great food, very friendly staff and a really nice relaxing atmosphere. We will certainly be back and would be first to recommend it to anyone looking for great authentic Japanese food.
Harajuku Kitchen | 10 Gillespie Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4HS | 0131 281 0526 |