Friday, March 18, 2011

Hikaru, Newtown

I think it is pretty safe to say that it’s the great food, and not the service, that keeps me coming back to Hikaru in Newtown again and again.

Now, to be clear, the staff are not rude by any means whatsoever (in fact they are actually really polite), they are just a little flaky.  Sometimes I feel like I’m being waited on by Phoebe Buffet from Friends.

On this particular night The Boy, Niecy-Poo and I arrive fairly early and get a table inside. As we are one of the first diners of the night the waitresses have no choice by to notice us and take our order when we give them the nod that we’re ready.  

After we finished our food, we decide that we’re still a little peckish and this is where the fun begins.  I try and try and try to get a waitresses attention so that we can be given a menu.   After some very loud “excuse me’s” at the waitresses shuffling purposefully past looked at their feet I finally get up and get us a menu.

When we’ve finally decided what extra dishes we would like to order it is even harder to get their attention so we can order a few more tasty morsels. The “excuse me’s” fail again so I start waving my arms above my head (in a polite way of course, no-one wants to serve an obnoxious cow after all) which finally results in a waitress coming over.  It is totally like winning the lottery and all three of congratulate each other on winning the waitresses attention.  Snap!

So now that we’ve finally ordered, lets talk about the food.

We start with a serve of Edamame ($4.80).  Hikaru serve their Edameme cold and saltless, which is a bit unusual I suppose, but still very tasty.

Takoyaki ($6.80 six pieces) is another must have when we come to Hikaru.  This is a golf ball sized octopus and potato croquette of sorts topped with mayonnaise, nori, Benito flakes, slivers of shallots served on a bed of lettuce. 

Agedashi Tofu ($4.30 for a small) comes without my beloved Benito Flakes, but is still so good that I become very unlady-like and drink the remaining the broth straight from the bowl!

The Scallop Yakitori ($12.10 for three pieces) come with a sweet sauce and dotted sesame seeds with sliced shallots The Scallops are plump, fresh and cooked perfectly.

When I spy Spider Roll ($9.80) on the menu I simply have to order it.  It is a delicious roll filled with crispy tempura battered soft shell crab and topped with roe, mayonnaise and black sesame seeds.  Noms.

The Spicy Tuna Roll ($8.80) is probably my least favourite dish of the night as I’m not a big fan of the spicy mayonnaise drizzled atop the dish.  The tuna however is fresh and cannot be faulted.

The Nasu Miso ($5.80) is another delicious dish that we always order when we come here. The eggplant is buttery soft and the miso paste has just the right amount of saltiness to make the dish moreish. 

The Dragon Roll ($9.80) is just a bit fancy.  The rice is wrapped around tempura prawn and topped with eel and avocado. I feel very decadent eating this. 

Last dish of the night is the Prawn Ebi ($5.80 for 3 pieces). A lovely simple end to a truly delicious meal. 

Despite the sometimes absent-minded service Hikaru is a Japanese restaurant that I return to again and again.  The food is lovely and fresh.  Once you’ve actually placed your order the dishes come out quickly and efficiently.

So if you don’t mind the pay off of good food for flaky service, then Hikaru might be somewhere to try. The place is always crowded so it seems like most people are happy with the compromise. 

Have you been to Hikaru?  I’d love to know your thoughts on the service, or if you think great food makes up for less than perfect service?

Hikaru Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Hikaru is at 134 King St, Newtown.  You'll find it tucked just been the clothes shop Yoshi Jones.


  1. I'm afraid I didn't enjoy the sushi here, however the other food was alright. It's been a while though so it's quite possible the sushi chef has changed, but we found the sushi rice quite compacted and dry. Nothing wrong taste-wise, but affect the whole textural aspect of the nigiri and rolls.

  2. I really like the look of that spicy tuna roll. I laughed when i read about getting the waitresses attention :)

  3. I love this place, whenever we feel like japanese in newtown we come to this place. I agree about the service though if you are sitting outside. I have see a few people get up and leave because they were waiting too long for service. The food is really good though!

  4. hehe I had to chuckle at your Phoebe Bouffet reference! That's how we refer to flaky waitstaff too! :D

  5. I always order spider rolls too when I see it on the menu. :-) I don't mind poor service so much as long as the food is cheap and fast and tasty.

  6. Looks good - I just love takoyaki - my neighbours makes them - I am going to have to learn!!!

  7. May I be on the record and say that I am anti sauces being squirted willy-nilly over sushi like it's nouvelle cuisine. Love a takoyaki though - yumarama!

    in a geeky aside, that poster with the Japanese ladies on it says "Sapporo Beer". It is written backwards because in fact Japanese was written right to left pre-WW2

    i told you it was geeky

  8. oooh the food looks so fresh, the nasu miso and dragon rolls grabbing my attention. Not a bad price either. I'm not a very patient waiter when it comes to food though.

  9. I'm well overdue for a visit to Hikaru. Love their dragon roll!. Gotta agree with you about the service

  10. i hate it when the waiter/ess looks right through me or pretend they didnt see me and look in the other direction when im waving at them like a lunatic :(

  11. Hi Everyone - thanks for your comments. We'll certainly be back to Hikaru for more yummy is worth the wait!

  12. That looks like my kind of place! Oh God, the Nasu Miso looks to die for :-)


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