Sushi Tei, Sydney

The premises have formerly housed the QANTAS headquarters, a bank branch, and there’s even an optometrist next door.  So it was quite a surprise to workers in surrounding buildings to discover that a new Japanese restaurant suddenly staged a low key opening – appearing suddenly without much fanfare.  The saying to not judge a book by its cover holds true in this case as you are impressed from the moment you walk in.  What looks like a quickly flung together room of tables and chairs looking in from the outside (and also spectacles) is in fact a buzzing room of long pale timber banquettes, with half a dozen cozy couched nooks that offer more private dining on the other side.  The large sushi counter with its sushi train (that even runs through a wall) dominates the space, and provides a moving feast for the eye and a focus from the room.  And the food is GREAT, and certainly, surprisingly priced for the Sydney CBD. 

We took the spacious couched booth and had the salmon sashimi – melt in the mouth tender, juicy and sublime – and fresh; and two other a la carte sushi rolls – soft shell crab roll and prawn and avocado roll.

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Six 6 bite sized morsels – I hate it when the sushis are so huge and the nori so stale that you look like a dog attacking a piece of meat as you attempt to bite into a sushi without shoving the whole thing in your mouth. Not so at this place! So fresh and visually exciting – the crab looks like it’s leaping out the sushi (a la Sebastien from the Little Mermaid!)

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Okay if I *had* to complain, perhaps they could have given me the full prawn (and also along the length of the roll) rather than the half. But the rice had just the perfect amount of bite, and the nori fresh, with just the right amount of roe to coat the inside out rolls.

Okay if I were to make another complaint it would be that the entrees came after the mains. But oh well…. I had the ebi don – three crumbed prawns with egg and onion on rice.  Egg was teeny bit runny for me (not just the yolk) and I wasn’t sure whether I preferred the prawn to be tempura rather than breaded, but yummy nonetheless.

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The chicken katsu curry was text book perfect, and portions generous for city meals; and the udon hotpot was filled to the brim with slurpy soft noodles, a prawn, and an egg – still runny – so that you can swirl it in or slurp whole into your mouth! 

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Sushi Tei has a menu of 9 desserts comprising 3 different ice cream flavours (black sesame, red bean and green tea), 3 ice cream sandwiches – we tried the choco vanilla (which suspiciously didn’t have any “choco”!), and the green tea red bean wafer. Yuuummm. The still crispy wafer encased green tea ice cream with a layer of sweet red bean paste in the middle, big enough for two to share (if you still have room that is!). Other offerings (of sticky rice desserts, and a red bean wafer) were not available on that day :( Neither was the red bean ice cream which I had been hankering for.  Oh well – more reason to come back another day – and I sure will, being a hop skip and a jump from the office! :)

Being a new restaurant, I’m sure teething problems led to the forgotten fourth meal of yakitori don – but at a total price of $80 include 4 iced teas – it can be forgiven :)

And PS – the wrapped wet towellette on the table is not free – you’ll find a charge for 20c each on the bill hehehe.

Sushi Tei – 1 Chifley Square, (Corner Elizabeth and Hunter Street) Sydney 2000. Ph: 9232 7288

2 Responses to “Sushi Tei, Sydney”

  1. SFWF Says:

    The experience at this Japanese outlet for me was totally disappointed. To cut the story short,

    - Half of the orders came out wrong
    - There was a fly in one of the dishes (when we sent it back, we felt that the staff was totally unapologetic towards a horrifying unhygenice error on their part
    - Food did not come out together. So our friends had to watch us eat – what a disaster to a Friday night dinner occassion

    In short, I will never visit this place again nor recommend it to anyone else. I suggest that they should get a critic chef to have a look at this place!

  2. Foodie Says:

    Hi SFWF,
    Sorry to hear your experience was bad :( You’re right, I actually don’t go there anymore, and I’ve reverted back to Masuya. What stopped me going was the stinginess of the dons – with mostly rice, and barely a few chunks of meat; and one time my rice was wet and had 1 ramen in it- as if they had dropped a bowl over it and rescued it! Also, my sushi no longer comes out fresh, it’s from the conveyor belt, with some crusty edges to suit. :(
    Are you Japanese? What’s your favourite? Actually, Katsura in Neutral Bay is very good!

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