Saturday, 13 July 2013

Sake Bar

The last time I went to Sake Bar was at least 6 months ago.  I've been there a few times before and each time it's a bit hit and miss with both food and service.  Tonight I decided to venture back there for my Entertainment Book project and actually write a review.

As we approached the entrance to Sake Bar, we were greeted by the maître d' who quickly showed us to a table.  At 6:30pm on a Friday night, they were pretty quiet - only a table of 6 girls and another table at the bar occupied by a single man.

Our order
  • Rainbow Roll (starting from the inside out we have rolled crab meat, sliced cucumber & Avocado with sesame topped with a mix of our freshest sashimi) $19.90
  • Chef's specially selected Sashimi (18 pieces) $28
  • Wagyu Beef Tataki (locally sourced Wagyu beef seared to seal in flavour served up with lime vinegar sauce & garnished with crispy garlic chips) $18
  • Tori Karage (ginger marinated chicken pieces, crispy fried & served with wasabi mayonnaise) $10
  • Traditional Steamed Rice (our rice is made using traditional wooden vats to produce a great flavoured, fluffy and sticky finish) $3.50
  • Miso Soup (aged Miso imported from Nagano prefecture, Japan, for the fullest flavour possible also with Spring Onion, Seaweed and Tofu) x 2 $9 ($4.50 each)
To drink
Green tea x 2 $6 ($3 each)

Food and presentation - 1.5/5
The food was beyond disappointing.  This is the worst meal I've had at Sake Bar and probably at a Japanese restaurant.  Let's begin with the rainbow roll.  As soon as it came out I could tell that the sashimi on top of the sushi was not fresh, the most obvious being the salmon, it wasn't the bright orange typical of fresh salmon, the avocado looked a bit sad, it was falling apart and I've never seen such thinly sliced sushi before.  When hubby and I took our first bite, we knew immediately that it was pre-made and been sat there for goodness knows how long.  Not acceptable!
Rainbow Roll $19.90
Now don't even get me started on the sashimi, the fish were not fresh although still edible except the tuna.  The tuna had that slightly fishy taste indicative of fish starting to go off, even soy sauce and wasabi couldn't mask that taste and I nearly gagged.
Chef's specially selected Sashimi $28
Beef tataki, usually one of my favourites but not tonight.  Like the sushi it was pre-made and I don't know how long it's been sitting in the fridge because the plate and the sauce were very cold, the paper thin slices of beef were sticking to the plate and the crispy garlic chips were no longer crispy.  The taste wasn't bad, it would've been better if it was fresh.
Wagyu Beef Tataki $18
The saving grace of the evening was the tori karage, you really can't go wrong with fried chicken as it has to be made to order; the wasabi mayonnaise helped complete the dish. 
Tori Karage $10
Growing up in a restaurant, I know that there are items that are and need to be prepared in advance but these items should still be fresh and of good quality when it is served to the customer.  Unfortunately for hubby and I, this doesn't seem to be Sake Bar's philosophy, not tonight anyway.

Service - 3/5
The service tonight was better than I remembered.  The waitresses were polite, attentive and cleared our plates as soon as we were finished, a bit pushy but it didn't annoy me too much tonight (I must be either really tired or in a really good mood).  However, we had to ask for our tea to be topped up every time and although they were quick to come back with the tea pot to fill up our cups, I didn't think it was very good considering they only had 2 other tables to look after and there were at least 4 waitresses on the floor.

Atmosphere - 3/5
The décor at Sake Bar is quite nice and it's got a Japanese feel to it although there was not much of an atmosphere here tonight.
Value for money - 1/5
Definitely not worth the money.  I can think of so many other places that are cheaper with better quality food.  I was slightly happier after the Entertainment card discount but still felt it was expensive for the bad food that we were served.

After this visit, I've decided I won't be returning to Sake Bar.

Taste Test Total Score 8.5/20

Sake Bar Restaurant on UrbanspoonEntertainment Book 2013/2014 Information
Section A - Fine and Contemporary Dining
Page - A138
Offer - 25% off the total bill up to $40 value