October 03, 2015

I am an avid fan of Japanese cuisine and yakiniku is definitely no exception. Rengaya prides itself as an authentic yakiniku restaurant serving premium quality wagyu in North Sydney and they also offer a lovely sashimi selection as well and shabu-shabu (Japanese hotpot).

Wagyu is a breed of cattle which is famous for being highly marbled and means that a high percentage of monounsaturated fat is dispersed throughout the meat. In simpler terms, it translates to super juicy, tender and melt-in-your-mouth meat. The extent of marbling relates to its grading which ranges on a scale from 0-9 with 9 being the highest in the Ausmeat grading system.

Rengaya is conveniently located opposite North Sydney Station on Miller Street and as it was brightly lit it was hard to miss. The first thing you would notice would be the cool samurai armour displayed behind the glass windows and noren (Japanese curtain) draped above the entryway.

Private rooms
We were shown around the restaurant and there is an option of booking a private room so it would be a great way to celebrate a special occasion. There are also tables outdoors so you can grill your meats  outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Himalayan pink rock salt used to season their wagyu
Rengaya serves 9+ grade wagyu cuts and it was certainly a dining experience to remember. Having had some amazing wagyu in Kobe, Japan I was definitely not disappointed by what Rengaya had to offer and I will forever savour the sensational flavours and the melty texture of wagyu.

Orange & Passionfruit Chu-hai $15.80
This cocktail was a great recommendation and it was really fun making my own cocktail. The blue and white ceramic cup contained shochu which is a Japanese distilled beverage and can be made from potato or rice.

Juicing the passionfruit and orange which were perfectly ripe
Pouring Sprite into the glass containing added shochu
Adding in the freshly squeezed juices
The final product was very refreshing, and sweet. I prefer my cocktails on the much sweeter side so this was excellent. The only negative thing though is that my tolerance to alcohol is severely low so I was quite lightheaded afterwards and it was no task finishing it because of the lack of bitterness as it was masked by the Sprite and passionfruit and orange juices.
Very Berry Cooler $15.90
We were told that this was their most popular cocktail and when I had a sip it was no wonder why it was such a hit. Consisting of Vodka, cassis liquer, cranberry juice, fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries it would make for the most perfect cocktail for a scorching hot day. The special feature would be the cassis liquer which is made from fresh blackcurrant and essentially made the drink an alcoholic version of ribena. The generous heaping of assorted berries were super juicy and sweet.

Special Sashimi Selection $34.90
We were not disappointed by the quality of the sashimi, it was super fresh and soft and each slice of  fish was of the perfect thickness. I normally don't enjoy raw squid too much but this was an expection as the slivers of squid weren't overly chewy and retained some bite.

Wagyu Short Rib $39.90
Be prepared to be amazed by the extent of marbling present throughout the beef and it tasted heavenly after taking if off the hot grill. The sizzling and crackling of the perfectly cut pieces of wagyu was music to my ears and it really didn't take long to grill at all to achieve that beautiful rendering of fat and light smokey flavour on the exterior. Honestly, you can enjoy the flavours of the wagyu without the yakiniku sauce as the protein is seasoned beforehand however the dipping sauce emphasised the juiciness of the meat and you really can't have Japanese BBQ without the signature yakiniku dipping sauce.

Premium Beef Rib x 2 pieces & Premium Beef Loin x 2 pieces $35 ($20 with Washoku Lovers Card)
If you are a Washoku Lovers member then there is the benefit of scoring the set for $20 instead of $35. Again, the marbling was intense which produced super tender meat that almost melted in your mouth. It was so easy to eat as I essentially ate the pieces whole and the flavours were mind boggling. The savoury sesame seasoning was so delicious and full of flavour and a generous dousing of the grilled wagyu in the yakiniku sauce really hit the spot.

Tabletop grill plate
The grill was super hot which we appreciated as it meant we didn't have to wait long at all for the meat and vegetables to be cooked. The beauty of yakiniku is that you can cook everything to your liking and I preferred my meat a little more cooked than DT's.

Wagyu Rib Finger $29.90
The rib finger would have to be one of my favourite cuts of wagyu as they are bite-sized and packed full of flavour and not to mention oh so tender. Who doesn't love a side of juicy grilled corn as well?

Seaweed Soup $7.90
We ordered the spicy ox-tail soup however I believe we got the seaweed soup instead but I didn't mind at all as it was very delicious and I haven't had such a yummy seaweed soup before. The tofu pieces were also silky smooth and the sesame oil made it very aromatic. We hope to try the ox-tail soup the next time we visit because we were informed that it was delicious.

Rengaya was such a delightful yakiniku experience and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. They really do the best authentic Japanese BBQ in Sydney with super prompt service to boot. Don't forget, if you are a Washoku Lovers member then you can get the Washoku Lovers Set (2 x premium beef rib and 2 x premium beef loin) for $20 (valued at $35). Washoku Lovers is affiliated with a growing number of Japanese eateries so if you love Japanese food and don't know where to locate good places then it is a great membership to have as it's free and you will have access to exclusive benefits if you visit any of its partnered restaurants and show them your member card. To sign up: 

Thank you to Yuri from SDMG Marketing and Yamada-san, manager of Rengaya for inviting us to dine as guests

Rengaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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