Yebisu Bar & Grill

December 09, 2017

Yebisu Bar & Grill is located in the heart of Chinatown and most certainly turns heads with its abundance of enticing colourful signage. It is the ideal place for a quick bite or not so quick if there is alcohol involved and perfect for any group size. With its extensive menu there is sure to be something for everyone, from sushi to yakitori and even ramen.

Yebisu Bar & Grill Entrance

I was rather impressed with the presence of the elevator as it takes you up one floor and on second thought I suppose it is handy for situations where you have had a bit too much to drink and would be too uncoordinated to take the flight of stairs.

Ghibli characters
You will be greeted with Totoro's iconic mischievous grin as you walk in to be seated.

Wall art
The restaurant area is extremely spacious with plenty of seating for big or small groups. It is much roomier than its sister restaurant in Regent Place and is completely decked out with awesome murals of Japanese pop culture and even Bruce Lee.

You can clearly see the immense amount of time, money and effort invested into the interior of its new restaurant to really elevate the dining experience into something fun and energetic.

Counter seats
There are also counter seats available if you want to watch the chefs in action preparing the sushi and grilling skewered meats or seats at the bar if you need the alcohol in your bloodstream stat.

iPad ordering
Not surprisingly ordering food and drink is all done conveniently on an iPad. The food is categorised well and the photos are an honest representation of what is brought to the table. Watch the bill though as it is very easy to overspend. For those who are Washoku Lovers members you can order their tempura ice cream for a low price of $2.

Specials board
A waitress will come around to show you their current specials or recommendations but we chose to order everything from their regular menu on the iPad.

Beef tataki carpaccio $17.50
I am saddened to say that the first dish we ordered was a letdown especially when you factor in the hefty price. I really tried to enjoy this dish however the beef was sliced unevenly with more pieces leaning on the thicker side. I can tell you that there was a lot of chewing involved and we had also expected the beef being mostly raw to be thoroughly marinated however that was not the case. The two pieces that were sliced thin enough gave a glimpse of the dish's potential just a bit more dressing would have been much appreciated.

Takoyaki (3 for $5.80)
There's nothing to not love about takoyaki (grilled octopus balls for the uninitiated) with lashings of Japanese mayonnaise, takoyaki sauce and a heavy dusting of katsuoboshi (bonito flakes). They make the perfect izakaya (Japanese bar) snack. The ones by Yebisu Bar and Grill were hot enough and the filling was gooey and creamy with a bit of chewiness from the cut up octopus. My only complaint is that an even number of takoyaki balls should be served, perhaps four instead of three balls which would make sharing easier unless of course you have a group of three people.

Unagi egg omelette $14.80
We followed Yuri's recommendation and ordered the eel egg omelette which I am so glad we did as I would have to say that it was the highlight of the meal. The rolled omelette was super fluffy and moist and seasoned quite generously with salt. The addition of the grilled eel was rather unique and paired well with the omelette as it added a welcome dimension of flavour and texture.

Unagi egg omelette
Even from the photo you can see how bouncy and fluffy the omelette is.

Beef rib skewer ($6.80) and chicken giblet skewer ($3.30)
Yakitori is pretty much mandatory at an izakaya and thankfully at Yebisu Bar & Grill there are a number to choose from. If you're an adventurous eater there are skewered chicken offal but I did not particularly enjoy it due to its crunchy texture. When you order the yakitori on the iPad you can also choose one of three ways to season the skewer: salt, teriyaki sauce and curry salt. Also do note that the price is per skewer.

The beef rib was my favourite out of the skewers we ordered. It was juicy and marinated in a delectable sweet and savoury sauce with a nice smokey char on the surface. 

We ordered chicken giblet without first finding out what it actually was so that was a mistake on our part. It was strangely crunchy and tough to chew. The miso sauce for dipping helped me finish the entire skewer and actually it was good to try the giblet as now I know not to order it in the future haha.

Cheese chicken meatball ($5.80)
They do a decent chicken meatball here and the melted cheese is definitely the cherry on top. It is best to eat it straight away when it is still hot off the grill which we couldn't do as I was busy taking photos. The minced chicken was juicy and seasoned well but I highly recommend adding curry salt for a really good flavour hit otherwise it might be a bit on the plainer side.

Aburi salmon (left - $5.80 for two) and aburi salmon and mentai (right - $5.80 for two)
I love me some aburi salmon and these did not disappoint as the salmon was seriously melt-in-your-mouth tender. I have to say that the mentaiko sauce variant was really tantalising on the taste buds.

Sake cart
I apologise for this unacceptably blurry photo of the sake trolley. The sake cart was eventually rolled around to us but I am actually not too fond of sake or alcohol in general for that matter. I was also the designated driver so I had to give it a pass. The helpful staff will let you taste the different sake for free which is great and you can buy it if you like it to which they will ring the bell and cheer.

I really appreciate that Yebisu has transported a tiny bit of Japan to Sydney by offering an authentic izakaya experience that anyone can enjoy. The food I found was hit or miss but mostly good and I would just advise to be meticuluous about what you order. It is a tad on the pricier side however you are also paying for the experience which I do not think you can find anywhere else in Sydney except of course at Izakaya Yebisu in Regent Place.

Level 1/55 Dixon Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

Opening Hours
Sunday - Wednesday
12:00pm -11:00pm
Thursday - Saturday
12:00pm - 12:00am

Yebisu Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friend and I dined as guests of Yebisu Bar and Grill and Yuri from SDMG Marketing

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  1. I've been to every larger venue in the town and this is one of the best. Their menu is small but at least they seem to do what they have on it well. The Chicago venues have a variety of salads and sandwiches, and a fresh daily soup.