I don't normally write more than one review of a restaurant, but after having dinner last night with my partner I felt compelled to share my experience. The main thing that stood out is the standard of the dishes. Last time we went to Yatai was November 2012 and the food was great then, however you can really see how the head chef has matured over the years with more experience and the evidence is in the taste and execution of their dishes. We've been going to Yatai since it was located on Skene street a number of years back and it has been great to see how the establishment has progressed over the years.
Three dishes I would like to recommend. First, the lemon sole tampura. Lovely. Fish was so well cooked and the batter on the outside was light and crisp. Its served with battered crispy skin which adds great texture to the dish and the sauce is nice and tangy too. Second is the seaweed salad. A must side plate with fried tofu in a light batter. Be warned it is quite a substantial dish! And the best for last... the tai shio, salt grilled sea bream, ginger salsa. So good we had to get a second plate of this. The fish was cooked perfectly over the Japanese grill and the skin crisp. The ginger salsa balances the salt in the fish and leaves you with a lovely taste in your mouth.
If I had to give some constructive criticism, I would say it would be interesting to see a more developed Japanese cocktail menu. I've never been to Japan and not familiar with their culture in great detail, so not sure if there even is a variety of Japanese cocktails. But if there is that would be great :) However the fruit punch cocktail that they serve is good though.
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