Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Je Ge Mu and Shimbashi

If I were a billionaire tyrant and had cash to unload, I would create an award for the annual best new restaurant name. The inaugural winner would go to the fine Neutral Bay Japanese Harvey Dent restaurant Je Ge Mu and Shimbashi. Je Ge Mu for Okonomiyaki & Teppenyaki, Shimbashi the Buckwheat Noodle House. Lucky for us, we won’t have to make separate visits to sample the menu, the sides are connected so you can order anything you like. The difference is the feel and décor of the two places. Je Ge Mu more modern with the stainless steel teppenyaki hot plate, vent and bench the dominating feature, Shimbashi a more traditional Japanese diner with the very impressive stone grinder out the front that mills the buckwheat into flour for which the chef uses to create soba noodles in house.

Desserts certainly not their speciality, generic green tea and black sesame Asian ice-creams that probably fell victim to a lack of turnover. That’s where the disappointment ends.

The quality of the restaurant’s name is equally matched by the food, it’s classy, elegant Japanese food. Cold noodles with dumplings, duck, chicken or hot with white radish, mushrooms come with your choice of soba or udon. Soba noodles are excellent, other than original there are the special flavours of green tea and shiso, a brilliantly minty taste, with a refreshing dipping sauce with more of the Japanese herb. Tempura soft shell crab does not retain any oil, the batter light and crisp letting the sweetness of the crustaceans sing and dance in the mouth. Okonomiyaki, savoury pancakes Japanese style, pan fried with noodles topped with a sweet barbecque tonkotsu Japanese mayo or seafood covered in a mound of spring onion the type of really really thick pancake you’d want to wrap yourself in. Okonomiyaki Mura Hiroshima eat your heart out.

Might find you and your company flipping a coin to decide your dishes. No need for that ridiculous award from this flogger to grab attention, the food does all the talking.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? 246 Military Rd, Neutral Bay, NSW
What? Most dishes around $15

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