Steve and I met there and after a short wait were shown to our table.
The dining room is quite elegant done out in creams and browns. The tables are not too close together and it's a comfortable place to sit.
Service is efficient and comes with smiles from pretty much every member of the team. Our drinks order is taken quickly and the menu is explained to us.
We consider our choices over a cocktails (for me) and a beer for Steve and opt for the Omakase so we can try different things. It's 5 courses for $69 per head and we think it represents good value for money.
The next course came out quickly and it was a salad with duck and scallops. The chopped salsa and the vinegary dressing was a nice balance. Not too sharp and not too over powering. I prefer my duck rare and this was well done but the scallops were added a nice overall sweetness.
So far it was a good experience and the positives outweighed the negatives. The main course was what was going to catapult this to a restaurant to re visit or shelve... We were informed our stone grills were ready for us and we were asked if we'd like black pepper on them which we declined.
A rectangular slab of hot stone was brought to us (one each) with an assortment of meat and seafood. Our selection consisted of steak, chicken, white fish, a prawn and a lamb cutlet. The stone is heated to 400 degrees and to cook it, you slice a bite sized piece of what you wish to eat and sear it on a bit of the stone to cook it preferred tastes. There are also 4 dipping sauces that come with it - sake and soy, creamy ponzu, creamy garlic and teriyaki.
Aside from the fact we were working through a five course menu this is a healthy way to eat as there is no oil or fat involved in the cooking process. Our grill came with a bowl of fried rice. The quality of the meat and fish was good. I enjoyed most the dipping sauces; the garlic cream was great with the steak and the sake and soy went well with the fish. I found the teriyaki a touch too sweet and I didn't like the creamy ponzu.
The dining room did get very warm especially in front of the stone. It was a warm night outside (about 26 degrees) so that didn't help. There is air conditioning but it didn't help.
Dessert was a sampler bento box with some red bean paste, green tea ice cream, chocolate dip, chocolates, green tea tiramisu, fresh fruit, chestnut cake and a pear and cucumber sorbet.
The chocolate dipping sauce was a surprise as there was a mint flavour running through it. The green tea ice cream seemed a bit icy at first but as it melted it became richer and creamier. The sorbet whilst being pleasant was a little bit out of place as everything else seemed more chocolatey, creamy based. We worked our way through it and finished most things bar a piece of melon and the red bean paste which we didn't really know what to do with.
We enjoyed our dinner here. The restaurant is relatively calm compared to the hustle and bustle of China Town outside. Service is friendly and efficient. Our wine glasses were kept topped up and the food was served at a good pace. This is a good option for large groups as there is something on the menu for everyone and what is there not to like about grilled meat?!