Uzu

Years ago I was recommended to come to Uzu by friends who studied here. Now years later I find myself studying here as well, but we’ll save that story for another time. I had just finished my first and only class on Friday and decided to go to Uzu even though I had plans to meet up with friends later in the afternoon. Uzu is a fairly cheap place to dine, the food portions are not overly large and in my opinion just right to keep you satisfied. I was feeling a bit peckish I bought the tempura onigiri $1.80 because I love onigiri and a prawn tempura maki $2.20 roll just to compare the two together.

2013-04-12 Uzu (9-11)

I received my two little bundles of rice joy in a clear plastic container to take away because I wanted to take some pictures with them. Here you can see (above) the Prawn Tempura maki roll $2.20 which is really cheap and the Tempura prawn onigiri for ONLY $1.80. Perfect snacking size and won’t hurt your wallet at all. I really like the flavouring use for the onigiri, it was subtle, the rice was soft and it wasn’t cold. To me if sushi or in this case onigiri is not served cold, that just screams freshness. Or in some cases a broken fridge, but with sushi once it has been made should not be stored in very cold conditions but a just cool display. My onigiri was room temperature, the prawn was good quality and batter thin and had a slight crispy texture to it.

2013-04-12 Uzu (4-8)
They have an amazing selection of maki rolls, onigiri and inari.

I only issue I had was that the rice used was not your typical short grain. I actually thought it was long grain rice before I decided it’d be best to check with the chef. The rice grain used at Uzu is slightly longer than usual. Even though I love how soft the rice was, it was a little bit too sticky/chewy.Just a smidge. When I asked the chef what kind of rice it was and he said it was a type of short grain ordered from overseas. Californian short grain rice. This was something quite new to me.

2013-04-12 Uzu (14-15)

When I came here later on in the afternooon with my friend we shared the Takoyaki, 6 pieces for $5.00 (above). This was very much worth it considering some places charge quite a bit e.g $6.50 for sub par takoyaki. If you wanted 8 pieces it’d only cost you $6.00.  The takoyaki comes with a choice of either plain mayo, wasabi mayo or mustard mayo but I was quite content with just having it served with plain mayonnaise. The takoyaki were really nice and hot.

2013-04-12 Uzu (18-19)
 

They were slightly lacking that slight crisp you get when eating them freshly made on the spot because these were already premade and reheated (above). The exterior was slightly chewy, but it was still delicious.

2013-04-12 Uzu (16&17)

Agedashi tofu $5.00 (above) was delicious. The sweet and savoury broth was not too heavy or salty – more concentrated that stock but not sauce like. A perfect broth for the hot and thinly battered tofu cubes. The batter that was used for the tofu actually kept on the tofu and did not peel off as soon as it sat in the broth. I found that quite amazing to be honest. I’ve had agedashi tofu at places where the batter would just slide right off the tofu as soon as you picked it up because the batter would would absorb all the broth and get too soggy.

2013-04-12 Uzu (21)

Also ordered the green tea ice cream (above) on recommendation by a friend, as she confidently dubs it the best green tea ice cream she’s ever had. The ice cream had a nice subtle matcha flavour to it. It wasn’t too creamy and for $2.50 you get roughly a scoop in a small plastic container. For what you get and what it’s worth, I’d say it’s worth it. Perfect price and portion for people like myself who just want a little something sweet to keep us going.

Uzu is a small diner. It’s small cosy interior seats roughly 12 people with another half dozen or so tables and chair outside for customers to sit. If I ever had a craving for any Japanese food, I’d say it’s very well worth the extra 5 minutes walk from the main campus across the Coles Supermarket car park for maki rolls and onigiri that is absolutely delicious and cheaper than your on campus alternatives. One day I might come back to try their other main dishes, but for now I’m just loving their maki rolls. All up I spent a total of $16.50 for five different items on their menu. I’m a person who prefers variety and quality over bulk and really appreciate affordable dining that promotes this sort of dining preference. I only wish most restaurants would provide entree sized servings for their mains, because usually the portions are much too big.

2013-04-12 Uzu (20)

You can actually see the rest of their menu up on the board there (above). They the basic dishes and a decent variety of Japanese food for you to try. The ladies are friendly and service prompt. The chef himself is also happy to answer any questions you may have about the food, but just keep in mind that he might be busy trying to keep the fresh food coming whether it may be to order or adding to the maki roll, onigiri or inari display case. The place is only open for lunch and dinner 11am-8:30pm Monday to Fridays which may be why some suggest that it primarily caters to university students.

 

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