Friday, November 20, 2009

Jizo Japanese Cafe & Bar, Dunedin

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Jizo, Dunedin

After Moeraki, CK and decided to check out Dunedin. I wasn't sure what to expect because we had heard that Dunedin is a big college town. For me, all I wanted to see was scenery.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised. We did the usual: Otago Peninsula, Lanarch Castle, Albatross Centre....But, our stay turned from nice to awesomely memorable when we accidentally stumbled upon Sandfly Bay. It is approximately 15km east of central Dunedin, and is a bay with large sand dunes and lots of wildlife. We spent a good part of our day here trekking through the sand dunes, and hanging out with the sea lions and penguins. We couldn't believe how close we got to the wildlife and were just absolutely astonished by the whole experience. I'll share more photos at the end of this post.

Sandfly Bay
Bird's Eye View of Sandfly Bay

Sea Lions at Sandfly Bay
Sea Lions at Sandfly Bay

After an eventful day in Dunedin, we stopped in at Jizo for a meal. This is a bustling 2-level restaurant that serves no fuss Japanese food. You grab your own menus, pour your own tea from the communal kettle, and order everything at the main counter. Once your food is ready, it is brought to your table by their very efficient wait staff.

To start, CK and I ordered the kushiage tofu: grilled, marinated firm tofu on a stick. This was delicious and the sauce had a nice hint of sweetness to it.

Kushiage Tofu
Kushiage Tofu

Next was the tori and vegetable udon. The was a chicken broth. The noodles were a good texture: slightly chewy, and this dish, overall, was mild.

Vegetable Udon
Tori and Vegetable Udon

We thought the Teriyaki tofu sushi looked different, so we ordered it. We were right. It was lightly breaded and fried tofu that sat on top of a ball of rice with a wonderful spicy mayo wedged in between. We really liked this dish.

Tofu Sushi
Teriyaki Tofu Sushi

We also wanted a traditional raw salmon sushi roll, and although there was a lot of rice, it hit the spot.

Raw Salmon Roll
Raw Salmon Sushi Roll

CK ordered a temaki salmon not realizing what it actually was. This hand roll was giant, and it filled him up quite well.

Salmon Temaki
Temaki Salmon

The spicy raw tuna roll is my default sushi dish. As I've mentioned before, I can't have sushi with ordering a spicy tuna roll. There was a little too much rice for my likings but the sauce and seasoning made up for it.

Spicy Raw Tuna Roll
Spicy Raw Tuna Roll

Overall, we really liked this place and would totally go back (if it wasn't half way across the world). It was casual, cheap, and their sauces were delicious and flavorful. The only thing we didn't love was the fact that there was too much rice in some of the rolls.

Here are some more photos from Sandfly Bay.

Some close ups of the sand dunes:

Sand Dune at Sandfly Bay
Sand Dune at Sandfly Bay

Sand Dune at Sandfly Bay
CK Climbing a Steep Hill at Sandfly Bay

More Hooker's Sea Lions. I was amazed at how large they were. They could have easily crushed me.

Sea Lion at Sandfly Bay
Sea Lion at Sandfly Bay

Sea Lions at Sandfly Bay
Sea Lions Sleeping at Sandfly Bay

We actually saw penguins in the wild! We couldn't believe it. CK was excited because penguins are his favorite animal. They are quite shy so we couldn't get too close.

Penguins at Sandfly Bay
Yellow-eyed Penguins at Sandfly Bay

Jizo Japanese Cafe & Bar
56 Princes Street
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Telephone: 03 479 2692

6 comments

Amelie said...

I can't believe you got so close to wild sea lions and penguins - too cool!

And now I'm craving sushi. lol

The Asian Pear said...

Yknow... I was thinking as I looked at the photos, there was a bit too much rich in them. Especially the tuna roll. I am really intrigued by the teriyaki tofu sushi though. I've not come across that either before. looks yummy.

nooschi said...

Amelie,
It was definitely cool. I couldn't believe how close we got either. Thanks for the comment!

The Asian Pear,
Yea, it was a little too much rice for me too (if that's what you meant). But as I said in the post, their sauces were so good, we didn't mind. On top of that, our meal was cheap! All that food was about $25 NZD.

The Asian Pear said...

Yeah, I meant RICE. haha. sorry. I was multi-tasking when I typed that (was talking and typing while not looking at the keyboard). That's a REALLy excellent price! I'm totally craving sushi now btw. :p

hamburgler said...

Those are some interesting styles of sushi. Looks really yummy. And so cool that you got to see all the animals so close up.

The Little Teochew said...

Amazing, beautiful photos! And I marvel at your post title - "Japanese" and "Dunedin". Isn't the world getting smaller? :) I thoroughly enjoyed this post. The food pics are irresistible!