When Zomato asked me if I would I like to try the Japanese Hot Pot at Sydney’s new Izu Village it took me about 1 seconds to reply yes! I mean, seriously, I am the president of the hot pot fan club. I will swim in that stuff if I am given the chance.
So, I grab mum and head to Izu Village for their all you can eat Japanese Hot Pot dinner, complete with sashimi and sushi and unlimited soft drink, for $68. I mean seriously, do they not know what a giant gamble they are taking inviting me to an all you can eat dinner?Because I can eat more than stable of sumos, and that’s just for entrée! I think that’s why there is a 90-minute limit on your booking though, so people like me with seventeen stomachs can’t eat them out of food.
Anyway, I love it as soon as we enter because it is like being in Japan. Everything is open, modern and clean with traditional washi paper style walls and light timber. And there are cats. Everywhere! Not real ones though, because that would be weird. I mean cute little ornamental cats. I guess it’s because in Japan cats are considered to be good luck. Whatever the reason I like it. Almost as much as I like the food.
Seriously, the sashimi platter is insanely good with melt in the mouth tuna and salmon and fresh scampi that is so good I could cry.
Then there’s a choice of sushi which is off the charts, I especially like the crunchy roll with prawn.
We also get to choose as many delicious accompaniments as we like. There’s soft boiled eggs, jellyfish salad, pickled cucumber, seaweed salad, edamame and more. We are given a big bowl to fill with tofu, raw vegetables, rice cakes and noodles plus there are four kinds of meat available, wagyu chuck, wagyu roll, pork shoulder, and lamb shoulder, all of which are sliced super fine for cooking.
But the hot pots are the star of the show. What’s especially cool is the yin yan style cooking pots, which mean we can choose two of their ten different base broths for dinner! They offer everything from traditional shabu shabu kelp to miso, curry, super spicy, tom yum and Taiwanese wulao, as well as my choices on the night, Sukiyaki and collagen soybean milk pot, which comes with a zingy spicy paste for flavour. (I know it sounds unusual, but trust me, here it is amazing).
Then the fun starts. You’re actually supposed to play with your food and as the hot pot bubbles away, there’s a dipping frenzy of meat and vegies and noodles. As we empty our bowls of wagyu and pork and broth, the most amazing thing happens… they bring us more. Again and again and again. Booyah!
But there’s actually no filling my belly so I still have loads of room for dessert. Mum and me share (OK, I let her have a taste) a yummy raindrop cake (jelly water stuff with a flower inside) that tastes amazing and mango mein mein ice which was kind of like shaved ice but much, much yummier.
We still have fifteen minutes of our Izu Village eating fest left. Do you reckon they do seconds of dessert too?
Reviewed by Raffles – Aged 11
630 George St,
P: 02 8288 9035
Disclosure: Raffles was a guest of Zomato and Izu Village but all sushi scoffing, hotpot hogging and opinions are his own.