Red marks the spot.
A vibrant red paper lantern beacons you to serendipity behind the unassumingly large white barn door. According to Japanese folk belief, RED is the colour for “expelling demons and illness.” So is Japense whiskey and Etsu Izakaya has a reputation for serving these Asian spirit with care and passion.
Beyond the door, is polished concrete and wood, splashed with neon, in this funky, anime-drama, pop-styled restaurant.
We start the evening by sitting in a large group under a well-lacquered, overgrown bonsai tree, downing chilled Asahi beers while nibbling on the best spicy edamame.
The staff is friendly, easy on the eye, and well versed on the tastes we are about to conquer.
Fresh salmon belly sashimi served in a bowl of crushed ice and usual complements. Steamy, crunchy wagyu gyoza that is easy to eat. Beautiful.
Food at Etsu
Slow roasted pork belly (maybe confit?) cubes with a fresh apple chutney. A must eat
Kataifi-wrapped scallops san-choy-bow style with fresh lettuce and Kewpie mayo
There is a binochotan charcoal-fired robata grill positioned just in front of the kitchen. Everything from teppanyaki to wagyu rib fillets sizzle and smoke on top of it, which makes entranced watching.
Japanese cuisine is not really known for desserts, so lets just leave it at that.
The drink list is, as expected very Japanese, specializing in Japanese whisky, sake, brews, cocktails and a small selection of wines by glass or bottle.
Etsu is a quick and easy social eating-house with a nice dash of elegance. Mid-week and this restaurant would be the envy of a lot of restaurateurs.
Very fresh yummy food, great busy restaurant, a must see for foodies when on the Gold Coast.