I’ve pushed back writing about Sushi Tengoku for so long that this post is a compilation of something like four visits. So this means even more photos that I’m confident will leave you salivating all over your keyboard.
Sushi Tengoku is a UNSW student’s worst kept secret. No one specifically tells anyone of its existence, but it’s openly talked about on the assumption that everyone knows it. The draw of Sushi Tengoku is in its ridiculously large fish to rice ratio in their sushi. I’m talking fish the size of my palm with a rice portion the size of my finger. If you somehow went through your entire university life having never step foot inside the most unassuming restaurant ever (no interior photos, but it’s just a really basic outfit) you should definitely cry. But cry while running towards Sushi Tengoku. It’s not going anywhere but you need to make up for lost time.
The aburi sushi is something I order every single time, evidenced in these two different photos of it. You have to order the aburi sushi in pairs, so if you want salmon you’ll have to get two pieces of salmon. It’s not a problem at all, (if it is for you, you should invite me) because the aburi here is class A perfection. The salmon is creamy and moreish with a heady smokey flavour. Scallops are plump and juicy but also with that alluring scent that comes from searing it with a blowtorch. I say this every single time I eat seared seafood, I really need to get myself a blowtorch so I can aburi all the things!
The Tamago Nigiri ($3) is another novelty order that’s delicious. I don’t know how many eggs go into making one single piece. The Salmon Nigiri ($3.50) is looking a bit small next to the tamago but I assure you it isn’t. The egg sushi is just *that* massive.
Super rare instance where I order a Chawanmushi ($6) in the face of scrumptious seafood. I have always loved steamed eggs and chawanmushi is a long time favourite of mine, mom and I often share it and sometimes share the woe of a chawanmushi that isn’t piping hot as it comes out.
Salmon sashimi ($20) is everyone’s favourite, particularly my favourite. I can eat it cooked in any way, simmered, grilled, smoked, fried, but sliced up raw is truly the only way to do this fish justice.
The rolls are also a sight to behold because they are just massive. One of my favourites is the Soft-shell Crab Roll ($15). Soft-shell crab is something I order when I’m feeling something crispy at a sushi restaurant, a stark contrast to downing slippery sashimi after slippery sashimi. There’s nothing worse than soggy soft-shell crab and I’m happy to report that none of that happens here.
This salmon roll was a new one I hadn’t really ordered before. My mom ordered it before I arrived and I can’t seem to find it on the menu at the moment so I’m not sure what it’s called. Potentially the Salmon Tengoku Maki ($12)? Regardless I can never say no to more salmon and of course lovely, lovely ebiko and spring onions on top.
The Maki Sushi ($14) is a roll up of eel, prawns, egg and cucumber. In this photo can’t see much beyond a ginormous slice of egg. Still great, though I have a strong preference for the first two sushi rolls.
It’s not quite a venue at The Star or even one taking up high rentals in the CBD. But Sushi Tengoku is a great no frills dining location, and a testament to the fact that some of the greatest things come in the most unassuming packages.