Look, I gotta admit, when Daisy and I rocked up at the Gasometer Hotel early on a Sunday evening (with Liisa to arrive shortly after), to be greeted with an…enthusiastically loud live band in the front bar…we were on our phones looking for where else we could eat in the area.
Fortunately the bar staff advised this was their last song, so we breathed a sigh of relief knowing that we could have dinner and actually hear each other and settled ourselves in to try the food from Gas-Light Izakaya.
Gasometer Hotel is definitely not where three Asian girls would probably usually plan to have dinner, but when Adam Liston and Northern Light’s name is involved in the kitchen, we’re down.
The menu is generous, and relaxed, taking what we loved at Northern Light into a more casual place, definitely reminded me of some of the places I had been to in Japan.
The jalapeño and cheese korokke, with shichimi togarashi are served individually, but there’s a whole lot of attitude packed into each one. Fried perfectly golden and crunchy, the inside is exactly how you want it, melting in your mouth cheesiness with a punch of heat. We shared it quite comfortably between the three of us, it’s that big and filling!
I’ve been seeing a lot of cauliflower and broccoli on menus lately, and I’m totally okay with that. The fried cauliflower, with sweet and sour sauce (not the neon glowning type) with toasted sesame, had a lovely light batter, around the tender vegetable and a very familiar and comforting flavour to it. Kept going back for more!
You can’t go past the yakitori, we enjoyed the chicken thigh and chicken wing (I think), lovely and tender and charred to perfection.
I was definitely into the Japanese vegetable curry, served with an onsen egg and steamed rice. On a cold night, this was pure comfort, and finally a Japanese curry that actually has a proportionate amount of gravy to rice! The spices were vibrant, and the gravy actually quite light, not heavy in the tummy.
And to wrap up the savouries? Delicious, delicious pork loin katsu served with lemon and shredded cabbage slaw. The slaw itself was a little intense in the citrus for me, but I adored how crisp fried the katsu was. Easy, comforting food.
We finished with the Yamazaki custard tart, which had a lovely and light pastry, but was a bit lacking in flavour overall for me. Wasn’t as excited as I was hoping to be.
I’ve honestly never really been into traditional Australian pub food, but if I lived in Japan, I’d be totally down at the Izakaya’s all the time. To me, this is comfort food, and I’m so happy to see it in an accessible environment like the Gasometer hotel, and on top of that actually done really well too. I was also surprised how affordable our meal was, with a couple of soft drinks (hey, it was a school night), it came to around $27 a person, which I thought was very reasonable for the diversity of food we had.
Next time, I’ll get one of those amazingly stacked Katsu-sando’s in me…
484 Smith Street