Rin Japanese

167 Harrington Street, Hobart
0427 644 574
Open: Mon to Fri 11.30am to 4.30pm. Takeaways.

With just four small tables, a separate room with a table for six and window benches and stools facing onto Harrington and Brisbane Streets, Tomimi and Yuki Sato opened Rin last December. Named after their two sons and the Chinese-derived Japanese character meaning ‘brave’, it was indeed a brave move to set up a Japanese restaurant in what, in dining terms, is on the corner of nowhere.

Yuki trained and worked in Tokyo and Narida restaurants before moving to work in Hobart eight years ago and Tomimi says since opening on their own they have established a good, regular clientele. Which is not surprising, for their menu is much more expansive and varied than most other Japanese lunchtime eateries around town, the food is exquisitely presented in lacquered bowls and trays and, in true Japanese style, the intricately woven flavours are subtly delicate and harmonious.

The sushi selection runs from the usual nigiri and maki styles to the less commonly seen chirashi sushi – sushi rice, raw salmon, flying fish roe (tobiko) vegetables and a wedge of light and fluffy Japanese omelette traditionally served in a bowl. Delicious. Delicious too was the kara-age, the chicken pieces marinated with (I think) shoyu, ginger and garlic and then deep fried to crispy juiciness.

The sumiso-ae – wakame, cucumber and cooked prawn – came with a beautifully refreshing sweet/sour miso sauce while the miso accompanying the main-course teishoku selections was a nicely light and warming bowl of savouriness. The tempura udon on the other hand I found less appealing, the crispness of the tempura’d prawns and vegetables becoming unappetisingly soggy as they sat in the noodle broth. More the fault of the style of dish rather than the kitchen and, if I wanted noodles, I felt I’d have been better off ordering the kitsune udon or soba set, which came with fried bean curd, seaweed and spring onion.

That minor disappointment aside, it was a very enjoyable, if limited, sampling of the menu. And with the addition of fortnightly specials, there’s plenty of other authentic exquisitries to look forward to on my next visit.

Sushi two pieces for around $5; chirashi sushi $12.90; sashimi $11.80 to $16.80; teishoku $14.90; noodles $13.00; beef takiniku don $15.90; and many others choices from $3.90 to $18.90.

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