I learned something about myself yesterday.
If I want to get something done, all I have to do is say that I’m not allowed lunch (or insert next meal) until it’s finished.
Sure, I am the one carrying out the threat and I could just give in and feed myself before the task is complete but withholding food is an effective way to get things done.
Similarly, I can get through anything as long as I have an adequate supply of food.
Last weekend, Will and I had a little weekend golfing getaway. Although my golf skills are improving, I’m no PGA champion quite yet so I do tire quite easily. I managed to stay on my game with a bag full of snacks.
The low point of the whole weekend was not when I hit two balls in a row into the water but when I turned back to the buggy just in time to see a crow flying away with one of my snacks! I kept them well secured the next day.
It was pretty quiet for a Friday night but it didn’t take anything away from the setting. Arakawa has a few different sections to choose from. You can eat in the main dining section, at a traditional sunken table in a private room or at the bar. We went for a regular table because surprise surprise we wanted to have sukiyaki.
I did still peruse the menu and chose a couple of entrees to start with.
Yes I am officially obsessed with mushrooms. This menu had a whole meal of tempura mushrooms so I had to order them. The enoki (I think that’s the coral-like one) was so gloriously coated in batter it didn’t takes much like a mushroom but it was very crispy. The shitake was more true to the mushroom with a nice thin layer of batter.
I can’t go to a Japanese restaurant without ordering edamame. They’re so fun to eat and I love the saltiness. Sometimes they can be a bit stingy on the salt but you can see these were definitely not lacking. They were perfectly cooked too.
Sukiyaki is one of our favourite meals and Sono’s version is one of the things we like to indulge in on special occasions. We also love to try out other restaurants’ versions of the dish. Every place has their own slightly different take on the dish.
Luckily we checked out the menu before we made our booking and noticed that you had to let them know if you wanted to order sukiyaki. I’m not sure why though. They had no record of it when we arrived and there was no problem ordering it. Maybe the like to prepare the meat in advance?
The meat here was good but not nearly as good as the wagyu paper thin slices of beef at Sono. This meat had a little bit too much fat on the end for my liking.
Usually the fat melts in the pot but these pieces were just a bit big and made for chewy ends. I pulled the fat off my pieces.
One thing we’ve never had with sukiyaki before is udon noodles. They were quite a nice addition to the meal although not really needed with the meat, vegetables and rice.
This was definitely the best selection of vegetables that we’ve had. Can you guess why I liked it? So many mushrooms! Everything was so fresh and delicious and so nicely prepared.
Another thing we’ve never had before is pickled vegetables on the side. I have to admit I didn’t actually try them. To be totally honest I completely forgot about them. They were very pretty though.
Here it is cooking away on our table. There’s still a novelty factor in cooking your dinner at the table. Overall, the flavour of the sukiyaki was quite delicious. The only thing that let it down was the fatty bits on the meat. All in all it was really good and oh so filling.
It wasn’t filling enough to fill my dessert stomach as well though. The dessert menu wasn’t really very traditional. I think it catered more to the tourist trade rather than sticking to authentic Japanese. I settled on the wattle seed creme brulee having never tasted anything wattle seed flavoured before.
Someone said he was full and didn’t want any dessert but the second I’d finished taking photos a spoon came out of nowhere and cracked into the top. I was a little bit disappointed at missing out on the best part. It was a very good brulee. I’m not sure what wattle seed is meant to taste like though and I didn’t get a distinct flavour of anything in particular. It was more like a plain custard but a sweet, smooth and creamy one.
The verdict? Thumbs up. The service was quick and friendly, the prices, although at the high end were still reasonable especially being in a hotel and the food was all very good. Should you wish to try something different, you can sit up at the sushi bar and watch the chef working away.
Or you can be part of the production and eat at the teppanyaki station. It’s all action there. Be prepared to have food thrown at you though!
Arakawa is located in the Royal Pines resort at the Gold Coast. It is open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday.