Chef Naoki Fukushima and his team serve up pleasantly affordable izakaya-style food. Tucked down a small set of stairs in Elizabeth Bay, Kujin is a neighbourhood gem for locals, and a worthy trip for those further afield. The black and red interior, dotted with low hanging lanterns, allows couples to enjoy a quiet dinner, and larger tables provide a pleasant setting for groups.
Gyoza is a great place to start, and the pan-fried pork dumplings are light, complex and partnered with a delicate vinegar sauce. From the sea, the scallops with wasabi mayonnaise are soft and buttery, and the plump karaage soft-shell crab is even more delicious when smothered with the accompanying chilli mayonnaise. The udon noodles, made in-house and served with karaage-style fried chicken, jiggle softly in a well-balanced miso broth with fine slivers of seaweed.
PSST! For those who like to watch the precise knife skills of the hachimaki-wearing chefs, ask for a table overlooking the kitchen.