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Five Star Japanese: A Birthday Date with My Baby

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August 14, 2014 / Japanese / By
Katie Schenk

I don’t crave sushi.  I don’t mind it, of course, but it’s rarely creeps into a craving phase.  My son, on the other hand, he can’t get enough of the stuff.  Truly.  (In fact, you may have noticed this isn’t the first time I’ve brought up my kid and sushi.)

In the past couple of years, I’ve made a point of taking my kids out for a special one-on-one date for their birthday.  That’s not to say that we don’t do date night on a regular basis, only that I try for a very special night for their birthday.  So, when I gave my baby (on his two-hand birthday) the option of Italian or Japanese, I wasn’t surprised.  Only this time, I wasn’t about to hit one of the many run-of-the-mill sushi places; I was prepared to splurge on a proper Japanese dinner.

And by splurge, I do mean that most parents will have a problem with the kind of dough I was willing to spend on feeding my kid.  But, what was I going to do?  He loves his sushi.  And, I wanted to turn him on to other Japanese food.  It wasn’t a question; we hit Yamato.

This restaurant is located in the trendy suburb of Illovo, in the Thrupps Centre (which also features Thrupp’s grocery store which carries a fair amount of American and British groceries).  It’s small, with about 12 tables (so it’s best to make a reservation on weekend evenings), but its intimacy is why it’s considered one of the top special occasion restaurants in Joburg. 

The wait staff seemed a bit bemused with our table; they probably don’t get a whole lot of 10-year-olds through the door, but that was fine as we were truly there to have a good time with each other.  And, as we waited for our set menu courses (and a bit of extra sushi) to arrive, we did indeed reminisce about the Japanese restaurants we’ve been to in Germany and the States. 

The miso soup was delectable; the Saki was served in a traditional square box, and the ginger was – thank heavens – not that funny pink colour.  I was particularly impressed by the dumplings, but my son fell in love with the sauce served with our deep fried chicken.  He said (and I quote), “it feels like there are a thousand angels dancing on my tongue.”  Wow.  If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is.  My only regret is that we couldn’t have possibly fitted in some Shabu Shabu too.


Yamato

Country: South Africa

Province/State: Gauteng

City: Illovo

Address: 198 Oxford Road

Zip/Post Code: 2196

Location Tips: In the Illovo Muse Centre next to Thrupps

Phone: 011 268 0511

Website:http://www.yamato.co.za/...

Price Guide:$$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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