Surry Hills is known predominantly for their cafe's, bars and certain chicken and burger shops. Not really does sushi, or even Japanese food other than Goros come to mind. Gou Sushi is a hidden gem located only a short walk away from Central station. Serving sushi with quality ingredients, Gou sushi is definitely worth visiting.
We ordered off the menu and picked at some sushi from the train while we waited. We prefer the sushi made fresh to order, so we were happy to wait that little longer. Like many sushi trains, you have full visibility to see how the chef's prepare your food. Can we say that the amount of effort, attention to detail, love and passion that Chef Rio put into creating our amazing sushi board was unbelievable. Each ingredient was carefully positions on the sushi, taking little elements from all over the shop, even going through the effort to dice fresh pickled ginger rather for that extra zing on the eel and egg 'chefs special'.
Unagi egg sushi
The board of sushi you see above was hand crafted. Each sushi, delightfully made by the hands of Chef Rio. We ordered the Ebi Prawn (the little dollop of mayo and egg sauce on top), Grilled Salmon (with the tiny pieces of tempura for extra texture on top), Grilled Scallop (with the perfect amount of special sauce), Unagi and egg and last but not least, the Grilled Salmon Belly.
Beginning with the egg and eel chef special, this was incredible. It exceeded expectations and is not the usual eel dish you would expect from your average sushi place (which is packaged eel).
The ebi prawn was Matt's favourite of the night. The texture of the prawn was still very much noticeable and the batter was nice and thick which again deviates from the typical ebi prawn we were expecting which generally has a lighter batter. While we would normally note this as a negative, the thick crunchy batter complimented the delicate crunch from the prawn.
We also ordered some grilled scallop which was glazed and blow torched. The scallop was creamy and very fresh. It was easy to order another dozen or so of these bad boys, but we resisted and restrained ourselves. The salmon was served to us in two methods, one being the normal salmon and the other the salmon belly. We had previously eaten salmon belly and knowing that it is the tastiest and fattiest part of the salmon really had us excited to dig in. Chef Rio brushed some sauce before blow torching the sushi. While it might only be a small element to the dish, it is the first taste that hits your taste buds, followed by the fresh salmon and subsequent soy sauce. We only had one bite each, but we were in awe and loved every moment of that brief 10 seconds.
Soft shell crab hand-roll
The soft shell crab roll flavour purely came from the sauce. I love when soft shell crab is the star of the roll but unfortunately it wasn't for this one. I would also prefer more crab as there was more rice to crab ratio.
Karaage is a favourite of ours as we do love our fried chicken. The batter was oily and quite thick, While it didn't provide a crunch as we were hoping, it had really nice seasoning and the chicken was cooked perfectly. The dollop of mayo is really the only way to enjoy karaage. Quite a simple and 'dirty' appetizer to offset the healthier dishes being the sushi and sashimi.
We seriously have a problem. Gyoza cravings are a real problem and we may need to see someone about this addiction. The gyoza was crispy and had a lot of filling inside. While they weren't the best ever, they were nice and enjoyable.
Gou Sushi isn't trying to beat the best and become a fine dining establishment with the likes of Tetsuya and Sokyo. It is however, taking the traditional sushi train and elevating it to the next level where affordability meets quality. It is unbelievable the quality of the food for such a small restaurant, even down to the soy sauce (which was completely different and the perfect condiment to accompany such fresh sushi). Do swing by and check it out, say hello to Chef Rio and order some salmon belly. Trust us when we say this is like no other sushi train in Sydney, more along the line of the experience we felt in Japan!
Snapshots of Food was invited by Ompty and Gou Sushi.