yama

mainpicture"Do you want to join us for dinner?" said the message "We're eating at Yama". "Hrm..." thought I, recalling previous conversations I'd had. Overpriced, underseasoned, overseasoned, confused. But I was on a mission to meet new people and be what some may call sociable. And I've never been one to judge a place based on other people's views. One man's foie gras is another man's green jello cup - and vice versa, depending on which end of the spectrum you lie on. So I said "Sure! Why not!" and went along.

I like the QVB. I like its high ceilings and it's quaint shop signs. I like the patterns in the tiles on the ground floor, and the way the stairways curl around and have a slight depression in the middle - memories of hundreds and thousands of feet that have trampled there day in and day out.

I don't like about 60% of the shops in the QVB though. The baubles in Pandora, the old-people's-clothing with no discernable cut or shape. And I don't like the new escalators that hang suspended, almost from nowhere. Don't like how the platform wobbles when you (or someone near you) jumps on it. Don't like that they seem out of place in the otherwise beautifully heritage building. But thems the times, and there's no stopping progress. Or so they say.

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the "specials" board

My trip to Yama was a bit like my feelings towards the QVB. Nice, nice, nice - and then a bit "hrm, ergh, ahhh..."

Take the decor, for example. Clean and simple. Cafe style but with a whole wall's worth of gorgeous quilted gold on the right hand side. Nicely padded too, for optimal lean-back-and-relax quality. The wait staff were polite, and unobtrusive. The position (on the very topmost floor of QVB) allowed for views into the streetscape through quaint old style windows. And the food, well, there's a lot of variety.

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"Vegetables Undon" $10.90

Yama is a contradiction of sorts. Japanese in name, not so Japanese in location. And so I think the menu has been engineered to reflect the cultural dissonance. I would have preferred Yama to have been either a Japanese resturant or a cafe. The vegetable udon smelt good, looked ok. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either. I understand that rent in the QVB is not cheap, but $10.90 for a vegetable udon is on the steeper side, especially when you compare what you can get just downstairs.

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"Tori Kara age Udon" $13.90

Having eaten myself silly at Bar Reggio earlier that day (yes, this post is delayed somewhat) I was only up for something light. The Kara age Udon appeared with a whole lot more chicken than I was expecting (good) but, unfortunately, the batter was slightly underdone (not so good), meaning that while it was lovely and crisp, I could also taste the flour in some parts - especially after it had been in the soup for a little while. The noodles were cooked but not soggy, the broth was light and clear. Again, not terrible. Also not the best I'd had. But I wasn't expecting the best.

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"Vegetable Soup with Grilled Chicken Breast" $9.80

The kids (I mysteriously have taken to calling them this, though one is older than me and the other much wiser) decided on soup. When we looked quizzically at the Rainman for ordering a Vegetable Soup, and for dinner, he merely said "I need protein. There's chicken in it". There was also a decent serve of cream in it, from the looks of things, and I (strange yes?) declined to have a taste.

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"Herb Infused Pumpkin $ Sweet Potato Soup" $8.90

I did, however, have a taste of Miss Shiny's Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup. Again, I tasted a lot of cream, though I will concede that some people like a good creamy soup. I'm more a thick, warm & flavoursome kinda girl. And the sweetness of the veges really came through. The herbs, not so much.

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"Fish steak of the day" $24.90

Finally, Ike had the fish of the day. Which looked beautiful and smelt almost as good. It was most likely the best dish we'd ordered. But by the time it came out, I was fairly disinterested. And a little more enthused by the *zzzt...zzzt...* sound my nails made against the quilted gold padding that I was leaning on in true lean-back-and-relax style.

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Yama
QVB
Shop 2, George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone (02) 9269 0080

8 bites more:

Babydoll's Project 365 said...

i like my soup chunky too. i'm going qvb the tea room on sunday! then shopping ^_^ (must go kikki-K!!!)

Y said...

Haven't been here, but doesn't quite seem like my kind of place, by the sound of things.

Simon said...

Hopefully it was at least worth the social. Sounds like you weren't overly impressed by any of the food there.

shez said...

Babydoll's Project 365: ooh! the tea room is such a lovely place, and i adore (adore!) the stuff at kikki-k.

Y: agreed. it isn't my kinda place either. except, maybe, for the gold squishiness.

Simon: good company does make or break a meal doesn't it? sort of. *sigh*

smileona said...

YUMMM!!! I've been here for a client lunch before. ^_^ iTs quite nice.

Awesome blog u have here. Ur food blog is awesome!

shez said...

smileona: not bad at all. and thankyou so much - i'm so glad you like it!

Simon said...

Shez, that bad, huh?

shez said...

Simon: i just had such hopes! it's such a lovely location...

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