It's rare to find sushi in the suburbs in this country for some reason, so when I heard about Tani in Terenure I just had to give it a try.
In 10 Words (or less)
Decent suburban Japanese with bring your own booze policy
93 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6w. Down the road from Vaughan's on the corner of the crossroads. Parking is limited on the main road but there are lots of little car parks nearby and parking on street.
Anyone who is a fan of Japanese food in an out-of-town setting. It's definitely suitable for families, as it is super kid-friendly. I can also imagine that it could be a good place for a group, bringing their own booze to kick off a night before having the debate about heading into town or not.
I was there for Sunday lunch at about 12:30pm, and they had a special offer of free kids meal when you order a main. It wasn't too busy which suited us because we had the kids in tow.
It's a basic enough set up, with tables set up for twos and fours. There are probably about 40 seats in the spot.
The menu covered all my favourites Japanese food dishes. Unfortunately there are not many sashimi options available, only tuna and salmon. On the day I was there was no tuna was available - our server informed me that the delivery has arrived, and they didn't think it was good enough. While disappointed I took this as a good sign about the pride they take in their ingredients - no one likes dodgy sashimi.
The menu has got a nice selection of appetisers, mains and a surprisingly good desserts.
The lack of sashimi made my heart sink, questioning if the 'burbs could deliver on Japanese food but I soldiered on. It was Sunday lunch for us and once I got over that disappointment, I managed to get a good sample of what was on the menu.
I was upbeat when the food turned up: it presented beautifully in bamboo serving dishes, which made it all the more appetising.
For starters we had deep fried squid which was cooked perfectly, soft enough that a three year old boy liked it. The fried gyoza brought me back to the local izakaya bar outside of Tokyo, knocking back a few Sopporo's and supplementing them with gyoza and yakitori sticks until we got thrown out.
We tried some salmon sashimi which was good, except I like to use wasabi to clear my sinuses and the sample size was what I would normally consume with one piece of sashimi. Thankfully this was fixed with thanks to a kind waitress nearby.
The kids dish which came free was a perfect little dish; consisting of a miso soup, fried noodles and some Japanese style chicken nuggets.
I went for a ramen as it is one of my favourite dishes and after spending a month in Japan for the World Cup in 2002 , I consider myself the baraometer for good and bad. The meat was expertly cooked and the broth was hearty - perfect on those fronts. I prefer thin ramen noodles, however, and this ramen had udon style noodles which I am not the biggest fan of. I slurped it up super quick and quickly got bento box envy; a bento box is like a gift that keeps giving. This had miso, rice, salad and crispy duck and looked amazing.
Then came the surprise - A matcha tea crème brûlée. While it wasn't the sweetest of desserts, it worked really well.
We went hard on the water, but as previously mentioned this has a BYOB policy. I think the corkage was €5 for a bottle of wine and €1 for a beer.
With the specials and bento box we could have eaten on a budget, but we filled the table full of food and spent €56.
Two girls were running the front of house and doing a great job of it. One of the girls was particularly caring of my little guy. The food came out promptly, hot and looking good. I would have loved a look in the kitchen to see what the set up was, but I have a feeling it is a seasoned izakaya bar owner from Tokyo that is used to bashing out super fresh food, super fast.
If you're in Terenure looking for something other than Indian, Italian or a steak house, check it out. I'd definitely go back, try get a few of the boys to join me, splurge on some nice grown up beverages and avail of the BYOB. We'd fill ourselves with sharing food, then have the argument if we should hit town and burn all our brownie points at home.