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Tanoshi

Skyline Arcade Mall Street, Queenstown, 9300, New Zealand

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In the centre of Queenstown is Tanoshi, an izakaya style sake bar and restaurant. It is quite small, with two booths, a couple of outside tables in good weather, and otherwise a collection of high bar stools that do not encourage lingering.

Lightly pickled cucumber had sesame seeds and a little hot chilli on top (11/20). Seared salmon was very lightly cooked, with soy sauce for dipping, spring onion and red onions with a few leaves as garnish. The salmon sadly did not have much flavour (11/20). Tofu was fried and supposedly came with ginger, though this was hard to detect. This came with a few bonito flakes and spring onions, and was harmless enough (11/20). Pan-fried scallops were disappointing, tiny queenie scallops that entirely lacked sweetness or much in the way of flavour at all (10/20). Chicken tempura had reasonably clean batter (and came with a soy based dipping sauce (12/20).

An unusual touch on the menu was okonomiyaki, the savoury pancake that is served in Hiroshima and Kansai, particularly in Osaka. The version served here is Kansai style, where the batter and the ingredients are mixed together, rather than cooked as separate layers as in the Hiroshima style. This was a miniature portion and was pleasant enough, a few prawns in the pancake cooked well enough with a decent sauce, though more cabbage would have improved things, and it was hard to detect any ginger (11/20).

Service, from staff that all appeared to be Japanese, was courteous and friendly. The bill, with beer to drink, came to NZ$71 (£37), which was tolerable for what we had though a touch pricier than nearby Daruma. This is a pleasant enough place to eat if you avoid the scallops.

 

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