O-Sushi restaurant has done it again, scooping up the title of ‘Australia’s Favorite Japanese Restaurant’ by the national ‘I Love Food’ awards for the second time running, with each of their three locations, Byron Bay, Coolangatta and Broad Beach winning individual awards.
With these latest accolades firmly cementing their place as the favourite Japanese eatery in the region, it’s only the most recent icing on the cake for O-Sushi, who has won nine previous industry awards over the past eight years.
Clearly, they must be doing something right.
I recently paid a visit to their iconic restaurant in Byron Bay, popular with both locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of downtown Byron, it’s a warm and inviting eatery decked in rich red walls and high ceilings, mixing elements of Japanese decor with the funky, modern vibe that is uniquely Byron Bay.
Their comprehensive dining menu offers everything from gourmet sushi, sashimi and hand rolls to tapas, tempura, and kushi-yaki. Or if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy simply selecting from the tempting array of meat, seafood and vegetarian sushi as it rolls by on the train, presenting you with a real ‘help, my eyes are bigger than my stomach’ dilemma.
Outstanding presentation of food and flavour is key to the success and popularity of O-Sushi, with their highly trained chefs consistently creating some of the most beautiful and innovative sushi to be found anywhere. I was particularly intrigued by a unique combination of salmon, cream cheese and avocado sushi rolled in a lovely orange-coloured mixture of rice and tobiko, topped with prawn and Japanese mayonnaise. The prawn and mayonnaise was torched at high heat, producing a gorgeous smoky flavour and tantalizing caramel brown colour on top – pure genius.
Fully licensed, their drink menu is extensive, offering a large selection of premium beers, red and white wine, plum wine, cider, and of course, sake. Highly recommended is the Hakushika Namachozou. Best served cold, it is refreshingly light and clean, and the perfect complement to any sushi.
For the health-conscious, you can even choose from a selection of sushi made with biodynamic and organic brown rice. All of the soy used is gluten-free, and all ingredients are MSG-free. It’s an obvious reflection of their commitment to listening to their customers.
Indeed, co-founder Dan Regev believes that the foundation of O-Sushi’s success is based on an open dialogue with their customers.
‘We’re fortunate that our customers give us feedback, both good and bad, because this allows us to carry on doing things that work and try and improve things that don’t. We are especially proud of our excellent chefs that create the extensive menu that keeps finding the liking of so many of our customers. Without them, we would not be where we are now.’
O-Sushi now has three locations – their flagship restaurant in Byron Bay, which opened in 2004, joined by a second restaurant at Coolangatta in 2007 and a third at Broadbeach, which opened just last year and is already collecting the state award for Queensland.
The I Love FOOD Awards are unique in that they reward Australia’s favourite places to eat out as chosen by the Australian public. The 2012 Lifestyle Channel’s I Love Food Awards were the ‘biggest yet, with over 130,000 votes from hungry Australians recorded.’