In the same spot opened Ebi, a Japanese fish and chippery as it calls itself. Time and time again we meant to try it, and in the past few weeks we've managed to become almost regulars.
In the bleak midwinter, Ebi is a little oasis of red light. At lunchtime or in the evenings, you will be greeted with a smile and a cup of hot Japanese tea while you wait for your order. The bento box with pork belly is carefully put together and presented, even on a quiet midweek afternoon. The calamari, like the pork belly, is perfectly cooked: chef stood over the fryer for less than a minute and dispatched beautifully cooked salt-and-pepper calamari worth travelling across town for. The prawn gyoza were nicely presented in a bamboo boat with a little takeaway dish of soy sauce.
The following week, I go back in the evening time for the same calamari. The red lanterns glow in the dark, inviting you in to the little shop where John and his team welcome all-comers and dish out the best of J-style cooking.
Having spent a bit of time in Japan and not being a huge lover of its food, I still like this little place around the corner with its fresh dish of the day, proper chips and freshly-prepared bento boxes. I can imagine wandering around the corner come summer, glass of wine in hand, to maybe eat dinner at the kerbside tables and bring al fresco dining to this corner of the inner west.