The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Nazimi, Sydney

March 11th, 2008  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

Things I Like About Nazimi:

1. It is a cute little basement Japanese diner with miniature lamps on each table and easy-on-the-eye Eastern crockery to boot.
2. It takes care of that pesky “what to eat in the city?” dilemma.
3. It’s way less greasy than the former “what to eat in the city?” front-runner (cheap & cheery Chinese, served with a bonus pool of oil. Hey, I know, sometimes that extra glisten is what makes slurping hand-made noodles fun).
4. The waitresses are very sweet and even walk with you (sometimes even RUN with you) en route to the toilet, just so you don’t get bamboozled and lost. The toilet also has an aesthetic attack of the Japanese cutes, with a mobile of soft plush pink hearts hanging down the wall (I’m not making this up).

5. When Chris ordered the Spider Roll, it was served on a dish with an artfully drip-drawn spiderweb made out of Japanese mayonnaise and the roll was plonked right in the middle like a proper spider. (Despite the name, the main ingredient is actually soft-shell crab. Chris notes the creature’s wimpy “protection” means that the vegetarian/moral defence against gobbling it up doesn’t really hold – when an animal has a soft shell, nature is basically pushing you to eat it.)
6. The Vegetarian Dinner Box, although slightly exxy at $18 a pop, is packed with goodies: a serving of agedashi tofu in its own little tentsuyu bath, crunchy potato korokae, salty-sweet eggplant steak, a corner stack of edamame (or “edamamas”, as Chris calls ’em), veg tempura and inside out sushi rolls. And a bowl of miso soup, which is no wishy-washy affair: it’s smoky and thick with flavour.

7. And though the Soba Salad ($9.80), isn’t quite as dangerously addictive as the one at Sushi Bar Rashai, it still is bracing and noodle-slurp-satisfying.
8. Sure Nazimi may be more intimate than a capsule motel, yet strangely, I’ve always gotten a table straight away (bar that Friday night where we had to wait, maybe, 5-10 untroubling minutes).
9. And even when Emme and I were the last ones there, slowly scooping our way through glasses of green tea ice cream very close to closing time, the waitresses didn’t stand there death-staring us and pointing at their watch. In fact, they were very lovely and smiley and told us to take our time and not worry.
10. It’s a sweet little joint. I always feel a little more upbeat after being there.

Basement, 141 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, (02) 9283 2990

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  1. Nathan, Anthony, Jane and I dined here solely because of this blog entry. It was fantastic. We over-ordered, and I was glad for it. Thanks for the tip off!

  2. leetranlam says:

    Wow, I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! I think it is a sweet little joint – and for a place in the city, surprisingly unknown. Hurrah for rewarding over-ordering!

  3. KOTO says:

    i walk past this place on my way to work every morning…i’m going to try it out thursday night. Thanks!

    also…you don’t know the name of another japanese restaurant further down on sussex st (i think) do you? it’s another underground restaurant that does tepanyaki. i went there once and it was great but i forgot the name of it.

  4. deborah says:

    Three years later I have to say how lucky I feel to have finally eaten at Nazimi. We’ve walked by so many times, usually on our way somewhere. We stopped by for a late dinner last night and you’re right the wait staff are so lovely. Not once did we feel rushed, even though it was a little past 10pm by the time we wandered out. The agadashi soft shell crab & tofu was amazing.

    I found your blog post after googling to see what other Sydney siders thought! 🙂

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

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This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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