“A simple thing done well is a thing of great beauty” – Me*
This turn of phrase sums up Rin in a nutshell.
Located on the corner of Harrington and Brisbane streets, just like the cheese, Rin stands alone. The unusual location isn’t going to generate much patronage via foot traffic, and so restaurant owners Yuki and Tomimi Sato rely predominantly on fantastic word-of-mouth to lure their customers through the front door of Rin.
Opening in December 2012, Rin’s first birthday is fast approaching, yet I’m still to hear a single negative comment made about this unique little establishment! Japanese cuisine hasn’t been well represented in Hobart in the time that I’ve lived here. While Kawasemi Tea House over at Moonah has gallantly strived to provide a consistent and authentic Japanese experience for Tasmanians, after visiting Japan last year I’ve come to realise that their menu is still lacking a certain level of authenticity.
Not so at Rin!
The interior is minimal, comprising a handful of small tables and bench seats along the windows in the main room, with a smaller room seating another two small tables at the rear. Similarly, minimalistic decorations adorn the walls giving a subtle and non-clichéd Japanese ambience. There’s no kitsch here, no pretentiousness, just a genuine attempt to make you feel comfortable and at home.
This was the first time we had tried Japanese food since returning from four weeks in Japan late last year, so we were a little apprehensive as to whether Rin could deliver the goods or not!
I have to say, the menu looked absolutely fantastic! Perhaps the tiny interior unconsciously led me to think that the menu would be just as spartan, but to my delight, I was very quickly proven wrong!
Offering Japanese staples such as sushi, sashimi, tempura, and various forms of don, Rin ticks all your typical boxes. Yet it’s the specials where Rin really excel! Judging by their Facebook page it seems that they mix up their specials from week to week, varying from Katsu curries, to fried yakisoba noodles, to the ever popular takoyaki!! This is the real deal! Dishes we had never seen before in Hobart, yet were everywhere in Tokyo, Sapporo and Hiroshima.
When travelling Japan, some of the best memories I have are of slowly making my way through massive, steaming hot bowls of ramen, flavoured with pork, miso, eggs, corn and all sorts of other tasty ingredients! I couldn’t believe it when I saw that Rin’s special of the week was Syoyu Ramen with soy flavoured soft boiled egg, sea weed, spring onion, butter flavoured corn and marinated roast pork! It was imperative that I get that into me ASAP…
Karen was equally excited about trying their Sake Oyako Don, comprising sushi rice, salmon sashimi, salmon roe, Japanese omelette, homemade sashimi sauce and a bowl of miso.
To be honest, we could hardly fault either of these meals!
The ramen broth was rich and had a depth of flavour that can only come from extended preparation, while the tender strips of roast pork added an essential solidity to the dish, offset by the occasional swirling sweetness of the corn. The egg may have been just a tad over done, but this is really nitpicking as the taste was still fantastic! This was definitely the best ramen I’ve had outside of Japan!
Karen’s dish was equally as good. The sashimi was delicate and delicious, while the roe released tiny bursts of fishy flavour every time one was popped! Again, another fabulous recreation of a favourite Japanese dish.
Who would have thought you could get such an authentic experience in Hobart? Certainly not us! I’m sure we’ll be back another day sometime soon. That katsu curry sounds awesome…
Rin are open for lunch Tue-Sat between 11:30am and 2:30pm, and have recently extended their hours to include dinners between 6:00pm and 9:00pm as well (same days).
Simplicity at its most elegant, I can guarantee you that Rin won’t disappoint!
Taste – 5/5
Menu – 5/5
Atmosphere – 4/5
Service – 5/5
Value – 5/5
Overall – 5/5
*I Googled it and nothing came up, so I’m claiming it!