Gekkazan, CBDGekkazan is a Japanese restaurant located in the GPO, and is opened for lunch seven days of the week, though only for dinner on Thursday and Friday nights. This was second time I'd been, though the last time I went for lunch it was still under the previous name Kenzan. I remember being impressed with the sushi rolls last time I came, as the seaweed is actually packaged and you wrap the rice and filling in it yourself, which ensures the seaweed is crispy and fresh.
There's seating both inside and outside the restaurant, though the vast majority are outside. It's completely shaded and there's heating on top, so even in winter/cold weather, sitting outside isn't going to be an issue. The staff were extremely friendly and polite, and were actually Japanese which I thought was a plus, for added authenticity to the restaurant.
There's a wide range of dishes to choose from, categorised into Chef's Specials, Hot Entrees, Cold Entrees, Salmon, Sushi, Main Dishes and Dessert. As we were having dinner quite early, we decided to just share a main and a chef's special dish between two people. The main we ordered was the Sake Teriyaki ($24), and the chef's special was the soft shell crab karaage ($14).
The sake teriyaki consisted of grilled salmon on teriyaki sauced, served with a bowl of rice and vegetables. The salmon was tender and moist, still a bit pink in the middle, and didn't have any bones in it. The rice was slightly sticky which was nice, and the potato mash was surprisingly delicious- it was creamy and smooth, with a slight buttery flavour and small potato bits- similar to the mash I mentioned a few posts ago from the Meatball and Wine Bar. My friend and I actually thought the potato mash was the rice when the dish first came, and wondered why it was such a small portion! The sauce for the teriyaki don had a good savoury flavour that wasn't too salty, and the vegetables on the side gave extra texture and ensured a balance of ingredients. We were very happy with the portion of the meal, and it was great that there was two pieces of salmon for the price of the dish.
The soft shell crab consisted of crispy flash fried soft shell crab, and was served with a ponzu sauce. The batter was very light and crunchy and didn't become soggy, even after we had left it for fifteen minutes on the side, which we were really impressed with. The crab itself didn't have much flavour, but was uplifted by the ponzu sauce. Ponzu sauce is a thin, watery and citrus based soy style sauce that is commonly associated with tempura and sashimi. Apart from several soft shell crab pieces, the dish also came with tempura mushroom and tempura long beans. It was a light, refreshing dish that I'd definitely recommend if you get a chance to go.
Typical of Japanese style dishes, you're left feeling satiated but not extremely full or bloated at the end of your meal. It's definitely good value for money in my opinion, with good portions of food and great service. Worth visiting for either lunch or dinner if you're a fan of Japanese food.