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“Friendly, fresh and authentic”

Kai Japanese Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 77 Restaurants in Kiama
Cuisines: Japanese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We read some good reviews for this little gem and decided to try it. Firstly, they fit us in on a busy night which we really appreciated. The service was really friendly and we requested a couple of things off the menu for our little daughter (grated carrot and daikon - as she loved the garnishes on Daddy's meal) this was no trouble and a little plate was brought out immediately. Our meals were amazing. I had a sashimi entree and it was as fresh as I've tasted. My wife had vegetable Gyoza, which were cooked perfectly, crispy and soft all at once. We both had snapper variations for the main and again, fresh, delicious and generous servings. The aJapanese rt on the walls is really appealing and adds to the ambience. A top dining experience!

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Thank bjornus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (156)
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104 - 108 of 156 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is easily the closest to real Japanese food I have encountered in Australia and is basically spot on with a few dishes having an interesting "western twist" (Yes including Sydney Japanese Restaurants!). It is a restaurant truly ahead of the curve by not altering many of there dishes to suit aussie taste buds. I have lived in Japan for a very long time and my Japanese friends that come to visit Australia always go here for their Japanese food "fix". Great bento box lunch specials and the dinner menu is just awesome. My favourite is the Kai special Sushi Rolls for under $20! In Japan this plate would cost upwards of $60 on its own! The head chef is Japanese and has obviously had a life time experience and training preparing all kinds of Japanese cuisine. The Japanese waitresses give the customer a great insight into which meal suits and there are actually kids meals if you ask what they recommend. If you do go with kids you cant go wrong with Gyoza or Karage (Chicken Nuggets, Japanese style!). I go here all the time to get my Japanese fix and am stoked to have such authentic Japanese cuisine so close to home!!

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1  Thank Randy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014

My partner and I visited Kai Japanese last night for a treat dinner for two. Besides the odd service by the waitress/owner the food was good. We had a tasting plate of 5 different selections including gyoza (very nice), pork belly skewers (okay, sauce was a little sweet) and karage chicken (juicy thigh fillet chicken). We also ordered a sashimi entree which was nice plus a drink each and the bill came to $60. we had a couple of awkward moments with the waitress who was a bit abrupt and the sashimi seemed to be served too cold, so the full flavour of the delicate fish wasn't really apparent until the end of the meal when it had warmed up.

The menu is definitely on the western side of the japanese food scale but what we had was pretty tasty. would love to see a few more "exotic" dishes on the menu to try like some of the amazing stewed meat dishes and isakaya!

would definitely go again.

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1  Thank MelunBamboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

I feel a little insulted by the previous reviewer, how dare he insult happy customers by claiming we had only eaten at low standard Japanese eateries, let me assure you the tuna is not frozen as is any other fish, my company delivers to this restaurant, Personally I am sick of Sydney "experts"coming down to the south coast and writing unfounded and malicious reviews behind a cloak of secrecy and waddle back to Sydney. if the restaurant was so bad why did you not leave, great food and service and I will be back next time I am in town. Keep up the good work Kia .

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3  Thank mark f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

This places serves average Japanese at best. Well done to offer Japanese out of the big city but they may not fare so well in a city with the generally higher standard Japanese food served. If you are a very familiar with good Japanese, this place will not really impress.

If I were to critique the food, the main complaint was the soggy (frozen) tuna Sashimi.

The main issue I had and why I would never return is the female owner who works the floor is a rude arrogant person who I think is in the wrong business.

She snapped at us twice over a perfectly reasonable request to move away from the cold windy front table. Totally rude.

I heard her snap at other customers who walked out and also at the pleasant waitress.

Totally unacceptable and we wished we'd eaten at one if the many nice cafés or other restaurants in Kiama.

They were in no hurry to assist in our request either.

They also didn't bring our drinks till half way through the meal. Didn't deliver the Miso soups at all after 2 reminders and then saying they were on the way.

They then tried to charge for the soups and desserts we didn't order.

Even if the food was sensational ( it was the lowest level we've had in years in Australia and we eat Japanese regularly) the evening was ruined by the rude owner.

I'd suggest a career change.

I'd say the reviewers were not that experienced with Japanese food.

8  Thank ScambusterSZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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