Birthday Dinner at Japone and a Show!

Oh dear. Last night we had some Indian take away for dinner, and since I hadn’t had gluten in a while, I thought it would be ok to have a bit of naan bread. Surely that wouldn’t hurt right? Well, “a bit” turned into us smashing down two large ones (I admittedly had most of them) and now I deeply regret that decision. I was feeling slightly off last night afterwards and this morning when I woke up, but we decided to go for a morning walk and enjoy this beautiful sunshine. After our walk, I still felt pretty off. And after breakfast, I felt my stomach pains getting progressively worse. I knew at that point, eating 2 naan breads was definitely a terrible choice. There was a reason I limited gluten in my diet, but somehow in the midst of all that delicious curry dipping, I had forgotten that reason. To spare you all the details, let’s just say the last two hours of my day have been awful and I’m now currently curled up in bed on a Friday afternoon feeling incredibly weak and sipping on some green tea Jared made me, which is pretty much the only thing I can stomach at the moment. Moral of the story – listen to your body and don’t reach for that second naan Laura.

Ah well, lesson learned. And hey, at least I can use this time to catch up on my blogging, right? And that’s always a positive in my eyes! I’ve been wanting to post the last instalment in Jared’s birthday adventures all week, so no better chance then now!

As you know, his Tiki Party was on Saturday, and we had an amazing time! Sunday was our recovery day, then Monday was Jared’s actual birthday. He actually had work that day, and I had college. But I had planned to take him out on a nice date later on as my birthday present to him. My original plan was to stay back in the city and meet up with him there, but that went out the window. Monday just happened to be the start of the torrential storms that hit Sydney, Central Coast, the Hunter and Illawara. It was awful. Walking to college, my umbrella was useless in the wind. And my boots were no match for the giant puddles. By the time I got to college, my jacket was soaked and my boots had half filled with water. All attempts to dry off my socks and boots under the hand dryer in the girl’s bathroom proved pointless. Also, I had forgotten my camera and a couple of other things at home. I admitted defeat and headed home. 

Jared picked me up from the station on his way home from work and we had a coffee together and I gave him his present. Besides dinner, I had also bought him tickets to the Cracker Comedy Night at the Enmore Theatre, which is one of the first shows of the Sydney Comedy Festival. It showcases some of the big acts as well as some smaller, local comedians too. We love stand up comedy, and used to go out and see gigs all the time at the Fringe Factory back when we first started dating, so I thought that would be a really enjoyable present for him. It was also just our luck that it happened to be on his birthday, how great was that?

After I dried off and changed my shoes, we caught a bus and train to Newtown. During our trip in, I found a Japanese place in Newtown that sounded really nice called Japone. Japanese is one of Jared’s favourite cuisines, and so I knew he would enjoy it. Japone was also within 5min walking distance between both Newtown Station and Enmore Theatre, which worked out perfectly for us given the crazy weather.1Japone was really nice inside, the lights made it look so cozy and warm. It was not fine dining, but it was perfect for a pre-show casual dinner and drinks. And it was the kind of place where you would want to escape from a storm into. There was graffiti style art on one of the walls, which I think made it really fit into that edgy kind of  style Newtown is known for. It also had a sushi train running down the middle, leading to the open kitchen where you could watch the chefs prepare your meals. We wanted to have food from the menu rather than from the sushi train, so we were seated in one of the few tables along the walls instead.5 6 25To start, we went straight for the sake to warm us up! We ordered one aDewasakura Ikko and one Hakutsaru Sayori, and tasted half of each. They were beautiful. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember which was which, but I enjoyed both equally and they definitely did the job of warming us up!!3 4 7 8We also got a bottle of Benchmark Merlot. I know traditionally a good white would be best with the seafood, but we just couldn’t go past the thought of a nice red to warm the bones on a chilly night! Also, I apologise for the crazy hair. I blame the rain!!9 21 23For out entrees, we ordered their famous Popcorn Shrimp, the Tuna Tartare and some seaweed salad. Of the three, I enjoyed the shrimp the most. It was tossed in a spicy sauce and that combined with the grilled shrimp was a winner in my eyes. Jared being a raw fish fan, enjoyed the tuna the most. I do enjoy raw fish, but only in very little amounts. Something about the texture of thick sashimi cuts doesn’t sit right with me. But I did try a bite of the tartare and could see why he enjoyed it. The tuna was incredibly sweet and fresh, and was complimented well with the neutral creamy avocado and salty  soy sauce.10 11 12 13For our mains, we picked a few dish and shared them. I chose the Spider King Roll which was 8 pieces of soft shell crab and cucumber sushi topped with roe and salmon. The soft shell was crunchy and the cucumber refreshing. I love when they mix something heavy like tempura with something crisp and fresh like cucumber. Jared picked the large mixed sashimi platter and he thoroughly enjoyed it! I didn’t have any of it, except an oyster. Ever since our delicious oyster experience at Manta, we’ve been excited to try more. These ones already had a sweet soy dressing in the shell, so nothing else was needed. They were delicious, smelled of nothing other than the sea and a little sweetness and they tasted fresh (not at all “fishy”). Oh, and and did I mention the bowl lit up?! Well, it did. Continuously. In all different colours!! I think some people would call that cheesy/tacky, but we thought it was cute! Again, not fine dining. But definitely fun dining!14 15 16 17 18 19We also got the teriyaki beef for something different from all the seafood. The meat was a little too rare for me, so I just had the end bits that were more cooked. The sauce was nice, but I must admit that to me it was more reminiscent of a black pepper stir fry sauce, than the traditional teriyaki dishes I’ve tasted at other places. The presentation also reminded me of a pub steak and veg dish, and it only came with a tiny portion of rice on the side (we were expecting more rice). But aside from that, it was still quite enjoyable! 31We were also thinking of getting more seaweed salad  as a side, but the waitress suggested we try the Sashimi Tacos instead for something more adventurous. We of course went with her suggestion. Tacos? At a sushi joint? How did I miss that on the menu?! Even though I don’t like sashimi, I really enjoyed the tacos! The shells were made of some sort of fried pastry (gow gee wrappers maybe?) filled with sashimi, cilantro and onion mixed with a spicy miso sauce and topped with a little guac. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!!20(I’m sorry – I had to get a quick shot in the giant mirror just outside the bathroom! All you selfie fans out there, this would be perfect for you!).24By the time we were done, I could barely move. We were both so full, so satisfied and so happy with our experience there! The staff were friendly and the food was delicious and decently priced. I couldn’t have asked for a better spot to have his birthday dinner!

After thanking the staff for our enjoyable experience, we braced the storm and ran over to the Enmore for the show. We grabbed ourselves some more wine at the theatre bar and headed in for the show. They didn’t allow any cameras in there, so I could only get a few sneaky shots in before the show started!27 28 29The show was hilarious by the way! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in quite some time! If you get a chance to watch it on Foxtel, please do! I don’t know when it will be on, but I do know it was filmed.

We caught a cab home afterwards and crawled into bed exhausted but happy. Despite the storm, we had such a great night and I was so glad Jared enjoyed his presents!

3 thoughts on “Birthday Dinner at Japone and a Show!

  1. Sounds like a great night. I love Japanese and love Newtown more. ( born and bred represent)! So next time i visit my hometown ill be checking it out! :)

    1. Laura of

      Did you really grow up in Newtown?? That’s awesome! I love the area, and if I could afford it, I’d definitely live around there! Such a great vibe in Newtown! And yes, definitely check it out! Food was awesome!

      1. I did, i was conceived, born and raised there for the first 12 years of my life! its such a cool place!

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