We saw a lot of Juan on Instagram during October to November and it felt like everyone we knew was eating here so when the opportunity rose, we trekked the hour (from the west) to dine at this cute little restaurant.
To be honest, we weren't wow'ed by the hainan chicken. This dish was cooked well and the ingredients were perfect, however compared to the other dishes, this one felt plain. We were also under the impression the restaurant was going for a Japanese based theme and did not understand why this Chinese dish was incorporated, however after posting on Instagram and the owner, Anna, replied we realised it was a bowl & tea concept. When we return, we'd probably swap the hainan chicken for a second wagyu dish.
The wagyu dish was absolutely amazing! It was well cooked. The meat was tender and broke apart in our mouths. The sauce was rich. The onsen egg was super soft. Everything about this dish was perfection. Our only regret was ordering one. We would definitely go back for another bite.
This was the unagi hitsumabushi. The flavours blended well, from the dashi, unagi to the okra, and the soft omelette did a great job tying everything together in one mouthful. It was so good! And presentation was on point 😍. I'm an egg lover and this dish definitely won a spot in my heart but I was overruled 3:1 by the wagyu lol.
The tonkatsu was a classic dish. We loved the scrambled eggs however we felt the pork was a little dry. If we had the end pieces, it tasted great. If we were eating the middle pieces, we needed a lot more egg to moisten the bite and balance the pork. It made finishing the dish quite tiring but we still loved the egg. Anna was a trooper and took our feedback with stride. I'm quite sure she juiced up the pork because reviews after our visits were nothing but splendid about the katsu.
This was the mochi with dango sauce. We are not a fan of dango and no matter how brilliant a chef may be, it cannot change our minds. We did enjoy this dish though! It had a nice balance. The mochi was light. If we were dango fans, I'm sure we would have loved it more but sadly, that was out of the chef's control.
This was a matcha dessert, famous in Kyoto. It was very airy and light. I smashed it down 😍 This is definitely one of the best Japanese desserts Sydney has to offer. Thank you Anna for bringing a piece of Japan to Australia. It was so good!
Overall, we would definitely return to Juan for the wagyu or for the menu changes. We loved the atmosphere. It was very cosy and peaceful. The dishes arrived on time.
The only issue we had was parking because Juan is located in Redfern (one of Sydney's busy suburbs) and we ate there on a Friday night. However, for those using public transport, it is a very easy location to get to!
Thanks for reading! Happy eating!