I think I'm turning Japanese
Banyi Japanese Restaurant Review
When I asked everyone in the family for a new idea for a takeaway meal my 14yr old step son James piped up "How about Sushi"? I have to admit that I was more than surprised at the suggestion, partly because I didn't think that most 14year olds had heard of the slightly exotic cuisine, and also because there was no such thing as a sushi restaurant in Dublin when I was growing up. As a result I had not had a chance to try sushi until I was 21 and on my year travelling the world. Alas it wasn't in Japan but rather in Miami Florida, which after California would claim to have the best sushi in the US. Rather trepidly I started out with the California Roll which consists of Crab, Avocado and Cucumber rolled inside a small tube of rice. I was instantly a fan and slowly but surely I developed my palette and courage to try more traditional Japanese sushi such as Nigiri (A topping, usually fish, served on top of sushi rice) and Sashimi (Fish or shellfish served alone), Tamaki (cone rolled seaweed of fish and rice).
What I had learned from my sushi adventures was that it was all about the restaurant. Sushi restaurants are ranked by the patrons and two sushi restaurants that might be on the same street might vary greatly in quality. So choosing your sushi restaurant must be done carefully. When I began to look into it word of mouth guided me to Banyi located in the heart of Temple Bar.
Celebrating 8 years in business, Banyi Japanese Dining is an authentic Japanese and sushi restaurant where, in pre covid times, diners would sit back, relax and enjoy fresh sushi and some of the best Japanese dishes in a traditional Japanese restaurant décor. Now that we are all living in these extraordinary times, the restaurant has focused on its already established take-away option offering people the opportunity to bring their Japanese specialities to the comfort of their own homes. All you need to do for an exciting dinner is to scroll through their menu and choose your favourite fresh sushi roll, a bowl of decadent ramen, a comforting Japanese curry or some snacking Japanese tapas.
As always we opted for a Chef suggestion and a few favourites. For our young girls we went for a Yaki Soba which is basically a chicken noodle dish with a Japanese twist along with the soft shell crab and our girls were delighted with it. The flavours were delicate and aromatic and just right for the developing palettes of a 4 yr old. What we received was a visual feast of spicy tuna roll, California tempura roll, and dragon rolls of fresh prawn. The colours and designs that go into preparing this cuisine only serve to show the pride with which the chefs have in their trade. You simply can't fake it. It was almost too pretty to eat! The attention to detail – the way slices of spring onion were balanced here, or shining balls of bright-orange salmon roe were clustered there – beggared belief. But after a few minutes of admiring we tucked in. The variety and textures of the various types of sushi means that there is something for everyone. Some cooked some not, but all delicious and guilt free. I say guilt free because sushi is one of the healthiest food options you can have. It's the freshness that you can sense when eating sushi that makes it a truly enjoyable experience and Banyi delivered on all fronts. Our curious 14 year old particularly enjoyed the tuna roll and soft shell crab but gave the thumbs up to the salmon sashimi too. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it including the pageantry. The restaurant accepts take-away orders that can be easily picked up from their Temple Bar location and offers deliveries through the main delivery services operating in the city. They deliver to city centre areas within a 5km radius.