I had driven past Haruka a few times, but had never heard anything about it or seen any advertising. After trying all the other Japanese restaurants in Geelong (Hi Sushi, Fujisan and Sushi 8 ) I was still on the look out for authentic Japanese food from a wide range of regions.
The menu at Haruka is huge… this place seriously gives some of the Melbourne Japanese restaurants a run for their money. There is definitely something for everyone. I’ve spoken to various people about Japanese food in the past, and lots of people tend to think it’s sushi, sushi and more sushi. It’s definitely not the case at this restaurant, although they do have some nice looking (and tasting) sushi on their menu. Something I haven’t seen much of in Australia before is the slightly seared sushi. Below is the ‘half broiled’ (as they describe it) kingfish, but there are also a couple of other options in this type of sushi. It was extremely soft and not chewy at all. I’ll be going back to try out more of their sushi.
Haruka also has other Japanese staples like edamame, agedashi tofu and seaweed salad, all of which were on par with others I’ve had in Geelong. There is also ramen, soba, tonkatsu, sukiyaki, and many other dishes you wouldn’t normally find on the menu of Japanese restaurants in Geelong. I only really thought two things were missing… tako yaki and okonomiyaki. Two things I tend to eat a lot of when I’m in Japan.
The dish below is an eel dish, with some rice underneath. It was very tasty, and not muddy at all. It had a good texture and wasn’t boney like some eel I’ve had before.
The dish below is similar to a hotpot. This one is salmon and scallop, with mixed vegetables. It comes really well presented, with a flame underneath to keep the food warm.
We also ordered chicken karaage, which was really tender and sweet and was a big hit at our table; baby octopus in a lovely red sauce with plenty of sesame seeds and a Japanese style frittata with eel and burdock root. I can’t remember the exact name for the frittata, but it came to our table sizzling in the pan it was cooked in. The burdock root was a first for me – earthy and firm, but not unpleasant.
You can BYO, but there is also a small selection of Japanese beers (Kirin, Sapporo and Yebisu) and sake. They also have some non-alcoholic Japanese drinks, in addition to the usual Coke, etc.
The dishes seemed fairly well priced, and I felt the sushi was reasonably priced, considering the high quality. The only slight issue any of us had was that the waitress wasn’t very attentive. It took quite a while to get her attention any time we needed anything. I really hope the people of Geelong support this restaurant, as it’s definitely at the top of my list for great restaurants in Geelong. I’m sure I’ll be back soon!
Haruka Japanese Restaurant
168 Ryrie St, Geelong
(Close to Moorabool St)