Run of the mill diner with solid izakaya offerings
There are always new restaurants opening on the slopes of Soho. Just the latest, at the formerly quiet corner where Gage Street runs into Aberdeen Street, is Japanese skewer joint Etsuzo. The entrance has floor-to-ceiling windows showing off the robatayaki grill and an open kitchen.
We pull up a stool at the counter and flick through the menu, which features a variety of robata, sashimi, sushi and other goodies. We start with soy-marinated cream cheese ($88), strangely presented inside a wine glass on cocktail sticks with cherry tomatoes. The creamy sweetness of the cheese balances well with the salty soy and crunchy tomatoes. Next up arrives the beautifully presented sashimi platter ($280) with fresh tuna and prawn. The raw fish is a little too cold but it’s tasty nonetheless. From the robata, the salted chicken wings ($38) are perfectly cooked, with juicy meat and crispy skin, but the cheese-topped pork ($58) is disappointingly chewy and sinewy. The eggplant ($58) arrives next. The flesh is soft and smoky, and the skin nicely charred.
Etsuzo is a chilled space you can hit up for a reliably decent meal, but with no particular edge or specialty we wonder how many patrons will feel the need to venture to the quieter end of Soho for something so ordinary.
52 Gage St, Central