Lantern by Wagaya

Lantern is Wagaya Group’s newest addition; an ‘Izakaya’ restaurant, which Wikipedia tells me is a drinking establishment which serves food to accompany beverages. It combines a sleek black fit-out with a bar, karaoke rooms and heaps of delicious food choices on the menu.

Lantern is tucked away on the second level of the Suntower building and you’ll have to go through a lift opposite Westpac to get to it. When you arrive, you’ll be ushered through corridors where chic black walls and doors conceal brightly coloured karaoke rooms. The restaurant itself is also exciting in design: dark, timber booths, ‘pebbled’ floors and luminous lanterns above.

Cosy little booth with a nice view :)

They have digital menus here (no surprise there!) which are becoming more common these days and make the ordering process easy and efficient. Last time we went, I had a huge Chicken Katsu Bento (can’t find the price but it was under $15) – my friends and I still can’t believe we conquered one each! It was superb and if I was in a starved state, this would be my meal of choice for sure. Look out for the creaminess and perfect crunch of the panko-crumbed potato croquette which comes with each bento.

This time, however, I was in a somewhat health-conscious mood so I went for one of the lunch box specials ($9.90 each, from 12pm-3pm everyday); the Salmon Fillet box accompanied by rice and miso soup.

A pretty balanced meal, I must say…

My fellow Japanophile preferred the Chicken Nanban ($9.90). Each plate arrived with two pieces of perfectly golden takoyaki, a lettuce salad and shredded cabbage with a zesty ponzu dressing. My salmon was cooked well but I wish there was more of it; I only received three pieces whilst the tartare-slathered chicken nanban was way too filling for said friend to finish.

The sheer amount of tartare was crazy!

The amount of choice on Lantern’s menu is astounding considering they only get very busy at night, from sashimi to grilled dishes to hot pot courses, they have it all! It is only after dark that customers release their inner superstars; eating, drinking, being merry and singing appalling karaoke. I can’t say I’m keen on the karaoke part but I’m sure I’ll cross paths with Lantern many times more for a Japanese food fix.

Lantern by Wagaya, Level 2 Suntower, 591 George Street, Sydney NSW. (02) 9283 8828. Find Lantern on Facebook.


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