When I was meandering around Paddington, I noticed Nekoya, a little place tucked in beside a real estate agent and directly across from the Paddo Tavern. It gives me hope to see new places pop up, especially in unexpected locations. When I wandered across to have a look, the premises looked small and simple, but very clean and the menu had promise. I took a take away menu with me, and shelved the location into the back of my mind.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was in need of some take away, but wanted to go somewhere new. One bittersweet part of being a food blogger is always looking for new places, so that you can blog them. This is great at times, but other times when I go to an old favourite, I almost feel guilty that I'm wasting the opportunity.
Anyway, I knew a little visit to Nekoya was in order. As there was just me, I only ordered a couple of items, so didn't get enough to really get a good feel for the whole place. The items I did order though, were good enough to leave me wanting more, so last week, Camb and I decided it was time to head back there to grab some take away on a night when I was just too tired to cook.
Nekoya have a menu online which is quite extensive in comparison to the take away paper menu but they seemed to be happy enough to let me order off the online menu. We phoned our order in and had a wait time of approximately 15 minutes, which is more than satisfactory. Nekoya does have dine in options available with limited seating but we wanted to eat at home. I'm going to apologise now, these photos are terrible as per usual, but I had more important things on my mind, like eating the food while it was still hot!
Gyoza come in a serve of 5 for $6.5. They were hot, and the skin was thin and crispy on the bottom. The filling was quality and tasty with a bit of a gingery bite. I wanted more.
Karaage chicken ( 6 pieces for $7.5) isn't something I would usually order, but after eating my friend Kay's karaage chicken at the recent Brisbane Food Blogger's Picnic, I ordered it on a whim. The chicken was tender and the outside, gloriously crunchy. I preferred to eat on it's own, rather than with the mayo dipping sauce that was provided.
Because I'm obviously a fan of fried, but want to somehow justify it to myself by eating vegetables, tempura vegies were a must order. $7.5 the serve of vegies is good value and includes a range of vegies some of which included broccolini, sweet potato, beans and lotus root. The batter was not overly oily and could have been a bit lighter- but was still crunchy and a good dish.
Even though Camb isn't really a fan, I went for the salt and pepper tofu. I know- ANOTHER fried dish, but I really think salt and pepper tofu is a good benchmark dish. It's funny, but something so simple can sometimes be a good indicator for the rest of the food available.
This salt and pepper tofu was just lovely. Small squares - incredibly thin but crispy batter which housed some soft silken tofu. The salt and pepper batter actually tasted like salt and pepper. It had zing which is sadly lacking from so many 'salt and pepper' dishes and even Camb agreed that this s&p tofu was kicking it with some of the big guys, which are much more 'prestigious' restaurants.
With the amount of fried food I'd ordered, I'd already sold out so felt no shame in going for the teriyaki chicken and avocado sushi ($6.5) and the prawn nigiri ($5). The sushi and nigiri were very fresh and the teriyaki chicken packed some actual flavour- which is nice for a change.
I admit on this visit, I did go for many of the fried options but have since eaten the sashimi and can say that it was okay. Although not the greatest sashimi I have ever eaten as it was cut a little too thickly, it was definitely passable. There are also many other options including a large range of bento boxes, seafood options like garlic and herb scallops and some rice and noodle dishes on offer, if you aren't after a fried food affair.
On my number of visits, the staff have been ridiculously polite and very helpful. The prices are reasonable and the food, for a little place, is pretty decent. There aren't too many Japanese take away places around the area, and Nekoya is a great addition.
When to go: Whenever you want a bit of take away Japanese, or to sit in for a simple cheap and cheerful meal on Given Terrace.
Tell me readers: have you seen any new eateries open up in unexpected locations?
Shop 3, 183 Given Terrace
Paddington QLD 4064
p: 07 3876 2367