Japanese, and All That Jazz!

Ryoshi was one of the first Japanese restaurants in Bali, just a single shop size in Seminyak which later morphed into a much larger one next door. That move also heralded the beginning of Jazz at Ryoshi, utilising the large roof top area and pandering to the owner, Sagon’s, love of Jazz.

An early expansion saw the opening of Ryoshi Sanur, now it too has moved to larger premises further south along the same road, Danau Tamblingan [in between Soul in a Bowl and Massimo] and once again there is a large room above the restaurant so maybe another Jazz club will emerge?

There is a mix of Asian and table seating, the room is fully air-conditioned. Ryoshi is an institution in Bali, a truly traditional Japanese restaurant with as many or more, Caucasian customers as Japanese, and it has always been that way.

A brilliant menu well illustrated with colour pictures takes the fear factor away from any first timer. Your appetizers can be very healthy such as Edamame [steamed green soy beans sprinkled with sea salt], Agedashi Dofu [deep fried silken tofu in a hot broth], Nasu Miso [eggplant sautéed with onion and sweet miso] or a Mushroom Steak [sautéed in soy and garlic]. Seafood snacks include a great Soft Shell Crab, cooked tempura style in rice flour batter, Kwaebi Kara Age [crispy fried whole shrimps in their shells with sea salt] or Tako No Kara Age, wonderful fried octopus, nice and crunchy. For something different, try the Cheese Mochi, sticky rice cakes with soy, butter and cheese, or the Maguro Panko, crisp fried tuna rolls with a tangy sauce.

My most regular reason to visit a Japanese restaurant is to enjoy a wonderful, clean, fresh plate of assorted Sushi for lunch [pictured]. What could be healthier? At Ryoshi the offerings are of unbelievable value, my favourite is the Pisang combo, 12 pieces of sushi for abour $6 [the maki roll is cut into three which makes 14 in my book]. Sushi to be at its best should be prepared fresh, just for you, and not pre-prepared hours or days before and refrigerated.

It always tastes best fresh! At Ryoshi you can sit and watch it being made. It arrives accompanied by a small dish, a lump of wasabi [often referred to as Japanese horseradish but tasting more like a hot mustard] on its side, and a little pile of gari [sweet thinly sliced young ginger] on the edge of the sushi board. Tip some soy [always on the table in a small jug] and edge some of the wasabi in, to your taste! I place a complete sushi in the soy/wasabi mix so it can soak into the rice base [not the recommended Japanese way to eat it], then with chopsticks, or even fingers if you must, eat and savour the exquisite taste. Follow with a small slice of the gari, and a sip of whatever you are drinking. My kind of lunch!

Ryoshi has a number of different combination boards of sushi and sashimi [raw fish] or a combo of both. Other raw fish specials include their Tataki which is a Japanese salad of raw fish, a Tuna Carpaccio or Aji Tataki, a type of mackerel tartar. Chirashi Sushi is a bowl of various raw fish draped over sushi rice.

Hot entrees include a variety of Kushiyaki [food on skewers]; Nasi, sliced eggplant with yakitori sauce, or my prefered Negi made with young leeks, Kawa, chicken skin grilled with salt and pepper, Teba [chicken wings] done the same way. Top of the list for me is their Hina, chicken and leeks in yakitori sauce, the Beef Rolls, sliced beef wrapped around julienned vegetables, Tsukune Mushroom, mushrooms stuffed with minced chicken, Ebi, salt and pepper prawns and Lebar, chicken livers in yakitori sauce. In fact I sometimes just make a meal of assorted Kushiyaki.

Most of the mains at Ryoshi are Yakimono, or grilled. Beef Teriyaki, or the Chicken or Fish equivalents everyone knows. A Teriyaki Hamburger is a touch of fusion, traditional ball of minced beef sautéed in Japanese wine and soy. Both Beef and Tuna can be had in sizzling Teppanyaki style, and then there are the Wagyu dishes; sirloin, rib eye or rump.

For the lone diner there are always the rice dishes; Zuki Don [tuna marinated in sesame and soy] Sukiyaki Don [beef] Oyako Don [chicken and egg or Katsu Don [pork cutlets] all served in a bowl over rice, or the Noodle selection with a variety of Soba [buckwheat] and Udon [thick] noodles.

When a place is as busy as this one you do not ever have to worry about freshness of produce. Ryoshi is one of Bali’s success stories, somewhere for an anytime snack or meal, alone of with friends.




Restaurant    : Ryoshi.

Address          : Jln. Danau Tamblingan, Sanur.

Telephone     : 288.473.

Open              : 11.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m., daily.

Parking          : Street only.

Price               : Rp. 300,000 for two [+ drinks].

Credit Cards        : All major cards.

Food              : Japanese.

Wine             : House Wine by glass/bottle.

Service          : Quick and efficient.

Atmosphere        : Much smashing of chopsticks.

Overall                  : Good taste, great value!


Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.

Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick. 

Copyright © 2019 Gerry Williams