by - March 26, 2018

The arrival of Juan caused quite a stir among the foodie community in Sydney. For that reason, Mr Piggy and I waited for the heat to fade before coming here. Just like a typical Japanese restaurant, the decoration is simple and minimal. The restaurant is small with limited tables (make sure you book in advance).

Unagi Hitsumabushi $28
There are quite few places in town that serve Japanese don, but not many that can match the quality of the ingredients used here at Juan. That's why they can charge ~$30 per bowl instead of the usual $15. The eel was chopped into strips and served on a multi-grain rice bed that was soaked in sweet soy sauce. Everything was then sealed with an egg omelette blanket. 

The don also came with toppings including nori, puffed rice and premium wasabi. What we liked about the bowl was that all the ingredients were high quality. What we didn't like was there was no "wow" factor in this dish. For the price and hype we were expecting top-notch execution, which wasn't there.

Tonkatsu $23
The katsu looked amazing and sounded amazing on the menu, but when it came to the taste test we were quite disappointed. You can taste the pork is good quality, but we felt the cut wasn't carefully picked. The main reason been there was a big chunk of fat attached on the lean meat which was firm and greasy. 

We were hoping the fat would kind of melt away in the mouth after 2 hours of cooking (which they claim). It would have been better if they had discard the fatty part. Notwithstanding this, we liked the house made apple mustard mayo and miso sesame sauce.

Today's Dessert - Matcha Tiramisu $12
At last something that did meet our expectations...The matcha tiramisu was alternating between thin layer of matcha sponge and smooth matcha mousse. We loved how this dessert was light and smooth, the bitterness of the matcha was spot on.

So why is this place so popular? That is still a mystery to us. W
e have heard positive feedback from our friends about their experience at Juan, which was quite different to ours. Perhaps we came on a bad day.

Food: 6/10

Service: 5.5/10
Atmosphere: 6.5/10


  • Good quality ingredients
  • Matcha tiramisu
  • Flavours didn't live up to the hype
  • We visited months after they'd opened (initially reviewers reported poor service), and found the service still had plenty of room to improve
Address: 94A Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016
Hours: Mon Closed
             Tue-Thu 6-10pm
             Fri-Sun 12-3pm, 6-10pm
Phone: N/A
Juan Bowl & Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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