41 Sydney Avenue Barton, ACT 2600

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02 6257 2334
Opening hours Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, Mon-Sat 6pm-9.30pm
Features Private dining, BYO, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Mamoru Aizawa
Seats 50
Payments AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, eftpos

Chef Mamoru Aizawa is partial to a quirky acronym. Take CSI (Chef's Special Invention), ATM (Assorted Tremendous Meal) and GST (Great Spirit of Tasmania). But while Aizawa-san enjoys injecting a bit of fun into his menus, his serious approach to food has consolidated Iori's position as Canberra's leading Japanese restaurant. The raw fish that features in many dishes is sea-sweet and spanking fresh, while the beef is beautifully marbled wagyu sirloin. A sushi and sashimi platter is enough to stop even grown men in their tracks, with a splendid presentation of salmon, tuna, kingfish, abalone, scallops, prawn, octopus and three types of roe - a playground of texture and taste. Teriyaki beef and panko-crumbed pork schnitzel would be almost an afterthought were it not for their tenderness and gloriously sticky sweet sauce. Thank goodness dessert can be as simple as a glass of crisp fuji apple sake with refreshing black sesame ice-cream.