A somewhat little place hidden along Murray Street, where the infamous Insan and Miss Maud’s are located, I would never have gone in to try this place if not for the recommendations being put forth by my good friend D.P.
The little place only sits about 6-7 tables inside, with a couple of tables on the outside (not that great on a summer afternoon – from a first hand experience!). So the general idea is to get there early, or be willing to just wait around for a table. Turnover’s quite fast with this place.
I forgot to take one of the dishes we ate, but describing it should be an easy feat :))
So on the two occassions I went to Nao, here are the dishes/drinks ordered:
Spicy Ramen (made of Miso Soup!)
Takoyaki (Octupus Balls)
Japanese Lemonade (comes in a bottle)
Pokka Japanese Coffee (comes in a can)
Cold Green Tea (comes in a bottle)
I thought I’d start off with the drinks since it’s easier. The Japanese Lemonade was something very interesting (especially to us engineers who’d want to dismantle every other thing we see that can be dismantled and analyse it to death). It wasn’t the usual bottle that you’d get when you buy say a Schweppe’s Lemonade… it was a bottle with a little ball that you had to push in. Once you did, the fizz is created, and then you pour the lemonade into the cup. I am not too sure if it’d be the best idea to drink it from the bottle because of that ball that’s in the way, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem. :)
The green tea is unlike the green tea we’d get in other stores. This one actually has no sugar (literally), and it tastes of roasted wheat. I loved it but Mom wasn’t too pleased with the taste. I guess it would fall under an acquired taste category.
The entrees were all up to par in my opinion, with my favourite being the TakoYaki. This is the second place in which I have found this dish… something I fell in love with in Singapore, where it’s a real hit!
What I love about the Takoyaki in this place is how they’ve made it smaller than the ones I have seen at the other restaurant, and how crisp it is on the inside. Good amount of mayonnaise served too.
The gyoza was pretty average, and it would have been nicer if they served more in one serving. That said, they did it well, with the gyoza oozing out with liquid when you take the first bite into it!
The spicy ramen is probably my favourite thus far at this place. In fact, the ramen dishes in general are just brilliant. Not having seen another Japanese place serving ramen, this is the place to go (for now) if you want a nice piping hot soup with some ramen noodles.
They have three different type of ramen noodles for you to choose from should you want to try their special combinations too. :)
The spicy ramen is made up of miso with some spice put into it giving its hot taste, but for those of us hailing from Singapore/Malaysia/Asian countries, this spiciness is probably not even enough to get us going. Nevertheless, it’s got a nice taste, and because of the sesame seeds, it had a nice aroma!
The Teriyaki Chicken is something special too. Miss Anise mentioned that they sell their very own teriyaki sauce in bottles, which probably means their teriyaki sauce is actually homemade. It didn’t taste as salty and thick as the usual teriyaki sauce you’d get in other places. Pretty damn good!
Overall, this place was a lovely dining experience. But it wouldn’t be the place to bring your love on a first date :) Good for a quick meal, good for a tasty meal, but ultimately it’s somewhere you would just eat and go, without really staying to chat much at all.
Would definitely want to go back to try their other types of ramen!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg
Nao Japanese Restaurant
Telephone: (08) 9325 2090
Address: 117 Murray Street, Perth 6000, Western Australia
Some additional photos from the menu (contribution by N.L.):
- Miso Soup Ramen
- Miso Soup Ramen with Corn and Butter
- Teriyaki Beef