Ha-Lu is located at what I thought was a slightly obscure spot on Oxford Street in Mount Hawthorn. Its reputation however surpasses this hidden gem with numerous good reports from friends who had dined there before. I got quite excited when I found out dinner one Saturday night was gonna be there as I’d been wanting to try this place out after reading about it in a magazine! The dinner turned out to be a belated surprise birthday celebration as well.
The inside of the restaurant is simple in terms of its layout, with wooden tables and suede chairs/lounge. It is quite tiny too so booking is essential. I didn’t manage to take any photos of the restaurant itself as I was late from a previous appointment and so had to quickly rush in and concentrated on the ordering instead.
This post is not going to be a review of each dish per say but rather a post full of picture of the dishes we ordered as they are too many to write about. I have to say though that all the dishes were great!! Presented well and ‘one of a kind’ - you can’t find some of what they serve here in other Japanese restaurants. You can’t go wrong if you try this place out. Its dining style is similar to a tapas bar where small dishes are ordered to share. This dining style is termed ’Izakaya” in Japanese. I especially like eating this way as I love to try different dishes and what better way than to have a biteful of each. :)
The menu is divided into different sections depending on the cooking style of the food: Cold Dishes; Deep Fried Dishes; Yaki Mono (Grilled Dishes); Ni Mono (Simmered Dishes); Zukushi Tasting; Side Dish and Desserts.
From the Cold Dishes, we had:
- Wagyu Beef Tataki ($17) – very fresh!
- Home Made Tofu & Mizuna Salad with Wonton Crisps ($12)
- Duck Breast with Whole Grain Mustard ($11)
- Salmon, Anago Eel and Aubergine ($16)
From the Deep Fried Dishes:
- Crispy Pork with Oroshi Ponzu Vinaigrette ($7)
- Crumbed Camembert Cheese ($9.80) – must try!
- Vegetable Tempura ($12)
- Agedashi Tofu ($8.50)
- Octopus Kara-age and Lotus Root Hasami-Age ($12)
From the Yaki Mono:
- Foiled Baked Scallops and Salmon ($18)
- Soft Shell Crab Miso Gratin ($16) – wickedly cheesy!
From the Ni Mono:
- Pork Belly “Kaku-Ni” ($14)
- Patagonian Toothfish Nitsuke ($18)
From the Zukushi Tasting:
- For Anago Eel Lovers ($24) – Anago tempura with with a hint of teriyaki sauce, grilled anago with sansho pepper, aubergine and anago ’Nikogori’, anago/daikon ’Kinuta-maki’, anago / potato ‘Dango’
And finally Desserts!
- Green tea ice cream and Mango ice cream ($6 each) – my favourites!
Yum! I’m drooling as I look at the photos now. Once again, the food here is awesome! Service is friendly and very efficient as well. A must try for the special occassion :)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Rating by: N.L.
Ha-Lu Japanese Restaurant
Telephone: 08 9444 0577
Address: 4/401 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn
The birthday girl blowing out the candles and a look inside the cake:
As it turned out, the birthday girl was Miss L herself :) Thank you friends!