Having seen this central portion of Perth’s very own Central Park under construction for a new place, I was pretty excited to see what would become of this place that was so central to everything and everywhere that we would define as our lovely Perth city. Before long, I heard little buzzing around about this new place… and to my delight, it was a Japanese Izakaya! Having visited my sister in Japan during her stint in Tokyo, the concept of Izakaya really amused me, and I was stoked to know that there would be another Izakaya opening in Perth.
I was invited by one of the owners of the restaurant to come try the food at Shiro as part of their soft opening. And so I grabbed my wonderful girlfriends to come taste this new hype in town… and how lovely of them to accept this invitation (well, I knew that they’d be keen to try, really. *wink*)
SK and I had a drink before heading over to the restaurant because we thought we’d be too early anyway. We even took a detour, to have a look at the new Nespresso Boutique that had opened recently. To our delight and surprise, AC had already arrived! Poor her to have been waiting for us. We were greeted by our host for the evening, D. Bahk, and was shown to our table. What a lovely view of Central Park. One of the greatest decision made for the restaurant I believe was the fact that they opened up the area, and had sliding glass panels for winter. Brilliant! Making use of all that light. (:
Anyway, about 2 minutes after our arrival, a bowl of Edamame was served… and I had thought it was complimentary (pig-headed much?). It was actually AC’s order to munch while she waited!
I’ve always loved these beans, so I was delighted, but something a little different was that we were treated to some green tea salt, that brought a nice salty edge to the dish.
Before long, we had our gang in place and we ordered some green tea, Shochu, and water to start us off. No guessing who had the shochu! The green tea was served in a pretty little tea pot with an accompanying cup, and is charged per tea pot.
The first time I tried shochu was in a mixed drink called Chuhai, which my sister calls ever so affectionately “lemon sour” because we usually have lemonade with it. So think of it as vodka lemonade, but I actually prefer shochu mixed in, rather than vodka. (: Trying it on the rocks was a completely different experience – was not bad, but I think i still prefer my “lemon sour”. But at least I have tried shochu on the rocks! The green tea was normal according to SC and AC – a tad disappointing in that it was just green tea (without any trace of the leaves/rice in the pot, which would have enhanced the flavour a bit more).
Enough about drinks. Onward with food!
- Lotus Root Chips – $6.70
- Gohan (one serve for a hungry DP) – $3.00
- Namban Tsuke (cold fish tempura) – $7.90
- Ocean’s 5 Sashimi (15 pieces) – $37.00
- Spider Maki (8 pieces) – $19.00
- The Rolls Royce (8 pieces) – $23.00
- Nimono Tooth Fish (approx. 100grams) – $34.00
The easiest way to really describe each dish is through photos as usual, so please prepare your bib/tissues (whatever that will hold some drool!)
So before I move on with more photos, let’s talk about the above dishes.
I have tried lotus root chips before, and for those of us who are not too familiar with the lotus root, just click here for more information (: The chips were rather average to my palate. Would have been great with a little bit of sea salt. Then again, I am quite the salt queen. *grin*
Our host recommended the Namban Tsuke, which is basically fish tempura that has been soaking in this marinade for hours. I personally enjoyed the taste of it, but thought the fish was a tad tough. It was cold deep-fried fish though, so this may have contributed to the toughness of the dish. So taste is reasonable, texture can be better.
The Ocean’s 5 sashimi received raved reviews about its freshness, and having eaten lots and lots (and I mean lots) of sashimi in years before this (I have stopped due to personal reasons), the fish (and scallop) they presented did look fresh without a doubt. The three ladies DP, AC, and SC devoured those slices quite quickly, leaving SK and myself to rush finishing the other two dishes before they had the chance to have some! Kidding. (:
Moving on to the more substantial items!
I loved the fact there was a generous serve of sauce that covered a good part of the plate on which the fish was plated on.
A tasty dish this was, one of my personal favourites for the night, with that sweet and salty soy sauce that is concocted by Shiro themselves tantalizing the palate. The only thing about this dish, is the amount of teeny bones that you’d have to really extract out as you munch (well not really munch but you know what I mean) though portions of the fish. Probably not the best idea for people who are not used to eating fish with bones.
The makis we ordered came out looking absolutely beautiful with presentation. Couldn’t really fault it, but… the taste?
The ladies voted more for the spider maki, but I personally liked the rolls royce a tad more. Not too sure if it is because it was more pleasing to my eye, and it had that softness that melted in the mouth. They were both tasty, but the thing that really stood out more than anything was the presentation.
We were treated by our host to a serve of a pudding like dessert that is made out of sweet potato. I can’t remember the name now (I blame it on the shochu), but it tasted like the sweet potato we would put in our asian dessert (bubur cha cha), but a much smoother form of it. Most of the ladies were quite pleased with the dessert besides myself – couldn’t get past the texture for some reason. The way to have eaten it, was to have the fruits first, before the sweet potato. An interesting dessert to say the least!
DP and SC were really keen on trying the black sesame ice cream that was available from their dessert menu, so there was no wasting of time in ordering this. They decided to share one, and they found it to be rather good.
We spoke briefly to our host D. Bahk who had taken care of us so well this evening, and he spoke of many wonderful ideas for this restaurant. One of which is a possible Sake bar that will be situated on the 1st level above where the main dining area is. There was chat about a possible Sake-pairing degustation too! Some refreshing ideas to say that least.
I loved the tables they had at Shiro – very interesting lighting right in the middle that lit the food up. Perhaps the next thing they may wish to explore is having more translucent bowls/plates to serve on to make full use of the light. Overall, the food was tasty, but I found the serving a bit pale in relation to the price. For me personally, it was difficult to choose some dishes because it became a bit too expensive to order too many dishes, and my idea of an Izakaya is really to be able to order plenty of dishes and share around the table in the presence of some awesome Japanese booze. The concept is awesome, but food a touch too pricey for the serving size.
A special shout out to D. Bahk for being a wonderful host that evening! I look forward to seeing this Izakaya joint evolve into a city-known name for all who work/venture out in that area.
Rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg
Telephone: (08) 9486 1293
Address: 150C St Georges Terrace, Perth 6000