I have heard about this place since ages ago from colleagues… all about this ‘dark alley way Japanese place underground’… doesn’t inspire much confidence but coming from a country where back alley food represent the best there is the in the business, I was keen to give this a go.
It took me about over a year (or maybe close to two even!) to get myself there. We had just returned from Geraldton, so we were pretty tired, but we still had to fill the tummies. So I thought why not just head into the city for some new Japanese food.
Making a booking was fairly easy. So when we arrived, the folks were quite surprised to see how the door from the outside actually led to a stairway to an ‘underground’ restaurant. Being quite the superstitious parents, the first thing I heard was “isn’t this bad luck!”… and the simple answer, “well, if it was, then it would have closed quite a long time ago!”. *sheepish grin*
Anyhoo, we were greeted by a waitress who showed us to our table. The mother isn’t too keen on the traditional Japanese dining experience (i.e. in the little booths where you had to take your shoes off)… so we requested a normal table, which was sorted without question. Nice.
Being a kushi-yaki/yakitori place, we were overwhelmed with the options presented to us. This was probably the longest I have ever deliberated on a menu!!
After about 10-15min trying to decide, we decided on:
- Yakitori Set
- Tofu Salad
- Fried white bait
- Stewed Pork Belly
- Salted Plum Rice Ball
- Chicken with spring onion yakitori
- Scallops with Asparagus
- Green Tea
We were afraid that we didn’t order enough but we figured we could always order at a later time if we found it wasn’t enough.
It took a while before the food got served, and perhaps we were pretty tired that day, we got a bit restless…
The Yakitori set came first, and what a set it was! Complete with rice, miso soup, some tempura battered vegetables, an assortment of yakitori, two side dishes… we looked at amazement, as the father’s section of the table quickly filled up.
The easiest way to describe the food here would be to do it in ‘groups’ I think.
So the yakitori dishes were in general tasty and if I were to head back there, I’d go with them. The best part about yakitori is that you can order such a large variety of them without worrying too much about the belly because they usually just come in sets of two skewers. Lovely.
The tofu salad was alright. Quite typical of a salad you’d get at a Japanese joint. I finished about 70% of this.
The white bait was also fairly average – would have liked it a little crunchier with the batter, but we enjoyed the saltiness of it – and they even gave salt on the side for the extra oomph-BP factor! It would have been perfect with beer.
The stewed pork belly was a bit of a disappointment – unable to match this one stewed pork belly dish we had in Singapore at a Japanese restaurant. The pork could have been cooked a little longer we reckon (this is the mother and I).
The scallops and asparagus was quite a nice vegetable dish to have, and the scallops were fresh. Asparagus was cooked just right.
The salted plum rice ball was lovely – right up my alley! That combination of sour and salty because of the plum, and having it infused in the rice ball, was just absolutely perfect. I loved it, and would totally have this in combination with the yakitori the next time I come back.
The service here was alright. We found one of the waitresses a tad moody, but it didn’t affect our mood, so I suppose that’s OK, though probably not too acceptable in the hospitality industry?
Overall this place is great for a meal with variety and to have a night of booze and nibbles. But I wouldn’t be coming here for a meal that would blow your mind. Waiting time is on the longer side, but if you’ve got good company, this shouldn’t even be an issue.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg
Telephone: (08) 9221 3339
Address: 568 Hay Street, Perth