Archive for July 26th, 2009

The quest for the best Japanese in Perth starts @ Hanami

I’ve propably mentioned this about a thousand times, but I really really love Japanese food.

I’m not sure how to explain why I love Japanese food so much, I love how the Japanese toil over the perfect ingredient, their love (or perhaps obsession) for fresh, healthy  and seasonal ingredients, the sweat and tears of honing the best techniques( watch the movie Tampopo about perfecting the ultimate ramen and you’ll get a clue), the sharpest knives, the gorgeous utensils, the delicate portions. When it comes to Japanese food, it’s the whole picture, it’s not just about the food, it’s also about respect for the ingredient, for the season, presentation is the key to everything, not only must it taste good and be good for you, it must also look beautiful.

When I went to Japan, I was only a young kid and wasn’t very excited about Japanese food. Now that I’m older, I can only imagine how fantastic the food in Japan must be, just looking at the pictures from my sister’s annual Japan trip transports me into throes of wonder and amazement (plus salivation). Japan is my ultimate ‘must-go’  foodie place before I die, maybe year 2010? Here’s hoping.

In Perth, there ‘s quite a bit of Japanese food around, but none that transport me into foodie heaven.  Sadly, a lot of Japanese restaurants either fall into the ‘not authentic Japanese (more like Malaysian chef) but good for a quick sushi fix’ category or into ‘overly expensive need to eat McD afterwards’ category.   So I’ve decided to start on a quest for the best Japanese in Perth, first round, is Hanami at Mount Lawley.

Jo and Hieng Chiong at Hanami, the surroundings are not particularly posh, more of a family restaurant feel I suspect. I’ve been to Hanami twice now, but am always reluctant to blog about it because I take the most ugly pictures here. I don’t know what it is, dodgy lighting or just my shaky hands, everything looks ugly, so here’ a warning in advance. The food tastes better than it looks.

Beef tataki or raw beef salad entree. I’m not such a fan of beef tataki, but Gill is, and she said it was one of the better ones she’s had. The dressing was nicely vinegary and tangy, the beef tender and nicely pinked in the middle.

Teriyaki beef bento. I can’t remember most of the prices now but most of the bento boxes are under the $20 mark, so pretty good value for money. I remember comments that the teriyaki beef was tasty and tender.

Mixed sashimi platter, thick slices of sashimi, all fresh and good.

Prawn tempura sushi. I know the sushi was made by order, because the rice was still rather warm when it was served to us, a bit odd, but still tasted quite good nevertheless.

Hanami serves teppanyaki, on two separate occasions we ordered the teppanyaki beef and chicken (featured above). The beef was alright, not very flavourful but nicely grilled. Teppanyaki chicken felt like homecooked food, saucey and sweet, went well with rice but didn’t feel very grilled to me.

Mixed sushi platter, not outstanding but not bad either.

My must-order at all Japanese restaurants, the chirashi sushi bento. Generous portion, good sticky sushi rice but not as good as Zen’s chirashi sushi.

A close up shot of the chirashi sushi.Thick slices of sashimi.

Jo’s must order at Japanese restaurants, the unadon. The unagi here was alright, a little bit chewy I thought, I wonder what unagi from those specialised unagi shops in Japan taste like? Yums.

Mixed seafood and vegetable tempura . Nice mix of vegetables and tempura, I think they had pumpkin and sweet potato tempura which are my favourite tempuras, I didn’t eat any of the seafood tempura so not sure whether they were any good, comments Jaso?

Overall, Hanami falls into the pretty affordable but might not be overly authentic category.This is a good place to go to when you’re craving a nice substantial bento box, tasty Japanese food which won’t break the bank. It’s not a  ‘flowers and stars coming out of the head’ experience, but  like I’ve said, I’ve yet to experience Japanese food of that category anywhere in the world, still, I would definitely return.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food : 6.5/10 daitaohas

6.5

Service: 6/10 daitaohas

6 service

Hanami Japanese Restaurant
685c Beaufort St
Mt Lawley 6050
Tel : (08) 9371 9855

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