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


Service: 6/10 daitaohas

6 service

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

12 Responses to “The quest for the best Japanese in Perth starts @ Hanami”

  1. 1 Jaso July 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Thought ill leave a comment before i sleep

    The tempura was yummy but i was really hungry that night so everything was good!

    I would have actually give the restaurant a bit more credit. If only it was a bit bigger and the price was a bit cheaper.

    Still considering master chef? ‘If Pho can cook so can you!’ -btw it is suppose to rhyme…
    Consider it!

    • 2 daitaoha July 26, 2009 at 1:33 pm

      I guess I’m getting tougher when it comes to rating. I had a look at my old ratings and I think I was too generous. But 6.5 is still a good rating no? I think I’m partial towards Japanese food so it always tastes pretty good to me.

      I think I was hungry that night as well. Hahaha, no, I am not considering Masterchef, so embarrassing to get thrown out at the first round, it should be ‘if poh can cook so can ting!’

  2. 3 slappedbygunk July 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I have I have! I have stars and flowers shooting out of my head experiences at Japanese restaurants, but they’re in Japan… Definitely we have to go, April 2010 okay!!! Let’s work towards that.

    I can tell what kind of standard Hanami is, the bog standard “okay but unremarkable, not terribly unauthentic but also doesn’t quite give you an ‘I’m in Japan’ feel” type restaurant.

    I think you should enrol for Masterchef. Why not? It’ll be a nice learning experience and you have nothing to lose.

    • 4 daitaoha July 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

      Ya ya, I know you have, must have been the ramen museum right? I haven’t been to a ‘I’m in Japan’ feel restaurant yet, are there any in London??

      • 5 slappedbygunk July 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

        There are a few which are very Japanese in feel, as in, all the staff are Japanese and they’ve got all these little menus on wooden boards hung on the walls. But then my favourite one feels almost like one of those bog standard Japanese restaurants even though all the staff and the owner are also Japanese. It just feels very comfy in there and the food is good and affordable, that’s why I like it. Most of the very Japanesey places are slightly more pricey, and there’s one which is actually really quite good but the owner is a bitch, I can’t stand her so I don’t go.

      • 6 daitaoha July 28, 2009 at 10:03 am

        ya I hate it when owners are bitches and we have to avoid good food, but I’m like that too, I hate restaurants that have really bad service and inconsistent food standards.

  3. 7 sakuratrees July 27, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Hehehe! I love jap food too. I thought that Hanami was not as good as the one we went to with Janet and GM. was that Zen? Zen’s chirashi sushi was so yummy! I have been craving for it! I will be able to finish one whole chirashi by myself.

    I do hope we get to go to Japan in 2010. We will eat till we drop, instead of shop till we drop! Hahaha!

    • 8 daitaoha July 27, 2009 at 11:16 am

      Yup, that was Zen, Zen was a lot more expensive, that’s why so much better, but then their Chirashi was super good and value for money too.

  4. 9 mum July 29, 2009 at 4:56 am

    I guess anything is better than the cheap jap food Daitaoha brought me to when I went to Perth.can’t even have rating except for the cheap price. The rating for the price would be 9/10 daitaohas.

    • 10 daitaoha July 29, 2009 at 9:46 am

      Oi!! Ok fine fine, you and Ah Pa come to Perth and I’ll bring you out for nicer dinners. I will go and do a review on your favourite Taka soon.

  5. 11 Brett February 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Best Japanese? Fuku probably. But not cheap. However, once a year …

  1. 1 Maggie comes to town « daitaoha Trackback on January 26, 2010 at 1:37 am

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July 2009



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