Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Izakaya Sakura

Izakaya Sakura Japanese restaurant on Urbanspoon
"I want noodles", friend said.
*Google search: Chinese restaurants*
"Like ramen or udon", friend clarified.
*Google search: Japanese restaurants*

After sieving through the countless results: Izakaya Sakura
And off we went, stomachs snarling wildly.

Even in the small, relatively unpopulated city of Perth, parking is increasingly hard to get and new restaurants are popping up frequently. This eatery is somewhat a novelty to the abundance of restaurants in Northbridge and upon looking at its menu, I was feeling ravenous and was hell eager to try it out! Luck was on my side and I miraculously snagged a bay right in front of the restaurant.

After a century of indecisiveness, a grand total of 3 dishes were chosen.
3 very small, 3 very unsatisfying, 3 very disappointing choices (portion wise).

Satsuma Age - Deep fried Fish & Vegetables Cake
We actually chose the entree last, after we chose our main dishes. We weren't planning on having any starters, until the point where we started to get suspicious about the size of these meals after observing their prices in comparison to what the same foods are usually charged.

And believe me, you could easily finish two, even 3 mains in one sitting. I know I could. And still not be full.

Our entree came out after our mains were served. And not particularly hot either. The deep fried "cake" was served on a small leaf with a mound of finely sliced ginger and spring onions. The fish/vegetable paste lacked flavour, so we soaked its blandness in sweet teriyaki sauce to make it a bit more exciting to eat.

Teppan Yaki - served on a small hot plate

This teppanyaki was indeedy served on a hotplate - a miniature frying pan - VERY miniature - but it was anything but hot. However it came out on top of a wooden board which was quite cute actually. It looks quite a lot in the photo, but it was the width of ... less than a handspan really. SMALL. For $10.

It reminds me of home where we eat food just out of the pots and pans they are cooked in, not bothering about the presentation to transfer it to proper crockery or a real eating plate. That's one less dish to wash! :D
There's a particular Asian feel about the appearance of this whole thing, together with the cherry blossom design placemat. The daintyness of it reminds you of the natural, silent, undisturbed beauty of a blooming cherry blossom tree.

I was all hyped up about this. But it came out and you could see the gleam of disappointment in my eyes. How was this APPETISER-SIZED MAIN meant to satisfy me?! We soon found a benefit in that as a small dinner gave us an excuse to go for dessert. Not that we needed an excuse anyway.

Salmon Teriyaki - Grilled salmon with Teriyaki sauce
The salmon was wonderfully cooked though, with lines of fish fat encapsulated within soft flaky pink flesh. The outermost layer was caramelised in a way that was sweet and crispy to the bite, served floating on a pool of glimmering brown Teriyaki sauce.
It all really had me lusting after it for more, wanting more because you can't get enough of it.
Simply because they don't exactly give you enough for it.
But what was there is good schtuff.

Yaki Udon - Fried Udon Noodles with Vegetables and sliced Pork
I had a bit of this. My friend was a noob and got this to satisfy a udon noodle in SOUP craving but instead got dry style udon instead. So just like me, disappointment took over and this totally failed any expectations. But purely because of what it was expected to be, and it wasn't.
That's why I usually play it safe in life and have low or no expectations at all. Lol...

Now this would have been awesome if the whole thing was drowned in soup. Dunking it in soup keeps it hot and nice to eat on that cold, windy Friday night. To be honest, nothing really stood out for this dish, for me.

A dish that did grab my attention was a dish with the description "Eel over rice in fish stock soup and green tea". Now how's that for variety :/
I love eel, but upon hearing that all those things were served ALL TOGETHER...uh. Something like green tea flavoured rice in soup. Maybe next time, if it's still on the Specials page.
And special it is indeed.


We polished off our meal, 3 empty plates but still 2 relatively empty stomachs.
We didn't even say "We're not full yet", but unsurprisingly, both said "We're still hungry!"
Yeah. Hungry!
So you can imagine how small the portions are. Or how big our stomachs are. Preferably the first but probably the latter.   :(

The menu really lures you in, with a whole variety of sections with scrumptious sounding food and at such good prices for dinner! But then you sadly realised why that is, when you see your not-very-bountiful meal. So this is a place that's meant to be like a sampling meal to share amongst friends where you get a little bit of a lot of everything. Not really my style.

Well it is, cause I love buffets, but they're a different story. You get to sample everything, and you get a lot of a lot of everything. And you are satisfied. Over-satisfied in my case, I can't resist the temptation of food and I've gotten stomach aches the last 2 times I visited a buffet.
I'm the best at resisting temptations.

There's an inviting and warm ambience about the place that makes it very homely and a cosy feel about it. You sorta want to take your shoes off and leave them at the door type of homely feel. There's soft lighting dancing on the drapey curtains that separate some tables in this small restaurant. Much of its space is dedicated to an outdoor patio area, which is totally empty. For now.

Having a small dining area makes for much intimacy and you can hear chatter from all angles of the room. But all the staff are friendly, helpful and happy to explain the menu to you. Repeatedly. Hahaha, I'm just soo bad with accents and I need the same thing repeated for me to understand, like when you talk to a kid.
There's something about a place with staff from the country of the cuisine you're eating and speaking with a heavy and fast accent. Not understanding them reinforces a sense of authenticity of the restaurant that makes it traditional and real.
Taro Pikelets
And this was dessert.

Friend: I have a feeling this is just gonna taste like what I think it'll taste like.
Me: Like what?
Friend: Taro pikelets.
Me: Dude. So. Lame.
*Devours whole pack of taro pikelets*
Me: Oh yeah, these do taste like...
Friend: Like what?
Me: Eh. Taro pikelets.

Two budding food critics making a profound discovery I say.

1 comment:

  1. Seems like it's more of a tapas type of serving


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