Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sushia Izakaya and Bar

Tonight we celebrated LD's last week in Perth before she goes off to Europe and USA for 3 months, how exciting!  We decided to try out the new kid on the block, Sushia which is run by three of the ex-Nobu chefs and has only been open for about a month. 

HS and I arrived at 5:50pm for our 6pm booking but the maître d'  refused to seat us because we were 10 minutes early so we had to return at 6pm (I will have a rant about this later).  As we entered Sushia, there is a bar at the entrance and if we didn't venture further in, we wouldn't have known that there is a large dining area tucked around the back.

We were seated quickly this time around, given our menus and some water.  A waiter came and tried to explain to us how an izukaya works and then realising HS is Japanese stopped and said "you know how it works!"  (he also did the same thing at the next table which I found amusing).  Anyway, we asked him for some recommendations but couldn't quite make out what the dishes were due to his poor pronunciation of the dishes.  It didn't take us long to make up our minds after he left us to our own devices.

Our order
To share
  • Trout Zuke (cured ocean trout, pickled daikon, melon, Japanese relish) $18
  • Hamachi Carpaccio (thin slices of kingfish, wafu jelly in Sushia pesto) $18
  • Tori kara-age (deep fried marinated chicken) $16
  • Minute steak (beef short rib in fruit infused sweet soy sauce) $28
  • Gyoza (Japanese style dumpling with port, chive and cabbage) $15
  • Gindaa Saikyo Yaki (grilled tooth fish marinated in saikyo) $35

  • Tofu Cheesecake (cream cheese and soy bean curd served with yoghurt sorbet) $12
  • Mochi Ice Cream (Japanese flavoured ice creams encased in glutinous rice cake) $12

  • Choya Umeshu Honey (containing 100% Japanese plum fruits that has been soaked in honey, recommended as a digestive) x 2 $25 ($12.50 each)
  • Pure Passion (raspberry, cranberry juice, apple juice, passion fruit syrup) $12

Food and presentation 4/5
The food at Sushia was fantastic and if you haven't already noticed I don't give praise very often.  The flavours of each dish were balanced and danced on your taste buds; you can differentiate the different flavours of each dish unlike some other places where the dishes are flavoursome but taste so similar it all becomes a blur.  So why didn't I give Sushia 5/5 you ask?  There are two reasons, the first one being that the flavours were not anything I haven't really tasted before, although amazing it was nothing new, and secondly the mochi icecream was a bit of a let down, the mochi to icecream ratio wasn't quite right, more mochi would've made the dish better and maybe better ice cream.  My stand out dishes were the hamachi carpaccio, the gindaa saikyo yaki, the minute steak and the tofu cheesecake.
Trout Zuke $18
Hamachi Carpaccio $18
Tori kara-age $16
Minute steak $28
Gyoza $15
Gindaa Saikyo Yaki $35
Tofu Cheesecake $12
Mochi Ice Cream $12
Service - 3.5/5
The wait staff were polite and friendly but some of them didn't seem to be professionally trained.  We had three different wait staff - the waiter that did the introductions, a Japanese waitress who was really happy that HS is Japanese and (I think) a trainee waiter who is a Westerner that spoke really good Japanese (thumbs up to him); all three of our wait staff were great although they didn't seem to be professionally trained (or maybe training in progress).

Now I am going to have my rant about not being seated just 10 minutes earlier than my booking time.  So, the waitress at the entrance who wasn't particularly friendly basically just told HS and I that we couldn't be seated until 6pm and were welcome to have a drink at the bar or to come back at 6pm.  All the comfortable seats in the bar area were taken, so we opted to sit outside in the cold for 10 minutes until it was 6pm.  It really annoyed me because (1) I had a pregnant woman with me, (2) it's only 10 minutes, (3) there wasn't really anywhere to go for 10 minutes around the area and (4)they were already open so I really don't understand why we couldn't just be seated.  Am I being unreasonable?  It could also be a case of not what she said, but how she said it.

Atmosphere - 4.5/5
Love the atmosphere, there's a real buzz at Sushia.  I love the open kitchen and the momiji tree which I couldn't get a good photo of.  The only complaint I had was the lighting, it was hard to take photos.  

Value for money - 4/5
Sushia isn't cheap but serves similar style dishes to Nobu and is not as dear.  It is also run by three ex-Nobu chefs and I actually thought some of the dishes were better than Nobu and most of the other dishes were on par.

Taste Test Total Score 16/20

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