Friday, June 28, 2013

The best Japanese food you will never get to eat - Sake House, Applecross

Sake House, tucked away in one of the carparks near the corner of Riseley Street and Canning Highway, is not a traditional Japanese restaurant, nor does it pretend to be a fine dining restaurant either.

But what they do offer is good.  A combination of Japanese street-fare like octopus balls and okonomaki (Osaka-style seafood and vege "pancakes"), to the more ubiquitous deep-fried soft-shell crabs, sushi and sashimi selection, all the way to slightly more exotic and unique things, like the superb eel tempura and the sublimely soft and fluffy fried fish.

It's really more of a tapas style menu, full of small plates which are designed for sharing, priced anywhere from $8-15 a plate on average.

It's also a relaxed and cheerful place, usually with only one or two people to serve, decked out Japanese style, with upbeat Japanese jazz numbers playing in the background to complete the atmosphere.  And BYO wine as well!

Some highlights are:

  • the little bundles of enoki mushrooms wrapped in a sliver of grilled beef, which is just unique, good to look at and delicious.
  • the Osaka-style seafood and vegetable pancakes, which doesn't really look like what you'd expect a pancake to be, but is generously drizzled with bonito flakes, satisfyingly filling and delivers a different textural surprise depending on whether the bit you've just put in your mouth contains seafood or vegetables.
  • the lotus root chips - unbelievably good!
  • the tempura eel, which is just amazing taste- and texture-wise.  The chef has removed the fattiest bits of the skin, so that eel-flavour doesn't overpower your enjoyment of this delightful morsel.

What's left of the soft-shell crab ...
But the prize must go to the fried fish: little bite size morsels which appear to be deep fried, but when I bite into them, I experience a warm, fluffy, cloud-like texture, the likes of which I've never had before.  This is unbelievable stuff.  Certainly a must try!

Sadly, they are closing down on 30 June 2013 because the rents have gone up too high. I hear that they may have secured another place, but when I spoke to the owner, he mentioned that he might be taking a break for a while.

They're open only for dinner from 6pm to 9.30pm on Wednesday to Sunday, so you may have one or two more days left before it's all over.  So get in while you can.  In fact, you might see me there tonight ...