When I saw a new Japanese restaurant being renovated on Francis St, I was so excited and wondered what it would be like. I didn’t expect that it would turn out to be one of my favourite places to go.
Sake Bar Restaurant took me back to when I was in Japan a couple of years ago. It is dripping with authenticity and i’m so glad that Perth has a restaurant like this.
The restaurant boasts a long rectangular room with a clean, modern bar up front and the restrained elegance of a Japanese dojo down back.
The simple geometric shapes created by dark wood and linen are timelessly beautiful and give the wall-lined booths and dining room a classic ambience. And with chairs and tables interspersed with bonsai give you the feel that we could almost be in Japan.
Being a sake bar, it is front and centre here with a separate menu devoted to the quintessential Japanese beverage. It can be served hot or cold and presented in ornate ceramic flasks called tokkuri with small cups called choko, there’s real theatre to this rice-based beverage’s enjoyment.
Sake also forms the basis of the cocktail list with some well thought out applications for its at times abrasive quality. John tried the sake margarita which he said was good.
The food menu is exceptional, much like Nobu’s but on a less expensive scale. We decided to order some dishes to share between us. After having Elijah, I missed eating sashimi and it was definitely one of the dishes that we ordered.
What was presented to us were the freshest thin slices of salmon, tuna, kingfish and the scallop sashimi lying in a wine glass which was elegant and pretty. They even used fresh wasabi, not the powdered stuff which was another tick in my book!
The dragon roll or maki was another dish that we just had to order. Deep fried soft shell crab rolled up with seaweed, sushi rice, avocado, topped with black flying fish roe and drizzled with sweet soya sauce and Japanese mayonnaise! Oh, so delicious!!!!!!!
We just had to have the wagyu beef tataki which was served with garlic, onion and ponzu sauce. Waygu beef cattle in Japan are fed with beer or sake in their feeding regiment resulting in small, thin fat nets all over the mea t which is a bit fatty but extremely soft. Tataki is just the cooking method to grill just enough to sear the outside of the meat with a strong direct fire. It is one of the best ways to have wagyu where one is able to taste its subtle and smooth texture.
Then there was the Hamachi Uszukuri which was king fish carpaccio topped with mango and thinly sliced jalapenos and again topped with ponzu sauce. Another fantastic dish and loving the flavours of the sweetness from the mango, heat from the jalapenos and tanginess from the ponzu sauce. Perfect!
Sake bar restaurant experience was a cross of my holiday in Japan and also my dining experience in Nobu, Melbourne. Since our first time at Sake Bar restaurant, we have been back twice more in a matter of a couple of weeks. There are so many other dishes on menu that we wanted to try and they have been consistent in their delivery of the dishes as well. The meal cost us just over $100 which I thought was pretty good considering the quality of the food and presentation as well.
On the whole, 9 ½ for food quality, 9 ½ for atmosphere, 9 for pricing and 9 for service.
Sake Bar Restaurant
71 Francis Street
Tel: 9328 3380