Location: Perth CBD, Central Park
I was heading to the Russell Peters Comedy Show at the Perth Arean tonight (if you haven’t see him, jump on youtube or google him – he’s hell funny) but since the show started at 8pm, I was catching up with a friend for dinner. We were planning on visiting Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taqueria Northbridge but I received an email from Dimmi for 50% off tonight only at Shiro. I asked my friend if he wanted to switch dinner to Shiro and it was a resounding yes. If you don’t know what Dimmi is, check out their website. They offer restaurants an automated online booking system so they can get on with the task of cooking tasty food and dinners can easily book tables. Booking gets you rewards points and so too reviews of those restaurants you booked with, and this gets you free meals after enough rewards points accumulated. Last time I ate at Shiro, I visited for lunch and absolutely loved it. Dinner is very different and more fine dining, whereas lunch is more on volume to feed the hungry lunch time crowd quickly. So, I was keen to see what dinner would be like.
We walked in and I showed them my booking and were immediately taken to a table. It seems we had one of the head waitstaff look after us for the night and he was very helpful, making excellent suggestions and providing excellent service. I didn’t catch his name which was a shame but his service was exceptional. Thank you. Half price – how do you approach it? Just order your intended dishes, or, go for some expensive dishes normally out of your price range? We chose the latter on a few dishes. On inspection of the menu and taking into consideration the recommendations from our waiter, we settled on the following 4 dishes:
- $39 Ocean’s 5 – Assorted sashimi with salmon, yellow tail, snapper, scallop, and tuna. I’ve had sashmi before and it takes a bit of geting used to. Not enough soy sauce and the fish doesn’t have enough flavour and tastes raw, too much and it’s a bit too salty. The different items present different flavours. Love the salmon and trying the scallop with the lemon provided a lovely combination.
- $24 Soft Shell Crab - Crispy fried soft shell crab and grilled herb watermelon, baby spinach, with balsamic reduction and wasabi soy sauce. This dish was a real surprise packet. I love soft shell crab and was keen to order Shiro’s version. The soft shell crab were 4 large pieces, whereas I’ve normally had much much smaller pieces. You have to hunt for it in amongst all those greens, but it’s the greens which stole the show. Lightly fried baby spinach – wow! What texture. Slight crunch without it being over-fried, yet, still a bit soft. Amazing with that sauce down the bottom of the dish. Also was really happy to try the lotus root chips. I saw Kirk Pingelly make these on Celebrity Masterchef and was intrigued by this vegetable. The lotus root chips are so yum. And of course, the soft shell crab was coated in a lovely light batter and was really delicious. A definite favourite dish out of the 4.
- $34 Caramelised Miso Pork Belly - Braised in Shiro style stock, caramel miso with red onion, ginger salsa, micro herbs and pickled beetroot. I expected a little more from the dish. The crispy roast belly was tender and well cooked but lacked the flavour I was expecting. The flavour is far more subtle and very unlike the crispy pork belly you might eat at yum cha for example. It was still tasty, especially with the apple sauce. Pork and apple sauce are an excellent flavour combination. Maybe a clash between what I was expecting the dish to be and what was actually served.
- $89 150g Wagyu Beef - Wagyu Beef grade 8/9+, pumpkin purée, grilled lemon, sautéed japanese mushroom, garlic chips, beetroot chips, thin slices of asparagus and cherry tomato confit. Ok, with 50% off we were recommended this dish by the waiter and it made perfect sense. I’ve never ordered a steak costing, actually, I’ve never ordered a steak so forget the price. I’m not a big fan of steaks but Mum’s steaks with whisky cream sauce is hard to beat so I’d rather stay home for that meal. The whole marbling thing and all that is wasted on me if you’re not a real steak eater. Nonetheless, it was an experience to eat meat costing this much. We opted for medium rare but still needed more cooking – maybe we should have gone with medium. While the dish was shared, after eating the beef, it becomes very rich. So if you’re gasping at $90 for only 150g, think again. In all honesty, and this is not a reflecting on Shiro, I didn’t think the whole hype about marbled Wagyu beef was that great. Mum’s steak wins hands down. The pumpkin puree and beetroot puree were delicious elements that provided a contrast to the richness of the Wagyu. Mind you, pumpkin itself has a certain richness but both were so smooth and tasty. The pickled ginger provides a lovely zing and cuts through the richness.
I’m pretty useless with chopsticks but start out strong and then are just flailing towards the end. You learn pretty quickly when you’re hungry, but even today, I was providing my friend with some pre-show entertainment as he watched me struggle. He quite enjoyed when I drowned my sashimi in way too much soy sauce. Ah well. The Russell Peters Show later that night was fantastic. Still laughing my head off.
Shiro Izakaya Food Review Summary
Verdict: Dinner is certainly a completely different dining experience to lunch at Shiro. We were very well looked after by our waiter who provided excellent service and helpful recommendations. I think the dishes are pricey, but it was good to try something very different. I enjoyed the simplicity of sashimi which requires the freshest fish, along with the soy sauce and some wasabi. The soft shell crab was excellent along with the delicious sauce and those amazing, lightly fried baby spinach which was something completely unexpected. Excellent change in texture, but still tasty. This dish was the highlight for me. I didn’t really rate the pork belly but was possibly expecting something a little different. The pork was quite tasty, especially with the apple sauce. Trying high grade Wagyu beef was an experience but not something I’d probably do again. Quite tasty, but I would have preferred the beef cooked longer in hindsight to fully appreciate the flavour rather than getting slightly raw meat. It does become very rich after eating a few pieces so sharing 150g with my friend was more than enough. The purees on the plate were fantastic and provided a different contrast to the beef. All in all an enjoyable dinner trying new experiences. We were pretty full and our $186 meal came to just $93 after the 50% discount, so at $46.50 per head, was well worth it.
See my prior blog post:
Food Review of Shiro – Mar 2012
Shiro Izakaya Restaurant Details
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