Cuisine: Japanese, sushi
Location: Innaloo, next to Ikea
Disclosure: Complimentary Meal
I’m fortunate to have the day off and enjoy an extra long weekend, so why not go out and try a new restaurant? Sounds like a great idea to me and I was fortunate to receive an invitation to try a new restaurant in Perth, Sushi Wawa. Located next to Ikea in Innaloo, you have no excuse not to visit and don’t say there’s nothing to choose as the menu is expansive. Offering over 100 dishes ranging from different types of sushi to items from the al a carte menu, the restaurant offers an array of Japanese cuisine made fresh by the 4 experienced chefs who roll out their creations on a 62 metre sushi train! Impressive. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and in the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday. There’s plenty of parking nearby and they offer take-away or platters for any special events. In the relaxed casual layout, the restaurant also caters towards families with a dedicated kids zone to keep them entertained. You can find more info about this new restaurant in the media release of Sushi Wawa.
I had a look at the menu before going and while it might seem overwhelming at first, it becomes difficult to choose what to order. There’s just so many dishes that are so pleasing to the eye and make your tastebuds salivate. When we arrived we were greeted by the friendly staff but it was pretty busy so we took a seat to the side and waited while a spare booth became available. That’s always a good sign that the restaurant is good when it packs out, especially for lunch. After 10 or so minutes a booth became available and we were taken there and offered drinks. Aside from that, you’re on your own. There is a menu to see what a lot of the dishes that roll by are and you need to order the hot dishes and special sushi rolls as these are not on the sushi train. An example is sashimi.
At first we were a little confused as it’s hard knowing what dishes roll by. I guess you simply have to go on looks. You could pull off an interesting dish and search for it on the menu but it became a little tricky searching through their extensive menu with pictures. This made it a bit annoying as you would look at the menu and see something you wanted but then didn’t know what to look out for. I guess you just have to be spontaneous and go with the flow. So in the matter of a few minutes we just started pulling off interesting looking dishes and our table became full. The way the system works if you’re unfamiliar with sushi trains is the items are on different coloured plates, where the colours represent a certain price. At the end of the meal, the waitstaff counts up the number of each coloured plate aside from any al a carte dishes and marks that on the slip which you take to the counter to pay. If you look at the prices and get a little bit shocked at paying $4-7 depending on the dish for a plate with small items, don’t despair as the quality of the food is delicious and after you’ve had a good nosh, it works out to around $30 per head depending on what you order. From that point of view, the pricing is very reasonable.
The booths surround the kitchen which is in the centre of the restaurant. The kitchen is open so you can see the chefs at work whipping up their creations but after the dishes roll by, you won’t be watching them, just the delicious food and eating. On the table are several condiments – soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, and red pepper sprinkles. There’s also serviettes, chopsticks, the menu, and the dessert notice.
I rather like anything deep fried and when it comes to Japanese, I love getting Karaage Chicken. So when this dish happened to roll by it quickly disembarked on to our table and I enjoyed the tender chicken coated in a crunchy batter with a dollop of mayonnaise. Yum.
You can’t be at a restaurant with a sushi train and not get sushi so we chose the smoked salmon and cucumber sushi wrapped in seaweed. After a quick dunk in the soya sauce, the salty kick of the soy immersed itself through the tender rice before the fresh flavour of cucumber took over and then the star, smoked salmon, shone through. I like sushi and this dish was a great start.
I’m not a huge fan of crab but after being introduced to crab claws I’m a massive fan of this little delight. So I was extremely pleased when this dish rolled by. The outide is perfectly cooked with a lovely crisp crunchy batter which isn’t oily and the batter not too thick. The inside is packed full of tender crab and this goes down an absolute treat. Delicious!
Anything golden and deep fried was quickly appearing on our table. One bite into the golden brown coated calamari and you wish you had this plate all to yourself. The calamari is super tender and just melts in your mouth. I loved this dish. You’re supposed to share, some dishes aren’t worth the effort.
I love seafood which really gets presented in a different forms at a Japanese restaurant. Golden, crumbed and deep fried is perfect by me and enjoyed with the spicy thousand island like dressing, the tender prawn is so delicious. Very enjoyable.
I really admire the different forms of sushi and nigiri sushi is quite fascinating. The prawn is carefully sliced from the underbelly and then carefully spread and moulded around the mini bed of rice, such that the sushi looks like a prawn. It’s very clever, keeps it’s shape, and doused with a little soy and a dash of wasabe, goes down extremely well.
Nothing says Japanese like tempura so when tempura prawn nigiri rolled by, we had to try. Lovely golden brown crunchy batter encasing a tender prawn atop a mini bed of rice. So yum.
I don’t think I’ve seen a sushi as creative and inventive as this. The COB stands for cream cheese, onion, and beetroot. With cucumber and black sesame seeds, the sushi is extremely delicious, even though it’s purely vegetarian. It’s a little rich due to the cream cheese but the different ingredients partner well to form a delicious combination. I reckon this should be, if it isn’t already, a signature dish. Keep a look out for the purple stain of the beetroot.
I didn’t try this one despite the deep fried appeal. I was starting to get a little fed up of deep fried and wanted something a bit lighter so gave this a miss. It was enjoyed by the others though.
Instead I went with the hamachi or king fish nigiri. The king fish, is I suspect, a raw version enclosing the mini bed of rice. With a touch of soy to provide that salty kick, the morsel comes to life. You can really taste the fresh flavours of the king fish.
I initially didn’t have a taste of this interesting looking dish but when another was ordered, I had to try. This is a unique sushi as the seaweed encases a half filled sushi with rice, the rest is topped up with a delicious and slightly sweet mix of lobster. I’m not sure what they put in the lobster mix but this dish is absolutely divine!
It’s about time I tried some sashimi so when the waitstaff came by, I placed an order. Within a jiffy one of the chefs was over to our table and presented us with the salmon sashimi. The slices are reasonably thick so after a dunking of soy, you just let the fresh flavours of the salmon light up your tastebuds.
I didn’t realise on our table was a little notice about desserts. They have strawberry, vanilla and green tea flavoured ice cream mochi. The mochi are a rice cake which encases the ice cream. Looks interesting so we gave it a try. I ordered the green tea but had a taste of the strawberry which was delicious. They’re not too big but they look rather tedious to make. The mochi is rather unusual, a bit like glutinous cake you might eat at yum cha. It’s kind of chewy but has a different texture. The ice cream is firm but soft and carries a lovely green tea flavour. Very refreshing. A lovely end to the meal.
Sushi Wawa Food Review Summary
Verdict: If a place packs out during lunch you know this place is popular and the food is good. We had a short wait before being seated in the comfy booths and then proceeded to grab an array of dishes from the 62m long sushi train. From the 100+ dishes on the extensive menu with pictures to get your tastebuds salivating, there’s plenty of choice which makes it difficult in choosing what to take. Choose from the sushi train or order al a carte, the friendly waitstaff keep a close eye on the patrons to meet their needs. The food was delicious with particular mention to the calamari, crab claws, the COB, and the lobster salad. The deep fried dishes have a lovely thin light crunchy batter, are not oily, and it’s contents are perfectly cooked – like the calamari. The sashimi is fresh and so too the sushi. The tempura has a lovely crunch. The flavours are excellent as demonstrated in the COB, an interesting creation of cream cheese, onion, beetroot, cucumber, and black sesame seeds. There is great care shown in each dish, carefully crafted and presented, precise and clean, epitomising Japanese cuisine. It’s a lovely relaxed family friendly venue and a great place to share a meal, although some dishes are so yummy you could be excused for taking a dish all to yourself!
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
Sushi Wawa Restaurant Details
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