Cuisine: Japanese, Buffet
Location: Northbridge, William St
Disclosure: Meal was complimentary
I’ve been to a several Japanese restaurants which vary in style but I’ve yet to come across a Japanese all you can eat buffet until now. I received an invite to check out Sakari Japanese Restaurant located on William Street in Northbridge. For $32.90 per person (adults, kids are $15.90) you have the choice of over 40 items covering sashimi, nigiri, sushi maki, salads, appetisers, teppanyaki, seafood and meats, tempura seafood and vegetables, noodles, hot pot, desserts and others.
I think this an interesting concept and Japanese cuisine lends itself well to this concept. There is a self-serve component for certain types of sushi and salads, but the other items are made cooked to order. There are pieces of paper covering the items available for ordering so just jot down your table number and order the quantity of whatever item you want. Several of the items are available as a single serve (e.g. one piece of sashimi, one piece of tempura) while others items provide several pieces such as teppanyaki. As a result, you aren’t stuck with a big dish but can fill up on smaller items till you’re comfortably full which suits a range of appetites. Feeling still hungry – then order a couple of pieces of your hearts desire. Really hungry – order many items. Also, with singular items you can enjoy a variety of Japanese dishes from the range available.
Finding the location is easy but may be deceiving at first. It’s located on level 2 see don’t go into the arcade type games place but head to the lift and don’t lean against the side because the side door opens when you reach the first floor. Once there, you will be greeted by the friendly staff and the wide spacious restaurant with a clean sleek design. Tables by the window give you a lovely view down William Street. The staff will explain the process of ordering but feel free to ask them questions about what certain dishes are or what quantity an item comes in. Start off slow and order a few dishes from the sections which interest you. If you order too much you will get a bunch of food delivered to your table that will go cold. You won’t be able to enjoy each item and the pace will be a bit rushed and the table crowded. Here’s what we had:
Teppanyaki – Chicken, Barramundi, and Pork
The tepanyaki offers a choice of different meats and this is one item which serves several pieces. We started off with chicken, barramundi and pork varieties. The barramundi had a lovely seared flavour removing any strong fishy flavour which is common with barramundi. The pork carries a lovely flavour but is quite chewy. The chicken was quite tender and was pretty tasty. Probably lacks a sauce to add additional flavour while not taking away from the flavour of the grill.
This is another item which comes with a reasonable serving sized for sharing. They already cut the pancake up. I really loved the Japanese pancake which had a slight crunch on the outside while the filling was soft and creamy like a cloud. The filling contained fish, corn, and ham. The Japanese have several dishes a bit like this so I was happy to see it on the menu available for the people of Perth to try out.
Tempura – Fish, Prawn, and Vegetable
No one does deep fried foods like the Japanese and their tempura batter is a standout so ordering some tempura was a no brainer. They have prawn, fish and mixed vegetable tempura, though the latter only delivered one piece so I’m not sure why they called it mixed. Each serve is one piece (i.e. an order of prawn tempura is one piece). The tempura was fantastic, lovely golden brown crunchy crumb encasing succulent fish or juicy prawns. I think with the vegetable tempura they keep changing what the vegetable is so we got okra. I really enjoyed it though I didn’t see the need nor care for the sauce.
Tako Yaki – Octopus Balls
Tako yaki are another dish synonymous with Japanese cuisine. On my recent trip to Japan we visited a restaurant in Osaka where you get to make them yourself. It’s lots of fun and very interactive, and particularly tasty. Here, they’ve done the work for you so you just get to sit back and relax and enjoy the serve of tako yako (1 piece serve). The tako yaki octopus balls were delicious, nice and soft and tender on the inside with tender octopus and a lovely golden brown outside with a slight crunch. The mayo and sauce are necessary and help to add additional flavour to complete the dish.
Self Serve Buffet
From the self serve area they have a range of sushi, potato salad, edamame (seaweed), mix fruits, and desserts. I had a delicious crumbed prawn sushi and also a chicken sushi which were both perfect, the way sushi should be. I loved the edamame seaweed salad which was fresh and full of flavour along with the excellent dressing. I also liked the potato salad which balances against the tempura. There’s also pickled ginger which I love. It has a lovely tang, is juicy, refreshing, and it aids digestion. Just a word of warning, don’t waste the food as you will get charged extra if you leave a bunch of unfinished food.
Buffet Special Oysters with Fish Roe
Unbeknownst to me, they happened to have a special with the buffet and we were presented with cooked oysters with a crumb and fish roe. I’m not complaining and I enjoyed it.
Sashimi – Salmon, Tuna, Octopus, and Barramundi
Another specialty of Japanese cuisine is sashimi so I had to get a serve (each is 1 piece). We started with salmon, tuna and octopus which was excellent with a dab of wasabi and soy sauce. I’ve not eaten octopus sashimi before but I really liked it. I had to get some more octopus and also some tuna and barramundi which were yum.
Aburi Nigiri (Seared Sushi) – Salmon, Barramundi, Tuna, and Squid
The buffet offers certain types of sushi that can be made fresh but ahead of time but there are also other varieties that are made cooked to order like aburi nigiri (seared sushi). I started off with salmon and barramundi and really enjoyed the salmon variety which was light and carried a lovely seared flavour and a touch of richness from the mayo. The barramundi was also tasty too. I also got some more seared sushi, this time opting for the squid which was excellent. The squid had a different flavour and isn’t tough or chewy. Also had the tuna variety which was equally tasty.
Green Tea Ice Cream
I was comfortably full so it was time for dessert. I’m really keen for green tea ice cream but vanilla is also available. The green tea is smooth and really delicious. A lovely finish to the meal.
Sakari Food Review Summary
Verdict: For $32.90 per head which is similar to a lot of mains at several restaurants, you can instead enjoy a variety of Japanese cuisine by visiting Sakari Japanese Restaurant for their all you can eat buffet. There are a range of pre-prepared sushi varieties and salads available from the self-serve section while the other items are made cooked to order. The serving size of each item is generally one piece so this allows you to satisfy your appetite while not being stuck with a big dish, and experience a variety of items. I enjoyed sashimi, tempura, seared sushi, and teppanyaki. I particularly loved the Japanese pancake and tako yaki octopus balls, with green tea ice cream finishing off a lovely experience. The edamame seaweed salad was also a favourite. The price represents excellent value while the quality of items served from the 40+ strong menu is to a solid standard. While not a fine dining restaurant, the quality, execution, and presentation of dishes is not compromised in a lovely setting overlooking William Street with friendly service to boot. Family friendly, a quiet night for 2, or just catching up with friends, a visit to Sakari is well worth your time and tastebuds. As at time of writing, new opening hours: Thursday – Wednesday 5:00pm – 9:15pm, Closed on Tuesdays.
Sakari Japanese Restaurant Details
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