The cold shudder is an instantaneous reaction that I can not stop when I hear the word ‘Northbridge’. Such negative connotations and bodily reactions arise through ones own fault, stemming from my ‘young and the restless’ teenage days. Hazy memories include:
1. The glare of the sun after emerging from the ‘classy’ Paramount at 5am smelling like redbull.
2.Colourful characters playing instruments at 1:30am with a small flock of drunken teens dancing to the beat of the drum.
3.The sound of bad karaoke music spilling from neon palaces.
Such connotations does not make Northbridge an inviting place for me to venture and dredge up repressed memories. Unfortunately for me, Northbridge has become a haven for great cuisine resulting in my greedy stomach being able to bully my cynical head into visiting the Sake Bar Restaurant. I spied this Japanese restaurant earlier in the week while having coffee at Frisk Espresso, which serves great coffee for all those caffeine addicts out there.
Sake Bar Restaurant
Phone: (08) 9328 3380
71 Francis St, Northbridge WA 6003
Open Lunch and Dinner Tuesday – Sunday.
I parked at the opposite end of Francis St in the State Library carpark, with no intention of popping in for further learning. I donned my knife proof vest and like a ninja in the night scurried down Francis St. While bounding from building to building I was taking mental notes of not only suspicious characters but also other busy restaurants such as Dragon Palace across the road from Sake Bar for further visits.
NOTICE: THOSE THAT ARE COOL PLEASE TURN AWAY NOW as I am going to tap into my nerdy roots to describe my entrance to the Sake Bar. For those of you that enjoy children’s movies, it was like walking through a magical cupboard into the Japanese version of Narnia. Unfortunately Aslan the Lion was on the other side but the waitress was more than inviting and escorted me to my private table.
Along with quality food, a restaurant/cafe interior design and vibe is what excites me and makes me want to return. The Sakes Bar interior design and layout was impressive and definantly made me feel very cultural! I have to admit I was jealous that by only having 1 friend at the time ( I assure you I do have more) meant we were seated at a table and not in a funky booth fit for 6 six people or a private room able to accommodate over 10 guests.
I jinxed myself by tweeting that I was looking forward to tempura zucchini flowers because sure enough they were out of stock – damn that Murphy and his law. To drown my sorrows I promptly ordered a sake cocktail to numb the pain. Some would say sake tastes like warmed up cat’s urine. Not being fortunate enough to know what that tastes like I usually liken sake to warmed up vodka and don’t enjoy it at all. That statement now no longer applies with the cocktails (featured below) Blushing Geisha and Cherry Blossom Tini being refreshingly tasty. At $19 a pop I was glad they delivered on presentation and flavour.
So onto the real reason why you go to restaurant’s ……. the food! We opted for a number of the entrée dishes to minimise decision-making and taste more. Dishes ordered included:
1. Crispy Sushi – $16.00
2. Aburi Sushi – $ 19.00
3. Gyoza – $9.00
4. Tori Karage – $10.00
5. Miso Soup – $4.50
The seared Aburi Sushi was amazing, with the fish tasting fresh and nicely seasoned with my friend salt. The Gyoza’s was my favourite dish with the Gyoza’s not being sticky or gluggy which often happens. They were full of strong flavours and certainly had you returning for more. I was fortunate enough to get the last one! Never having had fried sushi I didn’t know what to expect and felt it would be something that I wouldn’t enjoy. This was not the case with only the rice being gently fried and the sushi on top being fresh, giving the dish nice texture and crunch. It almost felt like eating a little hash brown sushi combo (a weird yet wonderful creation). I also enjoyed the Tori Karage but it was the accompanying wasabi mayo which made the dish.
We didn’t have dessert as I am yet to find an Asian dessert which I am particularly taken with. I am too attached to ice-cream, pudding and cake to enjoy desserts based primarily on fruit or rice. As a wise man by the name of Homer Simpson once said “You don’t make friends with salad”, and I am pretty sure this applies to fruit also. The overall bill came to $50 each which would have been substantially cheaper had we shown self-control and not drunk. (Where’s is the fun in that though?)
Walking back to the car the karaoke music of the Dragon Palace filled the air and I was struck by the fact I was still in Northbridge and feeling ok about returning despite our past indifferences. Will someone please slap me should they see me detouring from The Sake Bar to the Mustang or Paramount upon my next visit.
Positives: Loved the interior architecture, quality service, tasty cocktails and moreish food.
Negatives: No tempura zucchini flowers in stock and my bout of envy against people with more than 1 friend sitting in a booth.
Strongly recommended for those that love Japanese and enjoy the full dining experience.
Love “The Fat Cow” x