Zen Japanese Restaurant, Subiaco

Looking for a Japanese place in Subiaco, a few friends and I decided to visit Zen Japanese based on a suggestion by The Food Forager. Thankfully, this place didn’t disappoint us and I thoroughly enjoyed the super fresh sashimi and other dishes that night.

When we first entered the restaurant there was no one inside besides the owner/chef and one waitress. Typically this isn’t a sign of good food, however my theory was wrong. We started off with Beef Tataki ($14.80) and some Salt & Pepper Squid ($12.80). The beef was tender, served with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. The squid rings, were served with a wasabi mayo dipping sauce and was seasoned very well.

For mains we decided to share the Large Assorted Sashimi ($36.80) and the Zen Spider Roll ($17.80), which is a soft shell crab sushi roll. To our surprise the colourful sushi and sashimi came out on a large boat, 10/10 for presentation!

We also had some cooked dishes, the Grilled King Fish Wings ($15.80) and Beef Fillet Steak ($29.80). The wings were soft and flake, while the beef was cooked perfectly to medium rare, where it was still pink in the middle. It was also served with lots of vegetables and sauce, super satisfying with a bowl of warm Japanese rice.

Before we headed out, the waitress stopped us to give us some complimentary dessert, a sweet and creamy Panna Cotta. Overall, the pricing was reasonable for the quality of the food and the service was lovely. Looking forward to returning for more fresh off the boat sashimi!

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 

Zen Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

James Parker Sushi & Sake, Northbridge

IMG_7520_Fotor My boyfriend's favourite cuisine is Japanese, so for his 21st  birthday I organised a dinner at James Parker in Northbridge for him and some friends. The venue’s interior is modern with Japanese accents, and features a great sushi bar to sit and watch the chefs prepare your meal. They also have an extensive list of Japanese beers, spirits and wines, perfect for a birthday celebration.

The staff were very attentive and helpful throughout the night. We started with a few drinks and after hearing their recommendations we also ordered a few entrees, sushi rolls and other a la carte dishes.

For entrees we ordered the Wagyu Beef Tataki ($19), which is seared wagyu beef with ponzu sauce and some crispy deep fried topping. I preferred this over the other entrée of Fresh Tuna Aburi ($20), which is seared tuna slices with vegetable and ponzu sauce. IMG_7467_FotorIMG_7486_Fotor

From the a la carte menu we ordered Eggplant Dengaku ($15) which is deep fried eggplant with a miso sauce. We also shared a simple Lotus, edamame, aburaage salad ($15) with mixed greens and deep fried bean curd.IMG_7490_FotorIMG_7488_Fotor

Sashimi is one of my favourite things ever and James Parker’s fresh fish didn’t disappoint. We decided to share the Assorted Sashimi ($46) between us, which included a variety of eight different types of seafood. I really enjoyed the raw scallop and uni!


From the Sushi Bar, we ordered the Aburi Salmon Roll ($19), Eel Dragon Roll ($20), Volcano Roll ($20) and Soft Shell Crab Spider Roll ($20). The most delicious out of the four was definitely the Volcano roll, which had seared scallops, fish roe and a creamy sauce.


We also ordered some Mushroom Tempura ($19), which had four different types of mushrooms coated in a light tempura batter; shiitake, shimeji, maitake and oyster mushroom. We also has some Gyoza ($10), perfect little pork filled dumplings, simply delicious.

IMG_7516_FotorIMG_7465_FotorOther dishes we shared but aren’t worth too much of a mention are the Karaage with oroshi ponzu ($16) and Grilled Miso Pork ($16). I would say these dishes were average, so stick with the sushi rolls and sashimi when you come to James Parker.


For desserts we chose the Shiratama uji kintoki ($8), shaved matcha ice with mochi balls, red bean and green tea sauce. Also, the Yukimi daifuku ($8) which are two pieces of mochi filled with ice cream and covered in peanut powder. IMG_7524_Fotor


We had such an enjoyable evening and it was nice to try the variety of dishes James Parker had on offer. Throughout the night the service was excellent, and the fresh seafood dishes were great. Can’t wait to try more!

Rating: 7 out of 10

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The Modern Eatery, Fremantle

IMG_2705The Modern Eatery has recently opened their doors in Fremantle, a Japanese restaurant specialising in Aburi sushi (a method of light searing with a blow torch). On their soft opening, I brought my family down to try what the ‘House of Aburi Sushi’ had to offer. The interior of the Modern Eatery is small with a minimalistic feel, and an open view of the chefs freshly preparing our food. Our waiter for the night was Jason, whom we later found out is also part owner of the restaurant. He was friendly and extremely helpful in giving us some recommendations.


For entrée, we ordered the Crunchy Salad ($12), which is a green salad with Japanese sesame dressing and some fried carrot (or sweet potato?) on top. Although it sounds so simple it is flavoursome, and would be lovely as a side with an order of sashimi.


We also ordered a pot of hot Green Tea ($2 each) for the table, which I think was Genmaicha as it had roasted brown rice in it.


The Modern Eatery, serves a traditional style of sushi known as Oshi Sushi, where the rice is pressed into box shaped pieces. The Salmon Oshi Sushi ($16), has pressed salmon on rice, with an aburi sauce and capsicum to garnish.


Throughout the night, the dishes came to the table fairly quickly. Next we had the Fry Me to The Moon Roll ($15), which was apparently very popular during their lunch period. Made with a cream cheese, cooked salmon filling, sweet chilli mayonnaise and sweet soy. My Dad really enjoyed this roll as he loves tempura, and the outside of the sushi was crispy like a tempura batter. 


The Salmon Sashimi ($9.50), came in five decent sized pieces and there was the option to Aburi for $2. I overheard that their salmon is sourced from New Zealand rather than Tasmania, which is probably why it was much fattier compared to other Japanese eateries.


The dish that was not the best in terms of presentation, but definitely delivered in terms of freshness and taste is the Sumo Platter A ($55). A combination platter made of three types of Nigiri Sushi, a Salmon, Tuna and Scallop. It also has a Kamikaze Roll, which is made with Ebi Tempura, shredded crab meat, avocado filling, with aburi sauce and fish roe. The other smaller Uramaki rolls were your classic California roll, Veggie roll and a Sweet Potato Tempura roll. Overall, this platter was such a hit and all the pieces were gobbled up very quickly, the raw scallop was fresh and sweet, probably my favourite on the plate.IMG_2733

After all that, Mum still wanted to order something with Unagi and my Dad wanted to order some Tempura. We ordered the Baby Dragon Roll ($13), which is unagi paired with cucumber, avocado, and an unagi sauce.

IMG_2743We also ordered two servings of Zen ($10), which is an accompaniment to your main meal and is only available with a purchase of Oshi Sushi, Uramaki or Craft Roll. It consists of assorted tempura, a salad of the day and miso soup. The tempura was crispy on the outside and cooked well, although the salad had no dressing on it making it a bit boring, so there is room for improvement there.            IMG_2747

Update: I visited the Modern Eatery again for a second time, to take advantage of their 15% off opening special. The service and consistency was spot on, and the staff were very friendly enough to recommend more dishes.

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