Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaws, East Perth

Jaws sushi is often most known for its kaiten (or sushi train) style sushi.  In Japan, kaiten sushi is the more common standard sushi that is marketed below the level of the made fresh to order sushi from the more established or revered sushi chefs.  For a number of years, Jaws East Perth (formerly Jaws Mint) had operated as an a la carte made to order Sushi place under the expertise of the famed sushi chef Kengo Omori.  However, of late, Jaws management has opted to revert Jaws East Perth to kaiten and thus Omori-san's departure.  The question is, what has that meant for Jaws East Perth's food?

Jaws East Perth is a smallish restaurant with seating capacity for maybe 20 or so patrons at the sushi conveyer.  The kaiten sushi style involves a central open sushi making area that is surrounded by a conveyer belt system that is used to display sushi for customers to choose from. Customers sit around the conveyor belt system and select sushi on display or can choose and order additional sushi that is on the menu.  The atmosphere at Jaws East Perth is casual and quite cosy, and all the staff appeared to be all Japanese with Japanese accents.

Jaws East Perth's sushi making area has a Japanese sushi chef preparing sushi, whom you can also make special requests of or ask questions (the Japanese sushi chef we had was very friendly).  Behind the sushi area is a kitchen that helps prepare some of the ingredients for sushi, as well as other meals on the non-sushi menu (see below).

The pricing structure of the sushi is colour coded.  Each plate of sushi comes on a coloured plate that corresponds to a price between $2.90 to $6.40.  After you finish eating, you call the wait person to come and count your plates and they will issue you with a slip summarising the cost of what you ate.

In addition to the sushi, Jaws East Perth has a second menu which contains additional Japanese meals including teriyaki (a soy based pan fried dish), katsu (a crumbed and fried dish) and tempura (a light battered deep fried dish).  At dinner, the set menu (which includes rice, soup, appetiser and salad) ranges between $16.80 to $26.80.  You can order these instead of or in addition to the sushi train sushi.

In general, the quality of sushi relies heavily on how the rice is prepared and seasoned, the freshness and quality of the ingredients, and of course the sushi chef.  Jaws East Perth's sushi is generally a very good sushi for kaiten standards.  The sushi holds together well (from the occasions I have seen, better than the Jaws CBD sushi) but has not been pressed so hard the rice looks heavily squashed or out of shape.  The flavour and texture of the sushi rice base is quite decent too setting itself above the common sushi you get from takeaway places in plastic containers these days.

Miso soup - Large

Miso soup is a soup that is based on a stock (usually dashi but there are other types available).  Dashi is usually a fish based stock with various ingredients used to get the stock to taste the way it does.  It is usually quite a light savoury soup that has a powdery paste running through it.
The miso soup was served with bean curd, seaweed, tofu and spring onion.  The miso soup had a good taste with the right amount of salt, and a good level of miso (even though there are others that will offer a stronger miso taste).

Prawn and avocado roll with wasabi flying fish roe - $4.90

The wasabi flying fish roe was flying fish roe that had been flavoured with wasabi which is very noticeable through the green colour of the roe.  On a taste level, the wasabi is slightly noticeable creating a light wasabi flavour as well as a slight sourness when compared to the normal unflavoured flying fish roe.

This dish was quite a well flavoured dish that seemed a bit like a variation of the tobiko roll (see below).

Inari - $4.40

Inari is a dish that looks like a bean curd pillow.  The bean curd is soft, slightly sweet to taste, and easy to bite into and is filled with flavoured rice.  The rice in the inari was sweet and had a slight vinegary taste.  Overall, for a largely rice dish, the dish turned out quite tasty compared to many other inari I have tried before.

Tobiko Roll - $2.90

Similar to your tobiko roll elsewhere, this particular tobiko roll held together well and didn't crumble when you pick it up or bite into it.  Tobiko rolls are usually a tasty sushi that is pretty universal and is similar to a california roll but adds a twist (being reversed and coated in tobiko/flying fish roe) that makes it better in my opinion.

Tamago omelette hosomaki roll - $4.40

This sushi contains a bit of a sweet Japanese omelette in the middle of a sushi that has been rolled thinly.  The portion sizes of each individually cut sushi are smaller due to the size of the roll. To me this dish is normally quite plain.  The omelette itself was pretty standard fare, being slightly sweet but not being overly moist.

Eel, tamago omelette and crab stick roll - $5.40

This sushi was quite large in thickness and contained a variety of ingredients.  The taste of the eel was distinct but not dominant, as well as the tamago (egg) and crab stick components.  Overall, this was quite a nicely composed sushi with different ingredients giving off their distinct flavours.

Tempura prawn roll - $4.90

This sushi consists of a prawn that has been fried in tempura batter, rolled into a reverse sushi roll and topped with Japanese mayonnaise.  If you like tempura (or a light battered prawn) this dish offers a subtle taste of tempura in your sushi but otherwise isn't an overly special sushi.

Crab stick nigiri - $5.40

Nigiri sushi is sushi that starts with a rice base, and is topped with topping such as a slice of raw fish or other ingredients.  Sometimes, other ingredients are added such as wasabi as well as a thin piece of sushi wrapped cross sectionally around the sushi.

This nigiri came out with a flat and thick crab based stick topped with Japanese mayonnaise and onion.  The main onion used was a red onion but did not seem to be strong enough to ruin or overpower the taste of the sushi.  In fact, the taste combination worked well and this was quite a tasty sushi.

Chawan mushi - $6.40

This dish has been a specialty of Jaws Mint/East Perth for some time.  It is a heated Japanese egg custard with seafood (such as prawn) and other ingredients (such as shiitake mushroom) in a bowl, and eaten with a spoon.  There is no dairy in the chawan mushi.

Being a hot egg custard, the dish is quite light with distinct egg tastes and a very smooth and soft consistency.  However, this dish was slightly more saltier when compared to the pre-kaiten days, with an additional soy sauce taste but was still nice and tasty to eat.

Tako (octopus) ghunkan - $4.90

Ghunkan is a sushi that starts with a rice base, is wrapped around by a piece of seaweed that is about double the height of the rice, and is then filled with ingredients of your choice.

The octopus in this dish seemed fresh, and was not chewy.  The added japanese mayonnaise was not excessive and in fact only added a subtle creamy taste to the octopus in the sushi.

In summary, Jaws East Perth sushi is good for kaiten standards.  However, it doesn't quite match up to the former Jaws Mint sushi standards pre-kaiten.  This shouldn't come as a surprise though as award winning Omori-san used to hand make all sushi freshly to order.  However, Jaws East Perth does offer a good variety of sushi that is generally better than your sushi packs that are made in the morning at the mass-produced outlets.

Points to note: The sushi seems to be well made, even better than the Jaws in the CBD area and definitely above the cheap sushi commonly available across Perth in plastic packs.  However, expect to pay a premium for this sushi.

Go for:  Really good kaiten (sushi train) sushi.

Jaws East Perth
323 Hay Street
East Perth WA 6004
(08) 9225 4573

Trading Hours
Lunch - Monday to Friday: 11:30am to 3pm
Dinner - Monday to Saturday: 5:30pm to 9pm

Jaws East Perth on Urbanspoon


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Adrian (The Editor) said...

Hi Oviya

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