Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Friday, October 19, 2012

Aisuru Sushi, Northbridge

During winter, I tend to find myself eating heavier or heartier meals.  Roasts, steaks, casseroles, tagines, soups - they all warm the insides on those cold winter nights.  Sushi on the other hand isn't something I tend to eat a lot of but as anything from a quick snack to a light-feeling but special meal can equally whet the appetite and send the stomach grumbling.

The great thing about sushi is that it seems ever evolving and versatile: from the quick snack of a hand roll through to a full exquisite and immaculately presented traditional assorted sushi; and from the pure raw fish sushi or California rolls through to soft shell crab rolls or other newer interesting combinations I had never heard of before.  Suffice to say there is a huge variety available, and that choice got bigger with the arrival of Aisuru Sushi in Northbridge boasting a large menu of sushi rolls with names like Black Velvet and Sunset Boulevard.

Located at the corner of William and James Streets in Northbridge, Aisuru Sushi offers indoor table dining, indoor dining at the long bar benches that border the kitchen, and al fresco dining.  Though there are a fair amount of tables for the size of restaurant, larger groups may find it more difficult to get a table without a wait and a bit of luck joining of tables.  Did I mention that the kitchen is open and the best vantage points are along the bar benches?

As you'd expect, Aisuru Sushi specialises in sushi but to be different offers a modern take with many sushi combinations I hadn't seen before in a rather extensive sushi roll list.  Sushi dishes are available in small and main sizes, the former with four pieces and the latter with eight pieces.  Aside from the sushi are some lunch sets with typical Japanese dishes such as teriyaki and katsu, as well as some entrees and desserts.

Spider Roll - $19.50 (Main size)

This sushi dish was described in the menu as: Fried soft-shell crab, cucumber, and lettuce, wrapped in nori and shari.  Topped with black sesame seeds and drizzled with wasabi mayonnaise.

To begin with, all the sushi rolls generally seemed to be freshly rolled using fresh ingredients, had lightly seasoned rice with a mild sweet and vinegary flavour, and each piece held relatively well.  Each were placed on a white rectangular plate that, even though it was modern, seemed a little boring and basic as far as sushi presentation is concerned.

Of the different sushi I tried in my meal, my favourite was the Spider Roll.

The Spider Roll started with light-batter coated and deep fried soft shell crab that was crunchy like a tempura batter, added in some cucumber and gourmet lettuce leaves, was inversely wrapped in the sushi rice and seaweed, sprinkled with black sesame seeds and had a fair amount of creamy Japanese mayonnaise.  The crunch and freshness of the soft shell crab was the highlight that stood out in each piece of sushi and was further enhanced with the creamy Japanese mayonnaise.

Tank Roll - $22.50

This sushi dish was described in the menu as: Topped with sliced wagyu beef, sliced red onions, and sprinkled with togarashi flakes.  Cream cheese and cucumber inside and wrapped in nori seaweed and shari sushi rice.  Drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and eel sauce.

I'm not sure why this was called "Tank Roll", but the centrepiece wagyu beef  in the sushi gave the perception of something substantial.  The wagyu beef itself was thinly sliced and cooked rare, with the particularly rare bits in each sushi being a little chewy but otherwise being tender and having a fresh wagyu beef taste.

Also prominent in this dish was the chunk of cream cheese, its smooth and creamy cheese taste standing out in each piece of sushi and at times nearly dominating some mouthfuls.

The overall sushi was then flavoured with the usual acidity and sweetness of the sushi rice, along with the creamy Japanese mayonnaise and additional sweetness of the sauce.

Magic Mushroom Roll - $15.50 (Main size)

This sushi dish was described in the menu as: Pan fried enoki mushroom and avocado wrapped in nori and shari. Topped with seasoned sliced button mushroom.  Mixed mesclun salad on the side with Japanese salad dressing.

With a name like "Magic Mushroom" I was expecting big things from this sushi roll.

The underlying note of this vegetarian sushi was the lightly cooked enoki mushrooms along with the fresh and ripe avocado.  The fresh raw sliced button mushroom on top of the sushi also featured prominently with its raw taste negatively impacting the taste of this sushi for my tastebuds.

Suffice to say this was to me the most bland of the sushi I had in this meal, but probably the healthiest.

We liked: The apparent freshness of the ingredients and dishes; some different sushi combinations to keep things interesting.

We didn't like: The relative prices of the dishes; perhaps too simplified furnishings and decor to be a fancy upmarket sushi restaurant.

Things of note: Caters for vegetarians and vegans

Aisuru Sushi
208 William Street
(08) 9328 8578

Trading Hours
Lunch - Tuesday to Saturday - 12 noon to 2:30pm
Dinner - Thursday - 6pm to 9:30pm
Dinner - Friday to Saturday - 6pm to 10pm

Aisuru Sushi on Urbanspoon


Queen of Bad Timing said...

I love the spider roll here! Soft shell crab is always a winner :)

Adrian said...

Yeah, best one I've tasted so far.