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.
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
208 William Street
NORTHBRIDGE WA 6003
(08) 9328 8578
Lunch - Tuesday to Saturday - 12 noon to 2:30pm
Dinner - Thursday - 6pm to 9:30pm
Dinner - Friday to Saturday - 6pm to 10pm