The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, 13 November 2005

Tsunami Sushi in Mosman Park

Rob brought me out to dinner at Tsunami Sushi for a belated birthday celebration. We were actually booked at least a couple of months in advance to go to the Loose Box in Mundaring last Saturday, which is touted to be the *best* restaurant (not just the best French restaurant) in Perth, but alas, Rob fell sick the day before and had to cancel. Unfortunately, the restaurant was fully booked the following Saturday and I thought that any later wouldn't really feel like a birthday celebration, you know? Besides, it costs $95 per person for a 4-course meal at Loose Box and further consideration on my part led me to realise that $190 is actually more than how much I pay to support my Ethiopian sponsor kid for four months! (The chef and owner of the Loose Box, Alain Fabregues, has received many, many awards, including the exclusive Meilleurs Ouvriers de France in 1991 bestowed by the French president himself so we were quite eager to try this place out to see if it was worth all the fuss.)

Anyway, I did some looking around for restaurants I would like to try, and finally settled on Tsunami in Mosman Park. I love Japanese food, and I want to try something different, so this was a fantastic choice. It's modern Japanese cuisine, and we like the fact that the they serve innovative Japanese food, not just the standard sushi and noodles. The place is casual fine dining, so it's not too 'everyday' for a birthday celebration. It is not a traditional Japanese restaurant, but it's not a "fake" Japanese place because the chefs and manager are Japanese (something I appreciate). Hehe, I also like the FAQs page on their website.

The setting is quite un-Japanese. We were seated out the front near the entrance which is more suited for an intimate setting for groups of no more than four or five. There is a function area out the back, which is good for bigger groups. I really liked the atmosphere of the place - it added to the enjoyment of the evening. The service was impeccable. Very friendly and prompt.

Now, my favourite part - the food! You can actually view their menu online, but the one at the restaurant itself had more choices because I imagine they'd update it more regularly with new offerings. After some deliberation over the menu, we chose the following dishes:


Rob picked the Tsu-tsumi Age ($13.50): prawns wrapped in somen noodles which are then quickly deep-fried. This was interesting, and the noodle-wrapping weren't all that greasy for something that has been deep-fried.

I chose the Kaisen Age ($13.50) which comprised of soft-shelled crab (middle), prawn dumplings (bottom left and top right), scallop covered in 'panko' breadcrumbs (bottom right) and crab claw dumpling (top left). Unfortunately for me, all of the items were deep fried, and a little bit too greasy. It was interesting eating the crab whole with its 'shell' but it doesn't have much flesh to enjoy and you'd probably eat it for the novelty of the idea rather than to fill your stomach up. The nicest one on this plate was the crab dumpling.


The Salmon dish ($27.50) was Tsunami's signature dish, so of course we had to try that. The salmon was char-grilled, wrapped with green tea noodles and served with sweet potato mash and zucchini. It looks very French. The salmon looks like it's drowning, but the sauce was beautiful! It had a familiar taste to it, but we couldn't figure out what it was. Probably some onion teriyaki flavour? We still don't know. I usually don't approve of drowning the delicate flavour of fish with sauce, but this sauce went really well with the salmon and everything else on the plate.

I went with the Exotic Sushi set ($29.50), which had two pieces each of unagi (grilled eel - bottom left), salmon roe (bottom right), uni (sea urchin roe - top right) and flying fish roe with quail egg yolk (top left). This set was meant to come with toro (tuna belly) subject to availability, and they ran out of the stuff so they replaced it with salmon roe sushi instead. Honestly, I probably went for this dish because I wanted to try uni - something I've wanted to try since first seeing it on Iron Chef (I love that show!). Uni has a very mild taste - kinda sweet-ish, but with a distinct fishy (but very mildly so) taste. The unagi was beautifully done - so tender and the marinade was very yummy. Probably the best unagi I've tasted. The quail egg yolk (raw) actually went well with the flying fish roe. This doesn't look much but I was certainly full by the end of it!


The dessert menu contained several flavours of ice-cream (amongst other dessert items like creme brulee and cookies), and thankfully they have the 'taster' option where we can choose 3 scoops of ice cream ($10.50). We chose that option and went with the following flavours: Sesame, Ginger and Wasabi. The restaurant was nice enough to give us one piece of yukimi daifuku icecream to try for free (we'd enquired about it). The sesame flavour was very subtle. The ginger one was yummy (I love ginger!). And the wasabi one was surprisingly good. I'd definitely try that one again. The waitress informed us that they are currently working on a sashimi flavoured ice cream. That's something I'd love to try!

I had a really good time at Tsunami. I left the place really happy and pleased. The total cost of the food came to $99, which is not much more than what we'd have had to pay at the Loose Box for one person.

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