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Monday, January 14, 2013

Bites: Mr Munchies Sushi @ Mount Lawley

In Perth, I have always found the Japanese food here to be of amazing quality.  However some might disagree, for instance my blogger pal Glenn from Singapore.  While I do not doubt him, I clearly understand his preference.  For S$20 bucks in Singapore, one gets treated to a whole tray of sashimi bento while in Perth, $15 AUD does not get you very far in terms of Japanese unless you settle for the likes of budget restaurants.  Nevertheless, Perth still has a range of daring entrepreneurs who dare to challenge like IS Donburi, Aisuru Sushi and now, Mr Munchies Sushi.  Located in the arcade along Beaufort street, one really has to play hide and seek to find this little establishment.


Nevertheless, coming in early at 6.15pm, we beat the queue to score seats in this little eatery.  No more than 30 seats for sure.  So how does Mr Munchies put itself ahead of others?  Well firstly this place allows you to make your own sushi.  Easily a first in the business.  But why trouble yourself when their menu is filled with rolls named by a rock star?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe new style sashimi was the start to meal where it appears like a fresh salmon got caught and drizzled by garlic crumbs by a Chinese man.   For most parts I have to say, that just because it had garlic crisps sprinkled all over does not mean I was not sold.  It was still deliciously fresh.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext was a dish where boys will always be boys.  What can I say?  Good old karaage with spicy mayonnaise.  Classily performed.  For me this was better than most, but there is just something about Toraya @ Subiaco which makes it hard to beat.  But still, this worked a treat!


Then comes the most important part of the night.  Rock star named sushi like the Energy Roll:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt $17.50 a serve, we see unagi, prawns, coriander and this was finished with a drizzle of the unagi sauce.  Over all, good flavors, fresh eel, and an almost useless prawn.  This is where I start to ponder.  The sushi could barely fit in my mouth and there is just something about putting prawns that has no impact in a jumbled up sushi like that.  I think plain unagi would do fine.   My biggest complain would be the rice.  As the sushi was so large, the kids rolling this up had to apply extra pressure to contain it all. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!  You are meant to give it the baby treatment. 


Next was another fancily named sushi.  The Kilpatrick Roll.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor me this was my favourite of the lot as all flavors were distinctively noticeable.  The cheese, the chicken, the bacon.  It was all very clear.  What was a let down here was the rice.  It was so overly compressed it felt a little gluggy at times.  For me, it needs to be airy.  Sushi is a lot about the rice in my opinion.  There is a reason why plain sushi balls still sell well in Japan.  Because the rice just taste beautiful.

The Philadelphia roll was another keen creation at Munchies.  It had cream cheese, smoked salmon finished with a drizzle of mayo and sweet chili.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was our first roll and it was pretty good.  Just that the same issue over and over.  The rice needs more space and perhaps the smoked salmon did not really taste like one.  It felt more like plain salmon rather than smoked.


By the time we got to our last roll, we were so over rolls.  Yes these were humungous.  Get any roll you see and double the diameter of it.  These were not your small as sushi rolls like the ones I had at Aisuru Sushi and still got charge a lot more money.  It was all about value and creativity in this little store.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe concept on this was simple, in a way where perhaps it touched on the simpler things. Simple marinated tuna, flying fish roe and avocado.  It is a combination that is hard to disappoint.


From experience, rarely does one place beat classic good old sushi by displaying skills of a similar level, modern day sushi feels as if it is all about novelty sushi with the typical ingredients plus more.. a lot more.  When I visited Aisuru Sushi, I swore that I would never step in again.  I love my mayonnaise yes.  But at Aisuru, it was all too much.  More so when you pay the bill.  Here at Mr Munchies Sushi, the price was outmost reasonable.  This quick fix that filled 5 guys was only 20 bucks a head.  But there is never no room for improvement.  I only have one major complain.  The rice needs better treatment.  Not people putting their whole body weight to keep the roll together.  If they improve, I cannot help but feel a certain future devotion to this little eatery.  So perhaps next time when you are felling a bit low, get yourself an Energy Roll!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWenY

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