Even though it’s a hard call to make, I think Ha-Lu is my favourite restaurant in Perth. I love Japanese food and I’ve never had a bad meal from Ha-Lu, even though A and I order takeout from there weekly. When it came time for A to organise a date night before our NZ trip, she decided to take me to Satsuki in Subiaco, the sister restaurant of Ha-Lu. It’s safe to say we had high expectations due to Satsuki’s heritage.
When we arrived, we noticed how different the venue was in comparison to Ha-Lu, which is small and cosy. Satsuki is a little larger and has a large outside dining area and the interior of the restaurant is based around the chef’s work area. When we arrived, the restaurant was very quiet.
A and I chose a New Zealand wine, seeing as though we were gearing up for our upcoming trip to New Zealand. We ordered a bottle of the Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc ($52), which was a lovely bottle of wine which matched our choices for the evening well. (On a side note, while we were in New Zealand I tried a few of Craggy Range’s different varieties and each bottle I really enjoyed. It’s now a favourite and has been added to my wine list.)
We started with the Sashimi of the Day ($26). I loved the colour of this dish when it arrived and the salmon and tuna were the highlights for A and I. Each element was incredibly fresh and we both thought that the serving was generous.
Our second dish of the evening was the Grilled Smoked Salmon ($14.90), which was two portions of grilled smoked-infused salmon served with ume plum sauce. The salmon had a slight smokey flavour which was nice but unfortunately this dish wasn’t overly exciting as we both hoped.
The Spanner Crab and Tuna Chirashi roll ($12.90) arrived next. This dish was different to what I expected, as I thought I was ordering sushi rolls. The chirashi-style sushi (also known as “scattered sushi”) had a generous amount of spanner crab and soy-marinated tuna sashimi which was served on a bed of sushi rice. This was a lovely dish that was warmly received and it was nice to try something new within the Japanese cuisine.
One of my favourite dishes of the evening was the Tonkatsu Pork ($17.80). The description on the menu was hard for me to resist; “Deep fried panko crumbed Linley Valley pork with a Camembert cheese and Tonkatsu sauce”. The pieces of pork were lightly crumbed and fried, leaving the outside crispy and the pork was still juicy. Then, a piece of Camembert was placed in between two pieces of the fried pork. The end result was one of the best sandwiches I’ve tasted. We highly recommend trying this dish the next time you visit Satsuki.
By this stage of the evening, we still had a few glasses left in our bottle of wine. We decided to order one last dish to finish off our meal. We ordered the Assorted Tempura ($20.50), which consisted of tiger prawns and a variety of tempura vegetables, served with tentsuyu sauce. This was another highlight dish. The batter was light and incredibly crispy but the veggies and prawns were soft in the middle. The batter was also seasoned well, so it gave the veggies a lot of flavour.
On the night, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the service. A few of the waitresses had issues understanding our orders which could have been due to their limited English. The service was also really fragmented over the evening, with a lot of waitresses addressing our table but without real need. At one point, a waitress asked if there was anything we’d like to order to which we responded with, “Yes, can we please order another bowl of rice?”. We were then told that she would have to get another waitress to help with this food order. It was a little strange. Satsuki also does not have the same ambience of Ha-Lu, which is warm, cosy and the service seamless.
Satsuki does have a few positives though. I loved how each dish was beautifully garnished and presented. The servings are also quite generous as well. Satsuki also offers a large range of Sake, Shochu and Japanese beer (as well as local wine and beer choices) to compliment your chosen dishes.
Overall, I enjoyed our visit to Satsuki but found that the food, ambience and service did not compete with their sister restaurant, Ha-Lu.
After we finished our meal, A then took me to the Chocolateria San Churros around the corner for dessert, which can be viewed in my recent post here.