Welcome to Satsuki in Subiaco where you are encouraged to take your time with your meal, to savour its beauty, to share with your friends. It's a lovely ethos.
Open for lunch and dinner, we headed in on a sunny Friday. My dining companion had eaten there before and wanted to go back. He didn't remember what he ate, but remembers it being 'very pretty'. I wanted to try the pretty food.
The lunch menu is quite small, with a number of bento options such as chicken teriyaki, vegetable tempura and grilled salmon. All come with miso soup, rice and simmered nimono vegetables. I found the vegetables a little bland, but the presentation of the meal was exceptional.
My friend ordered the chirashi sushi bento, which at $19.90 is the most expensive item on the daytime menu. It came as four mismatched bowls on a tray. The fact that none of the crockery matched, only added to the effect: the swirling clouds of the soup, the bright green jewels of beans on top of the vegetables, and the glorious display of fresh sashimi on a bed of rice. Two prawn tails, sticking up like the legs of an underwater synchronised swimmer; a precise rectangle of tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) with Japanese characters cooked into it; buttery smooth pieces of salmon and tuna sashimi; a small mound of wakame salad (seaweed); a dollop of orange fish roe; and a curious pile of something which can only be described as fish sugar. It was a sight to behold.
I skipped the bento and ordered two dishes because I couldn't make my mind up what I wanted to try. The tempura battered tuna roll ($13) sounded curious: it was a lightly deep-fried sushi roll with a miso marinated tuna filling, sprinkled with chilli powder. It tasted pretty amazing and the mix of textures was surprising. The very light tempura batter had been given a crunchy finish by the snap frying, then came the sticky rice, then a soft, pureed tuna filling. The chilli powder was not simply normal chilli that you shake out of your Masterfoods jar, but somehow salty and sweet as well as hot.
I love sashimi, so it was obvious I would order a dish of the Tasmanian salmon ($14.80). Six thin, triangular wedges of ultra fresh, melt-in-your-mouth salmon and a small mound of wasabi.
That's it. You don't need any more.
There are three options on the dessert menu, green tea icecream ($6.50), black sesame icecream, matcha agar and caramel sauce ($6.50) and creame (sic) brulee ($9). I love a good crème brulee and I find it difficult to resist. It lived up to its name, it was super creamy, dare I say *too* creamy?
The wine, beer and spirits menu is longer than the lunchtime food menu, and includes shochu which are spirits distilled from things like rice, wheat and sweet potato ($8-$10), beers, an enormous range of sake and more unusual offerings such as plum wine ($6.50) as well as a good range of local and NZ wines.
The dinner menu is considerably longer and offers a larger range of dishes with more fusion elements such as a nigiri sushi of Spanish Jamon prosciutto ($9.90), a Wagyu beef done Hamburg style (ie a beef patty) ($14) and slow cooked pork belly with a soy dashi jus and Japanese taro potato. Just like the lunch menu, it is designed to order a number of smaller elements and share with your dining companions. Elegant, friendly, and I can't wait.