There are so many new restaurants opening around Perth these days and so many great places to eat it’s easy to forget ‘old’ in the constant pursuit of ‘new’. While I’m always interested in checking out and blogging about new restaurants, I don’t get caught up all the hype or actively strive to be there first. I tell people all the time if they’re chasing after the hot new places to eat around town, this isn’t necessarily the right blog to read. This isn’t an apology, by the way…
I had lunch with a friend at Kanta Japanese Kitchen in Langford ages ago and ever since I came home raving about it, Jac’s been keen to go. We finally made it there for a Tuesday date night before we took off on our US trip.
The restaurant has now moved to slightly larger premises just 100 metres up the street, but the number of seats is still small and bookings are recommended for dinner. You can watch the chef in action if you sit at the sushi bar; as we planned to order several dishes to share, we chose a table so we’d have more room. Bloggers, note – the chef doesn’t like his picture being taken, but you are welcome to photograph your food.
After ordering, we were presented with a complimentary hors d’oeuvre – a mini salad of vermicelli and pickled vegetables with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and a hint of chilli.
We shared a small sashimi moriawase (‘chef’s selection’ AU$17), very fresh and delicate.
Next came the scallops wrapped in salmon (AU$12, two pcs), each slightly too big for a single mouthful (I’m not complaining about that, I don’t mind the chipmunk with fat cheeks look – but warning, they are served HOT!). They were fleshy and extremely juicy, though the scallops themselves were somewhat overshadowed by the salmon and the bitey wasabi mayonnaise.
The grilled whole squid (AU$12) was wonderful in its simplicity – just a sliced speckled squid, purple and white, a little chewy on the puckered tentacle tips but so naturally delicious. I could imagine grilling it over an open fire, watching the flesh darken and the edges slowly curling over the flames. The fantasies of a glutton while she eats!
Last came the grilled mackerel pike (AU$9.50). I love eating whole fish, having grown up eating small whole fish on the bone (mullet, tailor, pomfret). The mackerel pike was a small fish with a lot of bones, and not the kind that you can carelessly crunch away on. The blood line is very bitter, though I know some people like to eat it. Jac’s not so keen on the work that comes with eating fish on the bone, so the ‘inconvenience’ of picking the flesh from the bones was my job.
Kanta’s menu includes less common dishes like the salmon-wrapped scallops and mackerel pike; there’s grilled beef tongue in red wine teriyaki sauce, and duck steak in shiitake sauce, which we’re yet to try.
If you’re willing, Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar is a terrific neighbourhood restaurant that will take you beyond the predictable comfort of teriyaki chicken (but yes, teriyaki chicken, fish and beef are on the menu too).
Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar
3/70 Langford Ave, Langford WA 6147
Telephone:(08) 9451 5720
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11.30am to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm
Closed Monday and Sunday
Read my previous post on Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar (2012)