A day off with my younger sister Juji. What do we do? Eat, of course!
It’s been a while since we’ve been to Jaws Kaiten Sushi on the Hay Street Mall in Perth. We’re both ardent fans of Jaws.
When it first opened its doors in 1995 it was Perth’s first sushi train restaurant – the name “kaiten” means “rotating”. Other Jaws restaurants have opened in the city since, including Jaws Forrest Chase where you can get sushi cones, chicken karaage on a stick and takeaway packs of teriyaki chicken and rice, but the original sushi train restaurant on the mall is my sentimental favourite.
After many visits over the years I know the sushi train routine well but still feel the thrill of anticipation as we take our seats, pull apart our wooden chopsticks and pour soy sauce into our dishes ready for dipping. ( I must admit to hating those disposable wooden chopsticks – I’ve never been able to perfect separating them and usually end up with stray splinters.) As always, the green tea is much too hot to drink immediately.
We have hearty appetites but know our tummy space is finite, so it’s important to choose wisely. I can’t help watching the sushi train as if I’m mesmerised. Every time I visit Jaws there are familiar items and interesting new ones. The price of each item is indicated by the colour of the plate it is on. It takes us a while to choose our first sushi, but after that, we start piling up the plates!
First, we choose unagi uramaki (AU$4.50). Uramaki is an inside-out sushi roll, with the nori on the inside and rice on the outside. In the centre is of this particular uramaki is unagi (BBQ eel) and crisp cucumber. It’s garnished with a worm-like squirt of mayo and a sprinkle of bonito flakes on top.
Next, we share a plate of teriyaki chicken (AU$5.20). It’s tender and salty and oh so good.
I can never say no to dumplings! These chewy pork and vegetable gyoza each have a soft, moist steamed side and a crisp charry panfried side. They are juicy and delicious.
We keep an eye out for one of Juji’s favourites – prawn ghunkan (AU$5.20), sushi rice topped with tempura prawns tossed in spicy chilli mayo and wrapped with nori. They make delectable but rather big mouthfuls.
Next, the very creamy tuna mayo and avocado uramaki (AU3.10), garnished with toasted sesame seeds. Finely chopped onion in the tuna mayo mix makes it extra tasty.
We both reach for the ebi fry at the same time (crumbed fried prawn, AU$5.20). We hold the crispy little crumbed prawn cutlets by their tails and roll them in the chilli mayo before eating. We suck the last morsels of meat out of the tails.
We can’t seem to get enough chicken or chilli mayo today! When the sushi chef starts plating up the freshly fried chicken karaage (AU$5.20), I feel myself twitching like a cat watching a bird at the window – I want karaage! We briefly discuss if this would be one chicken dish too many but we’re only delaying the inevitable – we know we both want karaage! The chicken is popping hot, succulent and gingery. I burn my tongue with my first greedy bite.
By this time, we’re craving more rice. At dim sum, I can’t leave without a round of egg tarts. At sushi train, I must have at least one round of tamago (Japanese omelette, AU$3.10). Today’s tamago are the most enormous ones I’ve ever seen at Jaws, or anywhere! The sushi rice seems so inadequate, hidden beneath the slabs of egg. I like this egg to rice ratio.
Last of all, Juji grabs a plate of salmon nigiri (AU$4.50). I prefer my salmon cooked, so Juji has this all to herself.
Everything is freshly made and tasty. By the time we leave, there’s a growing queue at the door, impatiently waiting and watching with hungry, envious eyes. As a Jaws staff member counts our plates and tallies up our bill, I find myself thinking about something sweet next… a strawberry tart from Jean Pierre Sancho, perhaps?
What are your must-have items when you eat sushi? Or if you prefer, what items do you avoid when you eat sushi? I never eat takoyaki – not a fan of octopus at all, even in deep-fried ball form!
Jaws Kaiten Sushi, Hay Street Mall
Shop 1, 726 Hay St
Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9481 1445
Monday to Thursday 11.30am to 7.30pm
Friday 11.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 11.30am to 6pm
Sushi happy hour is from 3.30-7.30pm Mondays to Thursdays (excluding public holidays) – free miso soup + 30% off all sushi plates except white, black and “special”