Satsuki | Subiaco
I had my doubts about Satsuki. Not due to its association with the former Yahachi or Ha-lu, the tiny but terrific Izakaya-style Japanese eatery in Mt. Hawthorn; simply because whenever I drove past night or day, it seemed to look painfully empty with just a handful of customers. Nevertheless, due to a combination of recent good recommendations & a need for some good quality sushi, we decided to pay Satsuki a visit. Surprisingly, the indoor & outdoor courtyard tables were completely full on our selected evening. Maybe we were missing out on something good?
Well, it was better than good. It was exceptional.
Sushi Satsuki: Edomae style whitefish, cuttlefish, soy marinated tuna, vinegared mackerel, salmon Ikura caviar, poached octopus, simmered sweet Anago eel & egg soufflé. (Photo of full platter at top of post)
Whitefish & delightfully sweet scallops Otukuri sashimi with ume plum soy dressing & truffle oil. Simply served on a beautiful Japanese handmade ceramic plate.
Wagyu beef tataki. No photo included here due to blurriness, but I assure you the thin slivers of beef were thoroughly marbled & therefore completely melted in the mouth to great satisfaction.
Assorted sashimi (scallop, tuna & salmon). We were slightly disappointed with this one. Perhaps it just paled in comparison to the nearby Sushi Satsuki, both in presentation & flavour.
Nigiri sushi: charred salmon belly & soy poached sweet Anago eel. After demolishing the Sushi Satsuki, we just had to have another helping of nigiri sushi. Oily flavoursome salmon belly heaven.
Agedashi tofu. I tend to order this dish at every Japanese restaurant, just to see how much it varies from place to place. The batter on the tofu cubes was wonderfully crispy & glutinous, the dipping sauce on the right side of sweetness.
Seared miso marinated spicy tuna tataki sliced thinly. The least successful dish of the lot, the combination of light miso sauce & chilli was too overpowering for the tuna. The very lightly seared, too thick slices of tuna lacked textural interest & were almost bland in flavour.
Prawn tempura. A plate of these light golden, undoubtedly crispy tiger prawns caught our eye on the way to another table & we couldn’t resist ordering one for ourselves.
Homemade green tea ice cream. I don’t know whether this ice cream was actually made in-house, or just shop-bought vanilla ice cream with a few spoonfuls of bitter matcha (green tea) powder mixed in (something we occasionally do at home, by the way. Tastes excellent, easy to do). Nevertheless, it had light bitter undertones & was an ideal way to end the evening.
Food We waddled out with wide sushi-satisfied smiles, a bloated stomach & a vow to return to continue eating our way through the rest of the large menu. Most of the nigiri sushi did not require any soy sauce or wasabi, as explained by the wait staff, as the sushi chef had already created the precise balance of flavours for each seafood type.
Service Starting with a very polite & thorough phone reservation exchange a few days earlier, the Japanese wait staff were attentive & efficient throughout the busy service. Also, most importantly, the delivery of each dish was paced at a comfortable eating rate, arriving one or two at a time.
Design Nothing remarkable comes to mind, other than the lowered, awkward corner location & slightly disjointed interior table layout. It would be nice to see some reinvestment put back into the interior fit out, so the interior & courtyard spaces were raised to a design level befitting the quality & pricing of the food.
Highlight Undoubtedly the Sushi Satsuki platter, aptly described as the House Speciality Sushi Degustation.
Lowlight Spicy tuna tataki
Rating 4 crispy tempura tiger prawns out of 5
Will we be back Is this Perth’s best Japanese restaurant? Absolutely.