HANAMI in Mt Lawley is a bit of a hidden gem.
Tucked between a tiny hardware store and a chemist on Beaufort Street, it’s easy to miss, but well worth seeking out.
The eatery’s website claims it’s dedicated to providing a superlative Japanese dining experience and there’s no argument from yours truly.
There’s a variety of sashimi and a mind-boggling assortment of sushi, along with tempura and teppanyaki, all served with the beautiful minimalism that is synonymous with Japan.
A Japanese couple seated beside us were tackling an artistically-presented prawn katsu ($13.90 entree), in-between slurps of miso soup.
The katsu looked so good I ordered the scallop version ($14.90).
Expecting a modest serve, I also ordered a fish teppanyaki ($18.90).
In hindsight this was a mistake, as I got a huge serve of scallops in crispy breadcrumbs.
They were melt in the mouth –so tender I could slice them with a chopstick – and so large I struggled to fit one in my mouth.
The accompanying rich plum sauce had a pleasant sharpness and a mild smoky flavour.
Meanwhile the fish teppanyaki was sitting enticingly on the table; the fillets a picture-perfect golden-brown and dotted with slices of fried garlic and onion.
The tropical salsa on the salad was fresh and sweet and a great foil for the firm fillets, which were simply fantastic, especially when dipped in a particularly good soy sauce.
Sips of green tea ($2) fused the various flavours on my tongue, and was a great finish to a very enjoyable lunch.
The service is fast and efficient, and the decor traditional with minimalist furnishings.
By JENNY D’ANGER
Hanami Japanese Restaurant