When it comes to Japanese food, my mum is a fan that is extremely hard to please. Growing up in Taiwan which is right next door to Japan, she has been raised on fresh sashimi and other delectable Japanese delights. To this day when we go back to Taiwan, I know the Japanese fare is always something to look forward to.
So when one of her friends told her about a local Japanese cafe in Greenwood called Shou, she was naturally eager to try it. While the online ratings were good, I have to admit I did have my doubts as to whether she would like it. She’s a woman who’s all about sashimi and I know in Australia we just don’t have many places showcasing the goods outside your standard salmon, tuna, kingfish, scallops etc.
But nonetheless we decided to try it out for a quick and cheap dinner one night.
We arrive early, just before 6pm which is good because there’s only 3 tables inside and a bar to sit at. Already the place is quite full, with customers bustling in and out to collect take away orders. It looks clean and the prices are cheap on the menus we’re presented. So far, so good.
After a quick browse of the choices, we place our orders and then the food comes out about 15 minutes later.
Jeremy’s ordered the Teriyaki Bento ($16.50), which comes with a serving of teriyaki chicken, teriyaki fish, karaage chicken, tamago (egg omelette), edamame, bean sprouts, rice and miso soup. For the price there’s definitely a great deal of food provided in this bento!
The teriyaki fish and chicken are moist and sweet with the sauce, the edamame salty and satisfying. While the flavours are nothing beyond what you would normally get at your average Japanese restaurant, the ingredients are fresh and the overall dish generous and affordable.
My mum decides on the Sashimi Benton ($16.50) which comes with sushi, sashimi, tamago, spring rolls, pickled vegies, rice and miso soup.
The amount of sashimi is more than what you would normally get in other restaurants for that price, and the texture is soft and delicate in taste. The miso soup on the side isn’t as robust in it’s flavour profile as you’d want but it’s not a bad effort.
I have to admit, I’m tempted to steal the tamago – I love that sweet Japanese style egg which is light, fluffy and thinly layered. When we make it at home I tend to eat more than my share!
Knowing I’m not hugely hungry I decide to pick two small menu items to eat instead of a bento box or a main. My first choice is the Soft Shell Crab ($8) which comes out with a side of wasabi mayonnaise.
Soft shell crab is a bit of a favourite for me, especially whenever I stop by Aisuru for their salad. Shou’s attempt is nice though doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. The batter is a little thicker than I personally like and the mayonnaise is a little watery. The flavour however is spot on and makes up for these points.
My other dish I order is a bit of a favourite of mine – Beef Tataki ($9). Lightly seared thin slices of beef are sprinkled with spring onions and accompanied by a light soy dipping sauce.
The beef is fresh and speaks for itself. The texture is soft and tender – melting like butter in my mouth. This is definitely the highlight of the dinner for me and I love just how vibrant the few ingredients look on the plate.
Our experience at Shou Japanese Kitchen was a pleasant one. While I didn’t feel blown away by any of the items we ordered, the prices were cheap and I can see the appeal of a place like this tucked away in the northern suburbs where good Asian is scarce.