I regularly used to dine at swanky restaurants like Midori in Perth, drawn to sophisticated tasting menus often as long as my arm, I absolutely loved it. Since being in The Kimberley however, I’ve learnt to appreciate the simple things in life like a hearty home-cooked feed. Despite this new appreciation of mine, I’ve been longing for my next degustation menu and jumped at the chance to visit Midori which I was invited along to with my new truck driver friend Garry and his wife Willi.
I hadn’t heard of Midori before but loved the look of the menu online which as well as a la carte, had a selection of set menus to choose from. I have had my fair share of Asian cuisine after spending most of last year there but I had yet to sample real Teppanyaki. Midori stands out on a busy corner in the centre of Northbridge in Perth, which I may add, seems to have come on in leaps and bounds since my first visit in 2009. I was pleased to feel the warm glow of the hot plates taking centre stage on each table as I was still acclimatising from six months up north, even though it was a moderate 30 degrees in Perth.
There was a warm and welcoming feel throughout so myself and Garry started the evening with a cold pint of Sapporo which is the house beer imported from Japan (my next trip yey!). We sat at a table with other diners who’s family Garry and his wife happened to know – everyone seems to know each other in WA – and opted for their usual choice, the Sakura set menu with an upgrade of garlic fried rice.
At $95 plus $10 extra for rice I couldn’t actually afford it but YOLO, when else do you enjoy the feeling of voluntary unemployment (it seems quite often in my case!) plus Garry was turning 60 on the weekend, a perfect excuse to splash out.
First we were given a bowl of fresh salad which was wolfed down as quick as my first glass of Marlborough (NZ) Sauvignon Blanc. Next up was a plate of three dainty but very tasty bites: popcorn shrimp, pork belly and lastly, salmon aburi. I personally enjoyed the salmon most, the sauce drizzled on top was divine. The pork belly was the additional dish to the cheaper menu which although flavoursome, I wasn’t sure it was worth the $10 difference.
Next up was vegetable gyoza which was prepared by the chef on the hot plate in front of us. He certainly made a show of it and we took turns trying to catch the pieces he attempted to flip into our mouths. I’m glad I chose the scallops for the sixth course as they were cooked to perfection. Ahh scallops.
A fillet of well-cooked marinated salmon, arrived on my plate soon after. The portion size was a little large for a menu so big but I managed to cram it in. How could I waste something I hadn’t had in so long!
The chicken was again, fairly big in size but was cooked in a wonderful rich sauce. I demolished the lot. Mixed vegetables with a sublime caramel dip and garlic fried rice accompanied the main. I’m not one for rice but this rice I happily ate on it’s own. Worth the extra $10? Questionable.
The miso soup, very nice indeed, but why drink soup when you can drink wine?! For this reason and this reason only, I left most of mine. By this time I was entering food coma territory, bordering on another visit to hospital, at least it felt like it anyway. You know when some things are just too good you just can’t help yourself? Well this was one of those moments.
I planned to embark on some “clean eating” in Perth, so just HAD to squeeze in dessert as it was green tea ice cream and we all know, green tea is packed full of antioxidants. We were also given a second dessert, a deliciously creamy crème brûlée – yippee! I was glad to see my arrival in Perth had caused such special treatment – turns out that this wasn’t the case and that the owners are good friends with Garry and Co – doh!
My wonderful meal at Midori ended with a Lychee Martini, another favourite of mine I’ve missed since Melbourne. I would certainly recommend a trip to Midori for the quality food and unique dining experience. The service was friendly but I did feel a little rushed when the plates of other diners were taken away before I had finished, but that seems to have become a personal dislike of mine, as opposed to an off-set in traditional (certainly in England anyway) manners.
I wish there was a Midori restaurant in my home city of Portsmouth so I could take mum there. There’s no way I’d get my Dad to go but the other half of my “we don’t eat Asian food” parents may be persuaded and what’s more, I think she would like it. Now I cannot wait to enjoy more Teppanyaki when I visit Japan next month!
Living life, loving Teppanyaki,