Sushi, one of those foods that people claim to love so much, and then quickly ruin it by saying “but I hate raw fish, it makes me gag”. I am not the worlds biggest sushi or sashimi fan, but I do love the simplicity and the gentle philosophy of Japanese food, which for me is embodied by the notion that quality and freshness of produce will beat any amount of preparation.
A single slice of high quality sashimi grade tuna or salmon needs nothing else to make it a taste sensation.
The people at Jaws Mint understand this concept. With the sushi train in the former Hoyts movie theatre in the city closed down, and the other sushi train in the Hay St Mall buzzing with a considerable throng of daily devotees, Jaws Mint is the newest shop to enter the Jaws empire.
Situated on the corner of Hay St and Hill St in the city, and directly opposite the Perth Mint, it’s a return to a more classic style of sushi experience. With a series of small tables and long bar running almost the length of the restaurant, behind which a solitary chef pretends to prepare dishes for everyone.
The real work however, happens out the back. Behind a tantalising curtain glimpses of furious activity can be seen as sushi and sashimi is sliced and served, and piping hot pots of chawan mushi are delivered to tables with customary warnings that you will burn yourself (and you will).
The menu is simple but well featured with enough styles of dishes to keep things interesting for everyone. There’s even a tasting menu for the less adventurous, to provide a structured overview into good Japanese eating.
Whilst initially disappointed that we wouldn’t be going to the sushi train, with it’s infinite novelty. My dinner companions for the evening were soon placated with a stack of very tasty dishes. We had some beef tataki ($15), some chicken kaarage ($9), some chawan mushi ($5?) (yes i did burn myself), some tuna sushi rolls, and a couple of 17 piece sets of nigiri sushi ($35).
Of course, I don’t seem to be able to go to a restaurant like this without making life difficult for the waitresses. I confuse them, ask questions that aren’t on the script, order too much food, and generally cause problems. What this meant is that instead of receiving all of our food, we got half of it. Which was probably enough anyway. Eventually the rest of the food came and we enjoyed it all. I felt a little disappointed that sitting at the bar didn’t give me any more opportunity to be entertained or watch the action of the kitchen though… and I got more and more suspicious of what exactly was going on behind the curtain as the night went on.
In the end though, the food was great, and the service was polite and giggly with a hint of apologetic (as you’d expect of a Japanese place).
If you’re looking for something a little upmarket in the form of a traditional sushi bar, Jaws Mint may be just the spot.
Jaws Mint Restaurant – “Gourmet Sushi”
323 Hay St, East Perth
Phone: 9225 4573
Mon – Sat: 6pm – 10pm