Fat Panda, Canley Heights
Two consecutive posts about sushi... Hmm. Went out for dinner with my friend, and he suggested sushi as my Facebook status recently declared that I was craving sushi. The awesome thing about me and my cravings is that once I crave something, I will literally get to eat it within a day to a week. (Tip: first, nag everyone who slightly cares about you, then if they choose to be heartless and mean, go out and buy it yourself. Works like magic for me - oh all the great meals I've had from this!) Moving on, so rather than driving an hour away to the city, during which would see me dying from starvation, I asked to eat local - ie, Fat Panda. And the journey begins.
By the time we got there, I think 9, the sushi train was dead. It does seem like I have quite a habit of not getting to restaurants during peak hours (which is good because I like quiet spaces where conversations flourish). Anyways, we ordered a seaweed salad (no pic - I hadn't eaten for 7 hours and walked an hour of that, my body screamed "Feed me!") However, it was presented in a cute little boat-like bowl/plate. It tasted delightful, and perfectly seasoned. It was served cold, so it invigorated my tastebuds immediately, and I kept munching and munching. On a side note, seaweed is really good for you. Also, there isn't too much greens to seaweed ratio, as opposed to another place I had in the city where it was basically a spoonful of seaweed and the rest greens.
Moving on, our sushi platter arrived. They came in servings of 4, since we ordered from the menu not sushi train. We picked California roll, Soft shell crab roll, Salmon Avocado (oh, my love!) and Eel Avocado roll. Whilst waiting for this, we were marvelling over the techniques of the sushi masters, and discussing all things sushi. Like how you tell a skilled sashimi master by how he slices the salmon (of course salmon, it's my fav sashimi ever). It should be concave or curved like the rice ball/mould, not cut square because the ratio of rice and salmon should always be equal in such a way that every bite tastes flawless. And this is why I want to go to Japan for authentic sushi - they fuss over their art much more than in Australia. Then again, I'm not the fussiest of eaters so I love Aussie sushi regardless. Onto the sushi, my loveees!
First things first, it was yum. It was a nice change to have mashed crab stick rather than the crab stick because it was much creamier and hence, sweeter. Initially, I wanted the crab stick, but in hindsight, I can make do with mashed crab stick too. Biggest turn off for me was there was no cucumber in this, but capsicum.. and I don't like capsicum. So after the first shock, I had to take the capsicum out, making my sushi fall apart. That wasn't a big thing for me, because I tend to eat in two bitefuls anyways (shoving a whole roll in my mouth would lead to me choking and dying pronto. I love sushi, but not enough to die eating it in the 'traditional" way). Conclusion, if I wanted a California roll, this will not be my first choice.
Soft shell crab roll:
Oh I have a love of soft shell crab. It is so damn delicious and I don't have to go throuigh the mess of breaking it apart like normal crab. The roll was delicious but also had capsicum so I took that out too, leaving the taste of the feta cheese to take over. Much better, because the textures of the cheese were very similar to the crab itself, blending the two together beautifully. When I had it with the capsicum both the taste and texture of the capsicum distracted me from the flavours and freshness of the soft shell crab. And as always, sushi is about the freshness and natural flavours of the produce, which is why it is so unadorned and presented in the most natural methods. What I mean by this is that the seafood is usually grilled, cooked or eaten as sashimi, then paired with other vegies and creams+sauces, roe, or garnish. There is no need for spoonfuls of herbs or pepper or oil etc. It's so healthy and such good, pure food.
Whilst eating this, which is always pure heaven when the salmon is fresh and the avocado soft and creamy, I lament to my friend how sushi masters always get the best avocados. I mean, when I try to find soft and creamy avocados, I see either overly bruised or hard avocados. How depressing. Anyways, the salmon avocado is perfect to me. Just salmon and avocado in a roll, no fuss, straight to the point and perfectly executed.
Eel and avocado:
First time I had eel and avocado roll to be honest. I've had eel and other stuff, and eel by itself on a roll, but not with avocado. But the friend chose it so I will eat it (naturally, it IS food, and good food at that). It was pleasant, eel was seasoned well and tasted great (when I picked it apart). In retrospect, and by this, I mean, to last night which shouldn't be too hard, except for me I have a pretty bad memory so it is... I don't think it was a unexpected-but-perfect-combination, but it was passable. It was yummy.
Ahh, takoyaki. Whenever I have takoyaki, I think of all the other '-yaki' foods I want to eat. That aside, the takoyaki balls were fresh out of the kitchen. But I was slightly disappointed because I like less batter and more squid. It was the opposite. I don't know whether that's how takoyakis are meant to be made, but I don't care very much and this is just personal preference because I love my seafood.
Dessert - some trifle:
Please forgive me for not remembering the name. That tends to happen when I go by the waitress' recommendation instead of ordering from a menu, because I get distracted. This was all to myself because my friend isn't a desserts person (more for me, yay!)... well, that or he knows I don't like to share my favourite course of the meal. Anyways, the trifle is disappointing to me. I don't really like the textures nor the flavours. Oh and there was a layer which had a strong (and weird) mushroomy flavour. I didn't like it, not in my dessert anyways. Told my friend this, and he goes that all foods can be in desserts, where I then rambled on about Iron Chef and how they make the awesomest desserts (by the look of it, I would die happy if I could be on the panel, but this is impossible unless I become some awesome Japanese celebrity, which is also impossible). My friend has a bite and said he liked the mixed berry sauce on the top, which I did too, causing me to go on a spiel about how the chef probably made it.
Anyways, that's all for now. Until next time I remember to take photos when I eat. Or have a place to gloat about.