Not a raw deal

When I decided in July to write an article about Fremantle’s best sushi  joints, it soon dawned on me that that the cuisine was best enjoyed outside of winter.

So rather than just reviewing sushi, I decided that anything on the menu was fair game, especially if it’s hot, deep fried or served in a steaming broth.

The first stop on my starchy sumeshi quest was Pink Rice.

In an attempt to defrost—it’s impossible to escape the cold in this cavernous building—I went for the karaage chicken bento box ($16) and a bowl of miso soup ($2.30).

• Karaage chicken bento box at Pink Rice.

I was impressed by the generous portion of battered chicken. It wasn’t oily, allowing the thigh meat to shine, and when dipped in the kewpie mayo it was finger-licking good.

The downside was the wilted, watery side salad, submerged in so much dressing it could train for our olympic swimming team.

Next up, Oceans.

Located in Fremantle’s tired Woolstores, this humble little jewel was pumping during my lunchtime visit.

The sushi is stock-standard but the price suits.

My Chook colleague wasn’t wrong when she recommended the teriyaki chicken Udon ($11).

The sweet and salty vegetable broth is dotted with blobs of crunchy tempura batter, which I couldn’t wolf down quickly enough. Delish.

The chicken strips are cooked with the skin on which adds a smokey dimension to the dish.

The best Ramen ($9.90) in the port city can be found at Haru Sushi Bento on William Street. It’s a very spicy bowl chock-full of noodles, grated vegetables and Katsu chicken breast. The spicy slap-to-the-face will certainly get the nose running so have some extra serviettes on hand.

Working the till is Andrew, the friendliest operator in town. His almighty, “HELLO!” to everyone who walks through the door made my day.

I was most impressed with the sushi here, all of which is self service, with prices ranging from $0.80 to $2. The spicy crumbed chicken packs a wallop and the soft shell crab was a standout.

My final stop, Sushi With Goons.

More often than not a re-fit will see a joint enlarged. The recently renovated Goons has halved inside and is about as small as Harry Potter’s bedroom at the Dursley’s. If you’re heading in for lunch I’d recommend getting there before the mad rush so your meal’s not interrupted by a stranger’s stray elbow to the kidney.

The brown-rice sushi at Goons is a must-try. It’s a nuttier, grainier flavour and goes very well with most sushi fillings, especially the raw salmon ($4.90 for five pieces)

Here I enjoyed a tempura prawn Udon ($9.90). It’s worth mentioning the honey-marinated tofu, which gave an unexpected sweet twist to the usually bland bean curd.

By now you’re probably screaming through your vegemite on toast, “What about The Modern Eatery?”

Check out the food review in the Herald on June 10—my colleague beat me to it.

by MATTHEW EELES

Pink Rice
25 Collie Street, Fremantle

Oceans
19a/28 Cantonement Street, Fremantle

Haru Sushi Bento
5 William Street, Fremantle

Sushi With Goons
36 South Terrace, Fremantle

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