NISHI restaurant is situated beside some car yards just off the Leach Highway.
Let’s be honest, it’s not the French Riviera, but some of the best meals I’ve eaten have been in unassuming places and the food on their website looked impressive.
Nishi’s menu had a great range of sushi, sashimi, noodles, mains and desserts, as well as a dedicated teppanyaki menu, making it a good option for lunch or dinner.
The Myaree restaurant felt quite classy and intimate with soft lighting, low ceilings and plush chairs.
In some ways it was a throwback to the 80s, but it didn’t feel dated and no one was dressed like an extra from Miami Vice.
In the corner was a sleek bar and along the opposite wall were two teppanyaki stations.
They looked a great place to host a group of friends and the waitress told me about the chef’s “special tricks” (I’m picturing leaping flames and singed eyebrows).
The waitress soon returned with my sashimi. It was beautifully presented with overlapping slices of raw fish perched on a banana leaf and shredded radish.
I slowly dismantled the abstract tower, enjoying the super fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail fish.
There was even a few slices of beautifully tender octopus, and I couldn’t fault this large and refreshing entree.
Across the table my wife was raving about the steamed rice ($2.80).
“This is the best rice I’ve had in ages – it’s got that classic sticky texture and the grains are perfectly cooked.”
Her teriyaki chicken ($17.50) was also getting the thumbs up.
“It’s crispy on the outside and lovely and tender in the middle, and the accompanying sauce has got a good salty-sweet balance.”
My teppanyaki beef was delicious: melt in the mouth with that trademark smokiness and full-bodied flavour.
I ordered it medium and it was perfect; just a hint of blood in the middle and no gristle or fat.
I’m not a fan of miso, but I could tell this was a high grade version and not like some of the salty aberrations you get elsewhere. My rice was excellent too.
For $35 my sashimi and teppanyaki two-course dinner set was great value.
The kids were quiet which meant one of two things – they were unconscious or eating.
They quickly annihilated their avocado maki ($6.50) and raw tuna roll ($9.50), which looked super fresh and was beautifully presented.
I tried a few and can confirm they were top notch and not too big, as I’ve been to joints where the sushi rolls are larger than Godzilla’s cojones and just fall apart.
I really enjoyed Nishi: the food was excellent without bursting the bank and staff were very friendly.
The restaurant is fully licensed and had a nice range of wines and beers including Kirin, Asahi and Sapporo.
The waitress said they had a loyal base of returning customers and I could see why; you probably rarely get a bad meal here and it feels like putting on a pair of old, comfy shoes.
It’s quite hard to find a Japanese restaurant in-between budget and super expensive, and Nishi fills that gap without compromising on quality.
Nishi Japanese Restaurant
42 Hulme Court, Myaree