I’VE had an intense addiction to Japanese food after travelling to the The Land of the Rising Sun on exchange in high school.
Since the trip I’ve never quite experienced food as authentic, until I recently went to Haru Sushi n Bento – a humble little nook in the heart of Freo. It is a sushi lover’s paradise.
The tiny takeaway restaurant is recognised for its large range of sushi by the piece, and hot treats from gyoza to tempura prawns and pre-packaged meals.
Bento boxes, ramen and fried noodles are also available for anyone looking to dine-in.
When we arrived at around 1pm there was a line of people happily waiting to pick and mix their choice of rolls, nigiri or gunkan from the convenient self-serve counter.
Inside the restaurant is a couple of tables and chairs, which is perfect for a casual lunchtime hangout.
The small interior reminded me a lot of hopping between unassuming mini stores and restaurants on the central shopping streets of Kagoshima.
The grab-and-go concept is great for someone on the run.
I picked up a tempura prawn and salad roll, kakiage (tempura veg) nigiri and a fried katsu chicken roll ($4.80 total).
When I set my food down on the counter, I was energetically greeted by Andy, the face of Haru’s. His customer service is outstanding and with an enormous smile on his face he offered me ginger, mayo or avocado sauce to add to my takeaway.
It is impossible to leave the store frowning as Andy cracks a couple of jokes before hollering to thank us and that he will see us again; which he will.
Nothing is more than $7.50 at the self-serve counter so you’d assume the quality is fairly average; you’d be wrong. The portions were incredibly generous for the price. My tempura prawn and salad was fresh and flavoursome with evenly cut pieces of carrot, pineapple with sweet chilli and mayo drizzled on top.
The fried katsu chicken roll had the perfect crunch on the outside and the right ratio of filling to rice.
Haru Sushi’s emphasis on presentation shows as the food is anything but dull.
Andy – also known as the happiest, bubbliest man alive – is quickly becoming a Fremantle icon, and Haru’s is a go-to gem.
Haru Sushi n Bento
5 William Street, Fremantle