When brothers Daniel and Lawrence Bahk decided to leave the nest – which for them took the form of their family Japanese restaurant Midori in Northbridge – it was go big or go home. They found a business partner, one of the city’s most sought-after addresses, hired a team of designers, artists and architects and imported world-class chefs from Korea and Melbourne.
The result is the gorgeous new Japanese eatery Shiro Izakaya Restaurant. Perched on southern edge of Central Park and flanked by Perth’s premier corporate office buildings is this delectably designed space. A modern, minimalist design features unique touches like sake bottle-shaped light fixtures, dark wood walls and tables fitted with embedded lights. Place settings are stylish and classy – you won’t find disposable wooden chopsticks at Shiro. Most impressive are those floor-to-ceiling windows that can be completely opened to maximise the view of Central Park’s verdant oasis and invite the summer breeze inside.
Lunchtime brings throngs to the exterior counter for takeaway meals, and dine-ins to the window-facing benchtop while the dinner rush attracts those looking for a more leisurely meal, or if in a larger group, to the 18-person table upstairs.
The menu is styled after the “Izakaya” of Japan, bars serving drinks and tapas-style food shared at the table. Shiro adds a WA spin by using only the freshest of seafood from the Indian Ocean and locally raised meat. Cold dishes like sashimi, sushi and salads attest to the quality of the produce and innovation of the kitchen. Our favourite is The Rolls Royce – devilishly good sushi with crab, diced prawn tempura, unagi and cucumber, topped with tiered apple sauce, teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
Equally delicious is the Ocean’s 5 sashimi with melt-in-your-mouth salmon, lemon-spritzed scallops and the hard-to-come-by yellow-fin tuna. Hot dishes include braised fish, yakitori skewers and even Wagyu steak. Japanese tipple-lovers will rejoice at the news of Shiro’s selection of 14 different sakes but there’s wine and beer too.
The Bahk brothers have definitely outdone themselves. And aren’t we lucky.
(Also published in Agenda)