20121011-122413.jpgLast night on our way home from work we decided we wanted sushi for dinner, even though we had food at home and even though we had other things to do sushi it was! I am as fussy about Japanese food as J. is about Korean food. I seldom eat it at home in Australia after years of being spoiled by the real thing while living in Japan. However there is a Japanese restaurant very near our house that we have been to before, Shimogamo. It’s very good, run by a Japanese family but very very expensive, or it is at least for us and the amount of sushi J. and I can eat.

Last night we were in luck… we arrived just in time for their sushi happy hour where everything is significantly cheaper. So we sat down with a bottle of Sapporo (also at happy hour prices) and ordered our Japanese feast.

First thing to come out was the shrimp tempura. I hadn’t had this at Shimogamo before but it was well done. Perfectly cooked shrimp inside the flaky and crispy tempura batter. I do love tempura of all sorts but shrimp is always my favorite. There were 5 pieces in the serving and because J. and I both loved it we were nice and split the 5th piece between us.

Unfortunately the happy hour menu doesn’t have any sashimi on it so we decided not to order it from the dinner menu and chose to go with some sushi instead. We had the Spicy Scallops (hotate) and the salmon (sake) sushi. I will always order salmon in every sushi restaurant I go to. This was incredibly fresh and the spicy scallops was delicious. They weren’t too spicy and you could still taste the scallop but there was certainly a bite to those pieces of sushi.

Next up were our sushi rolls. We had a spicy yellowtail roll first. This is a combination of chopped yellowtail mixed with ponzu, sriracha, chilli oil, masago, cucumber. So good! It disappeared very quickly between the two of us.

Now this doesn’t have anything to do with the sushi but I have to say something about J’s obsession with sriracha! He puts it on everything from burgers to meat pies, we permanently have a bottle of it sitting on our dining table… well until it ran out yesterday, will buy some more today!

Ok, back to the sushi. We also had the house special which is the Shimogamo roll. This roll has 2 panko shrimps, tobiko (flying fish roe), cabbage, lemon, cucumber & miso mayo. I know this sounds like an incredibly strange combination of flavors but this is seriously good sushi. The lemon slices in the roll just add a bit of a zing and such a fresh taste. This is definitely one of the best rolls I have eaten, not to mention prettiest.

Our last sushi roll was the eel cucumber roll. I am not a great fan of eel in any shape or form. The flavor just doesn’t work for me. J. loves eel though so he had this entire roll to himself. It is a very simple roll of fresh water eel and cucumber and he said it was delicious as always. I had some more salmon while he ate his eel! I know what I like.

Since it was happy hour prices we decided to order dessert here for the first time. J. went with the mochi ice cream. This is a soft rice cake filled with green tea flavored ice cream. Normally we would share a dessert but I don’t like green tea flavored things even after years in Japan. The only green tea I like is the hot or cold beverage kind. J. had never had mochi ice cream before and he absolutely loved it!

I ordered myself a separate dessert, which I kindly shared a little with J. I had the caramelized apple with vanilla ice cream. This is exactly what it sounds like, warm, caramelized sautéed cinnamon apple with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. So simple, sweet and delicious it was the perfect end to the meal for me.

It was a great dinner which satisfied that big craving I had for sushi. The great thing about it was that I didn’t feel stuffed to the gills at the end either and J. wasn’t ready to pass out into a food induced coma! I think we will go back more frequently but definitely only at happy hour or when we get a deal. I am still craving some sashimi!

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