Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cherry Blossom at South Gate Plaza

Japanese food is definitely not on the menu for my wife, so my recent visit to the new Cherry Blossom Sushi shop at the Southgate Shopping centre Reynella, was a solo expedition. Only in operation for a couple of months it is strategically located in the outside foyer of Coles Supermarket.
Clean looking young staff with a friendly smile always set the scene for a good experienced and that was obviously the case in the shiny clean premises.
I remembered the shop from its previous incarnation as an iceream and hotdog shop. I had a bad experience with some inedible hotdogs served by staff who looked as if they could not care less and served food to that standard. So it was really nice to see the place looking so clean with its new owners and offering Japanese food.
The displays are easy to look into and the food very well laid out. Such a good array of Japanese dishes that I found it quite difficult to make a choice. For those not so keen on raw fish there were rice cakes and rolls with cooked meats such as chicken and steak. The popular California roll was present, but for myself that tasty combination was quite overwhelmed by other prospects.
I eventually chose a rainbow bento pack and a couple of the rolls to test out. Teriyaki Chicken was one choice, Avocado with a Japanese Omelette the other. The Bento, or lunch pack, included the usual little squeeze bottle of soy sauce, a tear open package of pickled ginger and of course the inevitable tasty but hot Japanese Horse Radish known as Wasabi. One really needs to mix the Wasabi and Soy Sauce for the right combination, which is difficult without a small bowl. But I managed by using a corner of the Bento box.
First impressions of quality were proved correct when eating the content of the rainbow box. Colourful but tasty, each of the little rice cakes combined that exquisite way of mixing very subtle tastes together to present the palate with a very pleasant experience. The Squid sections were very good and quite large. Many shops present smaller sections for economy, but Cherry Blossom certainly did not stint on the size. Similarly the Tuna and Prawn cutlets were large and fresh which is so important when eating such delicate tastes blended together.
I gave top marks for the Bento box. Price was about the same as anywhere in this city, but quality of content was much higher than I have seen anywhere else.
The rice rolls were also excellent. Having recently had some in another eating house where they were so wet and gluggy that I could not help myself suggesting who ever prepared them should be given another job, I was a bit concerned. But the those at Cherry Blossom were made to perfection. You could bite into them and the remaining section held together perfectly. The rice was cooked just right, the other contents cooked really well, and the whole lot rolled together with skill.
As a rule Japanese meals are a bit small for Australians and therefore to get a good feed it can be a bit expensive as you need to buy more of it. Personally I felt what I had was quite sufficient and I am a large man. One also had to be impressed by the continual flow of customers coming in to purchase a meal, some to eat there and others to take away. It was also interesting to see small Aussie children happily eating the rice rolls with relish. During the thirty minutes I was there I only saw one Asian customer. The rest, and they were numerous, were very satisfied looking Australians of European or English background.
Obviously a great success, Cherry Blossom exudes an air of cleanliness and popularity. Very highly recommended.

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