by Mei Leong
It’s been a while since our last visit but I’m pleased to report Kanta is still absolutely fabulous. Especially since the chef has taken on more help in the kitchen, you can get in for aJapanese fix and get out if, that’s your style.
Me, I’d rather sit back, sip on green tea and watch the sushi master at work. It’s pure entertainment watching his hands work. How he whips together sushi rolls so fast, yet slows down to make steady cuts with a lethal looking knife, beats me.
There’s always something interesting on the specials board here and guess what, tonight it’s uni! Again. (Sorry, I get terribly excited about uni.)
On the left is uni (sea urchin) sushi, on the right is california roll sushi.
Uni is sea urchin and if you love raw oysters you will adore uni. The wobbly things are wrapped in seaweed, which are gobbled in one bite. Uni has a rich creamy texture (not unlike mayonnaise) that’s spiked with an intensely raw oceanic taste. It’s pretty hard to find (hence it’s also pretty expensive) but definitely a treat worth trying if you aren’t squeamish.
The mains aren’t all that large and for once, that’s actually a blessing because some of Kanta’s best items are the starters. It’s not a bad idea to work through the menu izakaya style, grazing the small plates.
The next small plate, chicken karaage, is unceremoniously put on the ledge in front of us. (Service is not a strong point but hey, the food is good.) Fished out from the fryer a few seconds prior, the chicken is so, so juicy and crispy.
Salmon in Kanta special creamy sauce. Oh yeah baby!
More is definitely more when it comes to the salmon in Kanta special creamy sauce. The already rich, flaky flesh of salmon is enrobed by an even richer (and even more orange!), decadent sauce. The sauce is so more-ish, by the end we are desperately mopping up the sauce with the few remaining flakes of salmon.
You can tell by the way the inside of the pans are spick and span but black beneath that they really know their sautés and sauces here. So on that note, I chose the teryaki beef tongue as my main.
(I have a confession: I love tongue.)
Beef tongue steak, much more delicious than it sounds.
One of the best kept secrets at the butcher, tongue is in a different league from regular offal. That’s probably because it’s not an organ per se. The icky bits that make it resemble a tongue, like the tastebuds and ligaments, are stripped off before cooking. And here’s the kicker – what’s left is thoroughly marbled with delicious fat!
At Kanta, it’s cooked in a mighty hot pan, scorched in the melting fat and the caramelised bits are deglazed in a thin sauce. The end result is sugary charred taste which is amazing. The teriyaki steak is done very similarly for those not tongue inclined…
So that was the end of dinner at Kanta, one of the best I’ve had in a long while. I almost had to be rolled out. Walking out, we glimpsed the braised pork belly special and it looked ridiculously good – a thick slab of belly slicked with sweet sauce… definitely an order for next time.
Kanta Japanese Kitchen and Sushi, 7/76 Langford Avenue, Langford WA 6147
T: (08) 9451 5720
Tue – Sat 11.30 – 2
Tue – Sat 5.30 – 9
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