My friend, the diligent Tupperware returner (a rare breed indeed), insisted we meet that week for dinner. Unfortunately the elusive Aka Siro was closed that night, so we decided to head to Peko Peko instead.
Peko Peko, not to be confused with Neko Neko, is a Japanese place which I had initially written off because it seemed too accessible (being on Smith St and all). As I commonly do, it turns out I had judged too quickly. Damn the J in my Myers Briggs result!
We ordered a few dishes (on hindsight probably one too many), because the more variety the better! The Spinach Salad (Fresh baby spinach tossed with egg, cucumber, pickled ginger & a soy seasame dressing) came out first. It was a nice light and refreshing start to the meal. Next came the tempura prawns, which was on the specials board that day. They were definitely one of the more authentic tempura prawns I have tasted – the batter was paper thin and expertly fried to a crisp without the usual oily residue. The third dish emerged from the kitchen: Nasu Dengaku, which is pieces of eggplant cooked in sweet miso sauce. I’ve tasted many a Nasu Dengaku (don’t you think it is a funny name), this one was one of the least oily ones I’ve come across and whilst not the most tender, had good bite. And who doesn’t like sweet miso?
As my friend and I discussed how Nasu Dengaku is cooked (whether it is roasted, boiled and then roasted, steamed or steamed and then fried, and at what stage of the process the sweet miso is added), our fourth and final dish arrives: The salmon sashimi don: Salmon sashimi served on sushi rice and pickles. Don’t pooh pooh at this humble dish. The salmon sashimi was extra fatty, bringing the salmon to a new level of silky, creamy yummy-ness. It is the kind of salmon sashimi don you gobble up even though you weren’t that hungry…just like the times when you finish the whole bag of chips (come on, we all do this sometimes …mostly in private).
As dinner came to an end, we spoke bashfully about looking forward to curling up in bed over a good book or a good movie later that night, absolutely content to transform into hibernating bear cubs, totally void of the FOMO syndrome most kids have these days. Just before we said our goodbyes, we discovered we had the common guilty pleasure of getting Lazer Pig pizza on a Friday or Saturday night… and I quietly added Peko Peko’s sashimi don to my list of foods for future indulgent hibernation nights.