There's something really exciting about trying a new restaurant. That tingle of anticipation, that (if you're like me) sense of wonder as you try to decide what to order, what to expect and you cross your fingers hoping that you'll fall in love.
Whenever I catch up with my best friend Vee and our other friend Junior, we tend to go out for Japanese - usually sushi. However I was keen to try a new place outside of our regular stomping ground, Mr Munchies. So after a quick browse on Urbanspoon, I suggested Jun in Perth and they were all too happy with this.
If you haven't been to Jun, don't be fooled by the exterior or even the simplistic interior. It's a hidden gem and boasts some pretty outstandingly cheap dishes to feast on.
In 39 degree plus weather though it is definitely not cold enough down there, but eventually I started acclimatising even without some deliciously cool air conditioning - particularly thanks to the icy water that's delivered to our table as we browse the menu.
First up was Junior's pork salad which was thin slices of pork, spring onion and rocket, with a light soy sauce to drizzle over the top. It's a nice fresh start to the food that continues out to our table and a little different to your standard Japanese restaurant menus.
True to form, she orders a serving of the teriyaki chicken salad. It comes as a basket of paper thin pastry encasing shredded cabbage and slices of juicy chicken. It looks pretty good, and I like the texture that the pastry adds to the dish - same as the delightful pop of the salmon roe on top.
On this occasion, I find myself drawn in by the fried pork & onion skewers. Two rather large skewers encased in a light crunchy crumb have layers of pork and white onion and a side dipping sauce.
The pork inside is tender and flavoursome, though there is a couple of tough bites here and there. The onion is plentiful, which offers some sweetness but it is a little too much for me, overpowering my palate. That said though, I did enjoy these skewers - just wish the balance of the ingredients was a little more skewed towards pork.
My boy Jeremy introduced me to Soba a year or two ago and I have fallen in love. It's the perfect kind of dish for summer - cool, refreshing and delicate in flavour. Jun's offering is one of my favourites I've sampled. The light soy sauce that you can pour over or dip each mouthful in offers a nice salt kick, working with the sweetness of the spring onion and the creaminess from the quail yolk.
The wasabi works well when you mix it in - but only if you're a bit crazy like me and love the mustard burn!