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If you knew sushi, like Paul knows sushi

I was paying for my petrol on the other night at a CBD petrol station and, as you do when you pay for your fuel, the temptation to grab a bite to eat suddenly emerges. As I casually looked over the chip packets and lolly shelf over towards the fridges I noticed packs of sushi. Sushi, to my “really-don’t-want-anything-fattening” delight.

My service station story encapsulates the backlash by many people against fatty, greasy food and highlights the commercial success and the rapid take up of eastern foods.

The move away from high-fat foods has seen the take-off of the healthy alternative takeaway shops like Aroma Café, Pure and Natural and the healthier sub menu at Subway. That’s not to say we don’t indulge in the Big Mac or grilled chicken burger, it’s that we are now presented with the alternative of health food with the same advantages as “fast food” – prepared, convenient, and fast without the disadvantages of fat accumulation.

The upper class stigma of sushi has eroded with the parcels of rice and seaweed transcending to the service station shelfs – that’s testimony to the popularity of the low-fat, delicious, and filling seaweed rolled parcels.

Perhaps the commercial success of the traditional Japanese food can be attributed to it’s vast product range – if you think sushi is simply raw fish you obviously haven’t been into a sushi store.

The popularity is overwhelming; just ask one of the newcomers to the Perth take-out district, Paul Lam.

Mr Lam established Nagoya Sushi on Hay Street just a few weeks ago and the queues at lunchtime not only show the willingness of people to eat healthy, but also the willingness to eat eastern food.

The restaurant is next to Mr Bird’s MYO and various cafes offering the healthy alternative and still manages to be a full house over the lunch period.

Perhaps it is the fact that your hip pocket is also kept healthy with Nagoya Sushi’s menu, priced extremely competitively, luring in the punters from the popular Central Park district.

Mr Lam was originally going to open a store in the Carillion Arcade but after months of agony, and the deal eventually collapsing, it seems fate shone his way with the Hay Street shop – an instant success for the business lunch.

And why not queue up when there’s a product range like Mr Lam’s?

From California rolls to caviar rolled sushi, you can pick up a small pack for just $2.90 or the large pack for $6.50.

And Mr Lam sure knows how to make his sushi, with fresh ingredients and that is sure to keep the sushi connoisseur extremely pleased.

With winter just around the bend and the tendency for people to eat hot food, Mr Lam has made sure he has incorporated a hot menu, including Oyaka Don and Tempura Udon at $7.50 each as well as bento dishes (with that impeccable range) which are $9.50. With the range and warmth provided by my Nagoya Sushi, forget the bulge this winter.

A combination of Mr Lam’s enthusiasm, his flair for great sushi, and the business lunch becoming all the more healthier, Nagoya Sushi is set to become a Hay St Success.

Open from 9am to 9pm, the restaurant is at 777 Hay Street.

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If you do not feel like driving out of Perth for the Swan Valley’s Taste of the Valley festival go to Clancy’s Fish Pub for wine tastings, between 5pm and 7pm, on Friday 20 April.

Clancy’s, Fremantle, will showcase Jane Brook Wines and Clancy’s,Canning Bridge, will host Riverbank Wines as part of the Tastes of the Valley celebrations.

If you do not head for the festival be sure to drop in at Dear Friends Garden Restaurant for the GourmArt evening, on Thursday, 19 April.

Local artist Len Zuks will provide the art and executive chef Phillip Swar will cook up a four-course meal complemented by the valley’s finest wines.

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Fraser’s Restaurant in conjunction with Peter Forrestal (Wine Gourmet Magazine) will present 10 old and new-world pinots in the private dining room on, April 21, at 3.30pm.

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