Have you ever had Hawaiian food?
Chances are, even if your answer was no, it's probably a yes. You would have had Hawaiian food in some way or another. Hawaiian food is a giant fusion, with Portuguese, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and American culinary influences. I've been to Honolulu in my younger years, but regrettably don't recall much of it, other than eating bubblegum flavoured ice cream while watching hoards of white people dressed in flower garlands at a luau.
15 years later, I find myself reunited with Hawaiian food through Pacific Rim Mix Plate, recognising flavours that I didn't even know I forgot.
Pacific Rim Mix Plate is easily missed due to both its location and its unassuming decor, and I am ashamed to say I live the street across it and have never paid attention to it. It's easy to underestimate it due to how small the establishment is, but if it's one thing I've learned from my food adventures in Perth, it's that the size really does not matter. Sometimes, the cheesier the place looks, the better the food.
(Which explains most Chinese restaurants, really. Have you realised that the correlation between how good their food is, is almost directly linked to how much it looks like its Chinese New Year every time you walk in?)
I digress. Pacific Rim Mix Plate is a little store with a big selection of food, and their specials change from time to time so it may be hard to keep up, but just a quick check with their friendly staff and you'll be a happy camper.
There is also a distinct lack of spam (luncheon meat) in their menu, which makes me very happy.
I got myself a Katsu Chicken set, complete with two starches. You can choose what sauce you like, from their selection of Creamy Tarragon, Spicy Pele, Spicy Lemon Miso, Huli Huli Sauce. At the recommendation of the waitress I got a mix, and it was delicious. It's probably Tarragon and Spicy Pele, but I can't be sure. It was just really awesome.
The Katsu chicken is of course, a Japanese thing, but it is fried in such a way that is not heavy at all. The coating is unbelievably light and just crisp enough to allow the barest hint of texture, but the chicken itself is out of this world juicy and tender enough to fall apart despite being deep fried. The sauce paired really well with the chicken and rice, with a generous portion, with some side macaroni and salad.
My lunch buddy got the Tarragon fish, and I think she really enjoyed it. I stole a bite, and found that the creamy tarragon sauce is really piled on, but it doesn't overpower the sweetness of fish. We had no idea what fish it was, but it was our first time trying such a heavy amount of Tarragon in anything, and we didn't hate it.
The food we had made me feel like I should be eating with my shoes off, in the sand. It's effortless food, and despite the heavy amount of sauces you see slathered all over the mains, retains lightness in their cuisine. We sat outside, in the fresh breeze of winter (the weather is really freaking out lately), and really enjoyed the food while talking about horror movies. For the first time in all the eating I've ever done in my relatively short life, I thought to myself that beer would go really well with the food I was having. Which never happens, because I can't even take alcohol.
I'm pretty sure I will pop over sometime really soon to try their other specials (Huli Huli Chicken just sounds adorable), maybe get some takeaway and have a solo picnic by the riverside, to pretend I'm back in Hawaii's beaches. Is it too much to wear an Aloha shirt the next time I visit them? Is that racially insensitive? Should I start drinking beer? Am I thinking too hard?
Pacific Rim Mix Plate can be located at:
755 Canning Hwy
Corner of Wilcock Street