As a blogger it can be particularly delightful to receive the occasional invitation to a foodie event – tis all kinds of lovely. So when I received an email with an invitation to the soft opening launch of Fuku – Omakase and Teppanyaki Restaurant including a sumptuous teppanyaki degustation dinner it was very exciting.
Fuku is the new next door neighbour to Tsunami in Mosman Park and first things first…. It’s pronounced foo-koo and it means blessed, lucky or happy. While they are neighbours they are completely separate, so don’t try calling Tsunami to make bookings at Fuku. You can book online or try your luck at showing up and if the lantern is on outside then there are seats available.
GG and I were the first to arrive for the Tuesday night soft launch and when the door swung open there is a real wow factor to the fit out. The wall adorned with sake bottles, the vast murals behind the chefs and the shiny new hot plates – it was all very impressive. We were seated at the end of the restaurant, which actually meant we had a great view of proceedings, though it is worth noting that all the seats are close to the action. It’s intimate dining at its best.
Fuku offers 3 menus – ‘good’ (4 courses for $110), ‘better’ (9 courses for $160) and ‘best’ (10 courses for $260). All menus come with unlimited complimentary sparkling or still mineral water. And a matched wine or matched sake option is also available for $75. On our visit we were being spoilt with the ‘better’ option and reading through the menu I couldn’t wait to get started!
As other bloggers and also a few restaurant regulars from next door arrived we all sat and happily chatted as we waited for the food to be served. It was the first time I had the chance to meet the lovely lady behind the Life’s a Peach blog and she’s a total gem so we waxed lyrical about our foodie endeavours. Foodie Cravings also rocked up with Burger Boy and was great to see her too! Later in the evening The Food Pornographer and Perth Food Engineers also arrived for the 7.30pm sitting – so nice to see them all! :)
Our first course was Sashimi (Tuna, salmon and snapper) and Sushi (Toro, salmon, anago). Plating was done beautifully and everything looked so wonderfully fresh. GG was a big fan of this course – his plate disappeared in a flash! I’ll admit that while I have changed my tune on the fish front, I was still slightly nervous about trying both toro and eel. Given the freshness there was no worry about an overly fishy taste and while I might not have converted to number one eel fan, it was actually not bad. Had quite a sweet flavour to it. I could feel both GG and Mrs Peach watching me carefully when I nervously took my first bite of eel. I was quite pleased that I have mustered the courage to at least try it. Sometimes I’m not particularly brave on the food front.
Up next was a selection of Small Morsels – Tsubagi (shell fish) and Octopus (like Sunomono), Beef and Lobster meat and avocado salad. I started with the dainty spoonful of lobster and avocado salad. There was also tomato in the salad and the combination was a wonderfully refreshing mix. Nice way to start on this plate. Now the shell fish didn’t look too scary and actually tasted lovely! Again, it was really fresh, as was the octopus – nothing chewy about it at all! And I left the thinly sliced beef until last and it was delicious. Just melt in your mouth material.
Time to bring some poultry into the mix with Quail twice cooked with pomegranate sauce. I love quail. They are such a fiddly bird to deal with, which is why I think its always so lovely when someone else has done the fiddly work for you. The half quail was served with this intense pomegranate sauce that had the right amount of zap to it. On the side of the quail was a ratatouille. Initially I had thought this was quite a different pairing, but the chef clarified that it was actually an edamame ratatouille, which added that Japanese flavour to a dish more traditionally seen on the Italian food scene. And it did taste beautiful!
Swinging back to seafood next for the Japanese Scallop and Jumbo Prawn with a uni butter. They have really cool crockery here and this was probably my favourite plate. The scallop was a very decent size, as was the prawn – jumbo indeed! And the legs had been removed and sizzled on the hot plate to a crunchy crisp. I gave them a nibble but they weren’t my favourite, very strong seafood taste, but I did love the prawn itself.
Our final salute to seafood was the Fish of the Day – Kajiki (Swordfish) and Daikon Radish. I was so intrigued by the deep pink straw item that was decoratively placed on top of the swordfish. Mrs Peach assisted, telling me it was ginger. Much like the ginger you get with sushi but in one long piece. I love that ginger, so cut off a generous slice and popped it in my mouth. Wow – it was incredibly intense. Such a powerful flavour that I should have started with a much smaller piece! I definitely learnt my lesson. Swordfish is quite a firm fish. Doesn’t seem to flake away like other fish. I didn’t mind it, but my preference is probably for fish that is a bit lighter. I’m not sure that I’m a daikon radish fan though. Another strong flavour and I’m not quite sure its for me. Granted this is the first time I can recall trying it, so perhaps I’ll like it more once I’ve gotten used to it.
Our final dishes were a bowl of Fried Rice along with Wagyu Sirloin Steak, Mayura Station Grade 7. And this was really the chefs time to shine. Eggs were thrown in the air and spun around with dramatic flair and who doesn’t love theatrical bursts of flame! It really is an experience to watch your dinner cooked in such a fashion.
We were each asked how we would like our steak cooked and it was done so to perfection. The fried rice arrived first and while in retrospect eating that along with the steak would have probably been the way to go, it just looked so delicious, with the egg though out that I got stuck straight in. It was nice, had an elegant simplicity to it, though perhaps needed just a touch more seasoning. Granted though I can be a real salt fiend.
What I did particularly enjoy with the rice was that on the side came a honey cured cherry tomato – it had a lovely sweetness and made for a refreshing finish to the rice dish.
The steak arrived sliced with some caramelised onion on the side. The onion had received the flame treatment we’d seen earlier and the soft as butter steak, along with the sweet goodness of the onion, plus the crunchy garlic slices – definitely my favourite of the night. Hard not to be impressed with wagyu. It’s wonderful stuff.
So with the savoury side done, we finished the night with something sweet – Genmaicha pannacotta, Japanese Baumkuchen and mountain peach with kinako.
My first query had been, what is genmaicha? Turns out it is the Japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice. It’s a different taste. I wasn’t quite sold on the pannacotta, again could have been that I wasn’t familiar with the flavour and my palate just needed time to fully appreciate it more. However the carefully crafted Baumkuchen was this delicious, layered cake. Quite light on the sweetness, the care taken to individually blow torch each layer was apparent. Very nice! And my first go with a mountain peach – tasty!
It had been a really lovely night and I am incredibly grateful to Brett and the Fuku team for the invitation. Thanks to Chef Tetsuya Sakamoto and co for their amazing cooking and careful attention to detail with each dish they presented to us. Whilst I didn’t have any sake on this visit, the staff are very knowledgeable about the vast range they have on offer and have also invested in a very impressive apparatus that will chill your sake for you in a matter of minutes!
It’s quite the polished experience, from the food to the staff, to the beautiful décor, to the warmed toilet seat – for fans of fancier Japanese fare Fuku is for you!
Thanks again for GG and my invitation :)