I was delighted when I received an invitation to dine at Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki restaurant in Mosman Park, Perth.
Finding the restaurant address was easy. Once we arrived though, the entrance was a little mysterious. Under the Fuku street sign was a closed gold door and an intercom buzzer on the wall. I pressed the buzzer and the door slid open to reveal an intimate teppanyaki restaurant with just 16 bench seats flanking two central BBQs. The back wall was lined with sake bottles, the lighting was soft and behind the BBQs was a very cool glass mural in gold colours featuring a couple of Japanese women with hair in a bun. It was very sophisticated fit out and I immediately knew we were in for a treat.
Our lovely host for the night, Milan and our waiter greeted us warmly. We were offered sake, served cold (only average quality sake is served warm), and informed that we would be enjoying the 8-course ‘better’ menu ($135 pp). There are two other menus offered at Fuku, the ‘good’ 4-course menu ($100 pp), and the ‘best’ 10-course menu ($220 pp). There is also a ‘walk in’ menu ($75 pp).
The sake menu lists 30+ different types ranging in price from $25 for 220ml pot to $340 for 1.8 litre bottle. If you don’t finish your bottle of sake, and you’d be doing well to finish one and still be able to have control of bodily functions, you can take it home with you. Nice.
The small but precise wine list offers everything by the glass and the bottle, besides the dozen wines listed on the ‘reserve’ list. A wine and a sake degustation matching is offered (both at $75 pp).
Our sake was cold and very smooth. It was not the throat stripping harsh sake I have memories of. It reminded me of a softer tasting grappa. I really enjoyed it, but made a mental note to pace myself as it’s is quite potent.
Onto the food, our first course: kawa ebi and sun dried crispy nori sheet. In a cute red single mini-bento box came lightly battered deep fried whole baby prawn, head and all. As they say, when in Rome… I tried one and was hooked.
The prawns were crispy and the taste was similar to whitebait that my Nonna used to cook. They were salty too, which I loved. The thick nori sheet was very pleasant to crunch into.
Second course: Small morsels (otsumami) – featuring deep fried oyster with ginger salsa, snapper with ponzu, wagyu beef with sesame sauce, marinated octopus, and deep fried crispy soba noodles. The fan shaped soba noodles were amazing – crunchy, salty, and made me want to have a whole plate with a pint or two of cold beer. The wagu beef was smokey tasting and so tender, quickly dissolving on my tongue. The ginger salsa lifted the fried oyster but was subtle and delicate and not overpowering like some ginger dishes can be.
Third course: Sashimi. I love sashimi, really, really. I could eat it every day and be happy. Fuku’s is no exception. The salmon and tuna was A-grade quality, soft and delicate. The snapper wrapped in japanese pickle was the dish’s standout component adding a sweet and sour twist. I loved it.
Fourth course: Quail on the BBQ. The boned quail was cooked on the hotplate and then chargrilled to add delicate smokey tones through the tender meat. Served in a soba bean pancake with small slices of tomato and cucumber and a szechuan pepper sauce. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender, the pancakes were light and together, this dish was well balanced and was my dish of the night.
Fifth course: Scallop, prawn and crispy prawn head. I was impressed with Chef Jaymon’s teppanyaki skill – he de-veined the prawns using BBQ utensils as the prawns cooked on the hot plate. The dramatic teppanyaki show was in full force as the chef created huge flames on the BBQ, much to our delight. The prawns and scallop were served with sea urchin butter. The crispy prawn head was something I wasn’t looking forward to, but it was actually tasty, crunchy and had clean prawn flavour. My scallop probably needed another minute on the BBQ to cook all the way through. This dish was pleasant, but fell flat after the previous amazing four courses.
Sixth course: Fish of the day, red emperor with lotus root, mushroom with a Japanese citrus miso sauce. The sauce was tangy without being harsh. It was beautifully presented on folded leaves. A well balanced dish.
Seventh course: Wagyu sirloin steak Mayura Station grade 9+, fried rice with wagyu flavour. This dish provided quite a cheffy show. Chef Jaymon was spinning and juggling the salt and pepper grinders, spatula, and tongs, doing a great job with the obligatory ‘tap’ of the said implements onto the surface. The most impressive of his tricks was throwing a raw egg up into the air and catching it on the side of the BBQ spatula, causing it to crack and gently plop onto the hotplate.
As he cooked and sliced the steak on the hot plate, after checking with each of us how we like our steak cooked, he was multitasking and making the fried rice, that soaked up the meaty wagyu juices. The fried rice was shaped into a love heart – sweet. With a single onion ring, he stacked each ring layer to form an onion pyramid, which he lit and turned into an onion volcano, cutely naming it Mount Fuji.
The steak was nothing short of amazing. It was juicy, tender, and quickly melted on my tongue. It was dressed with soy and garlic, absolutely beautifully cooked. The rice was too much for me. Zorba ate his bowl, then my bowl. No wastage when there’s food-loving Greek at the table.
Eighth course: Yuzu cheesecake with chocolate drink and mountain peach. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit and a mountain peach is a tiny peach-tasting fruit that is about the size of an olive. The chocolate drink was thick and not too sweet. The cheese cake was creamy and came with a wasabi foam, which is an unusual addition to a dessert, yet it worked.
The service every step of the way was first class. Our waiter patiently answered our questions without any hint of snobbery. Chef Jaymon has been with Fuku since it opened seven month ago in October last year. He has the soft warm nature that many Philipinos have, and loves living and working in Perth.
“The people in Perth are friendly and our customers are so nice. Not like where I worked in Cyrprus, people there were not happy and a bit mean. My wife likes living here – happy wife…!’ Jaymon said, with a smile.
Even the toilets are something worthwhile experiencing. They have heated seats and an electronic panel with a multitude of options for cleaning ‘down there’ as you sit. It’s a Japanese thing apparently!
Verdict: For a special night out, treat yourself to Fuku. It’s more than dinner, it’s gastronomic entertainment, as well as being completely pleasing on the palate. It is expensive, but the quality of everything is A-grade, so the value is there. If you like Japanese food, you will love Fuku. If you have never tried Teppanyaki, Fuki will be your perfect introduction to the Japanese BBQ.
Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki
20 Glyde Street, Mosman Park
Tel: 0403 470 964
Disclosure: Travelletto dined with compliments of Fuku. This post was also published on Dianne Bortoletto’s blog, www.travelletto.com