Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki, Mosman Park

Ever wanted to dine somewhere that felt very exclusive?  How about a fine dining restaurant that can only seat 16 people at any one time, and you have to buzz the intercom to be let in?  Further, what if you can only get in by making a reservation online (up to about 2 weeks in advance) or else wait on the night and see if they have any cancellations?

Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki Japanese restaurant has arrived in Perth offering all of that.

From the moment you walk into Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki (we'll just call it "Fuku") you feel like you're somewhere exclusive.  The long bar style restaurant is centred around the "kitchen" and teppanyaki grill - all for your viewing enjoyment as each of your dishes are prepared in front of your eyes.  Adorning the back wall are countless bottles of sake making quite the spectacle, lit by warm inviting lighting.

Onto the food, Fuku provides a fixed menu where you basically get given what the chef prepares you (i.e. it's the chefs choice, not yours)  However, at the time of my visit, you do have a choice between two menus at different prices ($110 for four courses vs $160 for eight - and I think there's now a third more expensive choice).  The more expensive menu provides more courses, and thus more food giving you more chances to try some of unique imported ingredients (many from Japan).

The service by the waitstaff was generally good and they were enthusiastic.  However, for a fine dining venue I found there be a few peculiarities.  Perhaps I'm being picky but at fine dining restaurants I don't expect dishes to be almost immediately cleared as soon as one person finishes a dish whilst other people they are dining with are still eating (causing them to feel rushed), dishes such as a freshly poured soy sauce dipping bowl being cleared away before it was even used only to have another poured out as soon as the next course came (yet there was no cutlery change between meals), and meals would come out ad hoc without regard to whether you had finished your previous course making the meal seem a little rushed.

Oysters Three Ways

On the left was a fresh natural oyster, followed by a chilli jam oyster, and finally an oyster topped with lightly seared salmon and ponzu jelly.

All oysters were raw, with the chilli jam oyster having a mild chilli and sweet condiment taste, and the last oyster topped with a cold ponzu jelly sauce (lightly sour and salty) on top of diced salmon that had been lightly seared with a handheld blow torch.

Sashimi and sushi

The menu described this dish as having toro (tuna belly), anago (salt-water eel), sashimi-tuna, salmon, and kajiki.

Made by chef Tetsuya-san's hands right before your eyes came this very fresh sashimi and sushi dish.

On the sashimi (or raw fish) side was a couple of slices of each of tuna, salmon, and buri - the latter of which was described by chef Tetsuya-san as the highest grade of Yellowtail fish from Japan, having grown large enough to be called "Buri".  Each piece of fish tasted very fresh, and was sliced effortlessly by chef Tetsuya-san with his ultra sharp knife (chef Tetsuya-san can do some pretty nifty tricks with his knife if you ask nicely).  Might I add that I like my sashimi?

On the sushi side was each a nigiri style salmon, toro, and anago.  Each was made and placed on a separate dish for light torching before being placed on the serving plate.

 Small morsels

From left to right was cooked wagyu beef, lobster meat and avocado salad, and octopus.

The wagyu beef was cooked about medium yet still reasonably tender (I'm not sure why it wasn't cooked medium rare or less - which is what I would have preferred), drizzled with a sauce which was all of creamy and sweet and lightly salty, and topped with some mildly spicy chilli.  For me, the sauce made the beef really stand out.

The diced lobster meat was mixed in with a light creamy sauce, perhaps based in Japanese mayonnaise, and placed on top of a couple of slices of avocado.

The octopus was very crunchy as far as octopus is concerned, served cold with a slightly acidic sauce.

Quail twice cooked with pomegranate sauce

This twice cooked quail breast and wing met its second time cooking on a unique grilled-stove, being turned a few times until it was cooked.  We felt the meat inside was dry - perhaps overcooked for our liking, but the skin was nicely lightly charcoaled and parts were a little crispy.

The accompanying sauce made from pomegranate packed a strong fruity pomegranate taste - a little tangy with a burst of fruit flavour.

On the other side of the quail was a type of salsa that tasted like chutney which I found a little odd and for me and not exactly complementing the pomegranate sauce.

 Japanese scallop and Jumbo prawn with uni butter

This dish, cooked entirely on the teppanyaki stove started with a base of Japanese scallop which was cooked very tender inside.  On top of the scallop was a huge king prawn that had been peeled and split in front of us and cooked perfectly tender and naturally crunchy.  Finally on top of the prawn was a part of the prawn head that had been fully compressed and cooked on the teppanyaki stove until it was crunchy.  The prawn head had a decent prawn smell and taste but was completely edible, though maybe a tad too rough and pungent for some.

Drizzled over the dish was uni (sea urchin) flavoured butter that was melted on the teppanyaki grill before being scooped on top of the seafood.  The melted butter sauce with a light hint of sea urchin combined with the seafood to make a lightly flavoured seafood dish that was complemented rather than drowned by the buttery sauce.

 Fish of the day - Kajiki (swordfish) and daikon radish

This fillet of swordfish was cooked on the teppanyaki stove using a metal cover that helped steam it on the stove.  The fish was tender, but being a bit of a bland fish for me but being well dressed with a slightly acidic and citrus-tasting sauce.

The swordfish was placed on top of a firm teppanyaki-stove-cooked slice of daikon, and topped with a long cigar of palate cleansing pickled ginger that had a strong (quite hot) ginger taste and a tad stringy - especially on the lighter side which was too stringy to eat (be warned as it could look quite uncouth spitting the chewy part back out).

Wagyu sirloin steak Mayura Station grade 7

On the main plate was diced wagyu steak, cooked medium rare (as requested) on the teppanyaki stove.  Though a little odd being diced rather than served as a steak or otherwise sliced after cooking, the steak was tender and juicy, and topped with crispy garlic slices.  Alongside the steak was half a sliced section of onion, grilled on the teppanyaki stove with a special eye-catching flambe style fire spectacle used during the cooking process (though still tasking like char-grilled onion).

The steak was served with two sauces - a savoury garlic sauce, and a chilli miso sauce that was a thick sweet flavoured miso sauce mixed with mildly spicy chilli.

Also served at the same time as the steak was a fried rice, also cooked on the the teppanyaki stove.  The fried rice started out with a raw egg that was juggled with the cooking implements until it was intentionally cracked mid-air onto the stove using the sharp end of the implement - quite a spectacle of talent or practice.  Added to the egg was short grain Japanese rice, finely diced beef, spring onion, and seasoned with some soy sauce and cracked pepper.  The rice wasn't seasoned or special enough to be tasty to eat on its own for my tastebuds (it tasted quite bland) but rather used as a base to the wagyu steak dish.

Just a final note on this - the fried rice was listed as a separate course (out of the eight) on this menu, whilst on the shorter cheaper menu it was listed together with the wagyu beef as a single course (i.e. as an extra component, and not a course in its own right).

Genmaicha pannacotta, Japanese Baumkuchen and mountain peach with kinako

As its name suggests, the pannacotta was flavoured with Japanese Green Tea (a variety that is combined with roasted brown rice).  The panncotta wasn't as sweet as the plain variety (perhaps the genmaicha covered the taste) but it was topped with some caramel syrup.  The pannacotta was also served in a little tea-cup, possibly as the texture didn't seem like it would easily hold form if it was turned over.

The Japanese Baumkuchen was a layered cake, a little like a sweet and rich layered sponge (cooked one layer after the other) which was topped with sugar that was then finished with a blowtorch giving a nice creme brulee like sweet crunch to the cake.  The cake was a good combination of sweetness and buttery-ness without being excessive, and I'm sure would have taken more than a fair effort to make.

Lastly, the dish was decorated with a somewhat tasteless but decorative kinako (soybean flour), and a small preserved mountain peach that was nice but had an inedible seed in it (so don't swallow whole).

Overall, whilst the choice of many special ingredients blended together, along with the entertainment of being prepared food in front of you was something new and fresh for the Perth scene, I can't help but wonder whether the whole experience was special or else fine dining enough to warrant the very high price.  Still, if you want the entertainment that comes with the interaction with the chefs, as well the the exclusivity of being in a restaurant that seats only 16 people, you might want to give this restaurant a try.

We liked: Fresh produce - many sourced from Japan; being able to see your food prepared in front of you.

We didn't like: Quite pricey for what you get; meal isn't evenly paced (we got served some dishes whilst still eating the prior course); service isn't on par or as refined as other establishments in the same price range

Other things to note: Includes all you can drink water and tea; fully licensed with a healthy selection of sake and matching options.

Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki
20 Glyde Street
0403 470 964

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