“Fuku” is not a naughty word, but non-Japanese speakers may enjoy thinking it is! Pronounced “foo-koo”, it means “blessed” or “lucky” and is the name of Mosman Park’s newest Japanese restaurant.
Jac and I were recently invited to experience Fuku ahead of its official opening on 12 October. The restaurant offers omakase/teppanyaki dining with just 16 counter seats around the teppanyaki grill where the evening’s cooking/entertainment takes place. Fuku shares head chef Tetsuya Sakamoto with its sister restaurant Tsunami next door, but restaurateur and shacho Brett tells us the restaurants operate separately.
With omakase style dining, the dishes presented are determined by the chef. At Fuku, there are three set menus to choose from: good (4 courses, AU$110), better (9 courses, AU$160) and best (10 courses, AU$260). What’s on each menu may vary day to day depending on produce and what’s in season. Matched wines or sake are available (AU$75). All menus include unlimited sencha (green tea), and complimentary sparkling or still mineral water.
The first course was sashimi and sushi – shiny and delicate sashimi of tuna, salmon and snapper, and nigiri sushi with salmon, toro (tuna belly) and anago (salt water eel), lightly seared by blow-torch just before serving.
It was hard to decide where to begin with the “small morsels”: thinly sliced cold Wagyu beef with white sesame sauce, a salad of lobster meat and avocado (served in a spoon but a little too much for a single mouthful) and tsubugai (Japanese whelk, pronounced “soo-boo-guy”) with octopus. The tsubugai has an interesting, almost crunchy texture.
Next, twice-cooked Hunter Valley quail – confit for 24 hours then grilled, served with a splash of tart, syrupy pomegranate sauce and a surprising side of ratatouille. I found the sauce too medicinal for my liking but the quail was a scrumptious little bird.
We watched, enthralled, as the chef flipped scallops on the grill, chopping the heads off the jumbo Exmouth prawns and pressing them onto the hot plate as they cooked so they resembled squashed baby crabs. Beneath the copper dome were pieces of kajiki (swordfish) for the next course.
Just before serving, the scallops and prawns were glazed with uni (pronounced “ooh-nee” – sea urchin) butter. Even if you’re usually squeamish about eating prawn heads, give this one a try. I could’ve eaten a whole bowl of those crispy prawn heads.
The swordfish pieces were laid on top of cooked daikon radish and seared with the blowtorch.
The swordfish and daikon were served with a salty-sweet miso sauce and garnished with a stick of deceptively fiery pink ginger.
The ringside action heats up as the lights are turned down for classic teppanyaki theatre – the thrilling flaming tower of onion.
Next, some impressive egg tricks.
We watched as slabs of wagyu beef fat were placed on the grill. As the fat spat and melted, cooked rice was tossed through the fat to absorb its flavour. Fried egg and chopped beef were mixed into the rice. This beefy fried rice smelled absolutely fantastic but needed seasoning – most of us reached for the soy sauce. And served with the fried rice, a honey poached tomato to help cut through the beefy richness.
The final savoury dish was Mayura Station Grade 7 Wagyu sirloin steak. Each person was asked how he or she wanted her steak done. My cubes of steak were a precisely cooked tender medium.
Dessert consisted of genmaicha pannacotta, mountain peach with kinako (roasted soy bean flour) and Japanese baumkuchen. The pannacotta combined green tea and roasted brown rice – a slippery, bitter creation not to my taste. Baumkuchen is a layered butter cake made in countries across Europe but also a popular dessert in Japan. This layer cake had been painstakingly assembled and blow-torched layer by layer. With each bite I enjoyed the crackle and crunch of caramelised crust. The mountain peach was juicy and refreshing, but watch out for the pip inside.
Fuku glows and sizzles, surprises and delights. It’s intimate, yet interactive and social. The most striking feature of the stunning decor is the illuminated wall of sake, showcasing around 500 bottles, some exclusive imports. Even for the non-sake drinker, there is breathtaking pleasure in the beautiful display of glass and colour.
Ladies, make sure you check out the amazing multifunction toilet which has a heated seat and a multitude of buttons to press, including wash, dry and massage. Press the cryptically labelled “Etiquette” button and you’ll be treated to “natural and harmonious tunes”. We weren’t game to try “Turbo”.
Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki
20 Glyde Street (right next to Tsunami)
Open Monday to Saturday for dinner only.
- The booking system used by Fuku is very similar to that of Momofuku Ko in New York (even down to the minimalist website design). Reservations for Fuku are taken online only – they do not have a telephone and do not accept email bookings. Tsunami will not accept bookings for Fuku.
- A prepayment of $50 is required to secure your seats.
- The amber lantern by the door will be “on” if there are seats available for walk-ins on any given night.
- Read the FAQ for more details or make a reservation.
- Currently open for dinner only; closed on Mondays.
TFP and Jac dined as guests of Fuku Omakase and Teppanyaki restaurant. Thanks to Brett, Chef Tetsuya and all the team for a great evening.
There is another Fuku in Perth (unrelated to Fuku and Tsunami of Mosman Park) – it’s called Fuku Sushi, on Royal Street in East Perth.
The photographs in this post were taken with my new Nikon D600 camera using a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I’m working on a post about the new camera and my reflections on my photography, what I have learned from 7+ years of taking and blogging pictures and how my photography has changed over the years. I’m ploughing through quite a backlog of photographs taken with my ‘old’ Panasonic G2 camera, so it will be some time before the blog only features the new camera’s photos. I’m still learning how to use my new camera and having fun doing so.