Fuku is a fairly new addition to the Perth restaurant scene. It has been open since October 2012 and is an annexe to Tsunami restaurant next door.
The restaurant offers three set menus: “Good” is $100 per head for 4 courses, “Better” is $135 per head for 8 courses, and “Best” is $220 per head for 10 courses. It also has a very comprehensive sake list. The restaurant seats 16 around a long teppenyaki bar which is divided into two grill plates. It is a smart restaurant with a fabulous array of sake bottles adorning the wall, and the friendly staff are very welcoming and helpful.
We had the 8 course “Better” menu, which started with a fabulous textural dish of Kawa ebi (crispy freshwater river shrimp) and sun dried crispy nori sheet. The flavour of this dish was excellent, and the crunchy feel of the ingredients was a real taste sensation.
The second course was a plate of ‘small morsels’ containing Wagyu beef with white sesame sauce and zucchini, snapper and octopus, with yuzu and basil, a tempura oyster with a ginger salsa, and deep fried green tea noodles.
Each item on the plate was skilfully cooked, the presentation could have maybe been a bit more precise – Japanese food is usually beautifully and perfectly presented, and this plate lacked a bit of presentation finesse. The flavours were delicious, and the quality of the ingredients shone through, but I did feel that the ginger salsa overpowered the oyster a little, and maybe a smaller amount of salsa would have been better.
The next course was sashimi. This was faultless – the quality of the fish was amazing – tuna, salmon, tobiko (flying fish roe), prawn, and rolls of snapper with japanese pickles. The wasabe was hot, just how I like it.
The fourth course was quail. The quails were spatchcocked and grilled, and served up in buckwheat pancakes with beetroot relish and cucumber. This reminded me very much of a Japanese version of ‘aromatic crispy duck’ which is often served in Chinese restaurants. It was a very nice dish, but a bit tricky to eat with chopsticks as the pancakes were very loosely wrapped, so I ended up using my fingers.
The fifth dish was my favourite dish of the whole menu. Scallop, prawn and crispy prawn head. Chef Jaymon cooked them on the grill in front of us, carefully removing the more inedible portions of the prawn head and grilling the rest of the prawn with a perfect amount of charring. The scallop was cooked to perfection. The whole dish was then dressed in sea urchin butter which Jaymon melted and browned on the grill. The ingredients were top quality.
The next course was the fish of the day, which was red emperor, with an aubergine cut and shaped like a mushroom, a slice of lotus root, and miso and rosemary sauce. The fish was very good quality and the whole plate worked really well. After this dish I started to feel very full, and was hoping that I could manage the last two courses.
The next course was Wagyu steak grade 9+ with fried rice. The chefs put on a real performance, juggling spatulas and forks, then juggling eggs and breaking them on the edge of the spatula. They made onion volcanos by separating onion rings on the grill, building them up into a tower and then igniting them. The chef display kept everybody entertained and amazed.
The wagyu tasted like no beef I have ever tasted before, it melted in my mouth, and matched perfectly with the spicy miso sauce accompaniment and grilled garlic.
The final course was a Yuzu cheesecake with mountain peach and chocolate drink.
This dish was not sickly sweet, the chocolate drink was warm and very drinkable, the mountain peach looked like a small raspberry and had a stone inside, and the cheesecake was baked with a hint of citrus from the yuzu.
It was nice, but not the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. Because dessert is usually the last memory of a restaurant it is really important to finish with a flourish, and I probably found this dish a little disappointing after the lovely courses that had gone before.
With my meal I had a lychee non-alcoholic cocktail which was really good.
Other aspects of the restaurant were quite interesting. The ladies toilet had a light up mirror and a toilet/bidet with a control panel and a warmed seat – very entertaining. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly, the chefs Jaymon and Gary were talented and entertaining. Fuku is a place that I would take friends to if I wanted them to have quality food with entertainment thrown in.
Will I go back to Fuku regularly ? Probably not more than once a year – the main reason being that it is quite expensive. I know why Fuku charges those prices, because the quality of the ingredients is clear, however, I can go to Nobu and have a meal for less, and Nobu is world-renowned for it’s menu choice, finesse and quality.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fuku and I would like to thank the staff for a fabulous evening.