Saturday, 22 June 2013

Fuku Omakase & Teppanyaki

Fuku - Omakase and Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon

One of the best things about being friends with a food blogger is the off-chance that you will be The Chosen One as their guest to attend an exclusive Bloggers' Dinner, that they have handpicked from a large lottery of friends. So when the day came that Whitney casually asked me to be her +1 at Fuku, I knew I had one of the bestest, most awesome and kindest friends I could ask for.

Ever since reading the flood of blog posts that circulated the foodie scene when Fuku first opened, I've been dying for a visit. Since the price tag is a bit too extravagant for poor old me, this has always been just a dream. So as the invitation came around my birthday, all I managed was a dumbfounded Oh my god, YES! before working up the courage to cold-heartedly decline Andy, who'd booked a restaurant for us the same night. Oh the guilt!

Ignorant me didn't realise that all guests needed to be present before the dinner show started. Being late already made me red-faced, but realising that all the faces here were the ones behind all the food blogs I religiously follow made me beetroot-faced! I became a little fangirl - in between the shrieking, I was humbled and very much starstruck to meet the celebrities of my life.
The biggest sake collection in Western Australia
Decorating an entire wall from ceiling to floor is the largest congregation of saké bottles I have witnessed to date. Fuku is home to the biggest range of premium saké on display, an impressive sight that makes my eyes light up just like the onion rings that are set alight later on during dinner.

For saké enthusiasts, the best approach to take is probably to utilise the services of a designated driver for the drive home and experience a saké degustation alongside dinner. Each course is paired with a saké that has been specifically chosen to match, and is a brilliant way to sample the huge variety on offer. 8 courses does mean 8 cups of alcohol, to which my neighbour admitted defeat and ended up offering me his last cup.
Braised Pork with Pickled Wasabi and Balsamic Reduction
I'm a bit of a pain and am one of those diners that chefs need to accommodate for. As I did not have the chance to notify the restaurant of my fatty food intolerance prior to coming, Fuku is to be highly commended for being able to address my food intolerances at the very last minute.

As a substitute for the dish that the rest of the diners were served, the chefs prepared a simple but lovely starter of braised pork. I especially liked the mild heat of the pickled wasabi, which added a nice crunchy texture to each mouthful. We enjoyed the tenderness of the pork, and both Whitney and I agreed that the taste was reminiscent of char siu - a meat with sweeter flavours than most and otherwise known as BBQ pork.
Kawa Ebi and Sundried Crispy Nori Sheet
Whilst I was enjoying my personal dish, the rest of the diners tucked into a box loaded high with deep fried river prawns and pieces of crisp seaweed sheets. Although I did not try any (boo...), the shrimp looked gorgeously crisp and seemed like the perfect little things to whet the appetite.

I did sneak in some of the seaweed sheets though, which had a good crunch just as their appearance suggested. Their looks and texture reminded me of black sesame candy, a big favourite of mine. Being salted and crisp, they are a great alternative to potato chips. Now, if only they sold these in the supermarket aisles...
Lined up and (almost) ready to go!
This was a highly common sight throughout the night - uniformly lined up and finetuned plates, where chefs added the intricate finishing touches and made sure each oyster was leaning at a precise angle before serving to diners. The amount of attention to detail is astounding but a very delicate touch that reflects the professionalism, dedication and pride that the team at Fuku put into their work.
Small Morsels (anti-clockwise from top) - Tempura Oyster with Ginger Salsa, Tempura Soba, Red Emperor served with Octopus Salad and Smoked Wagyu
Entitled otsumami, the next course features bite-sized portions of seafood and beef that have been meticulously laid out and presented in an attractive fashion. From what I have read and heard, the tempura oyster was divine and heaven in food form. I could sing praises all day about the spiced sesame dressing that I wiped clean with the zucchini and wagyu, which had a delicate smoked flavour and went so perfectly with the strong flavoured dressing.
Citrus Poached Scampi (hidden beneath the tempura tree)
I was struck with foodie luck tonight and enjoyed a delicious and well-sized portion of scampi, whilst the only thing Whitney was struck with was food envy. Unfortunately this is not on the normal menu, and was served as a substitute for the tempura oyster. It was perfectly cooked as one would expect, and truly trumped all the other components on the dish in my humble and honest opinion.

Drawing much attention, fascination and the popular question of the night "Can we eat this?" was the beautiful bouquet of soba noodles, with tempura blossoms hugging each branch. Looking more ornament-like than edible, the bunched up crunchy noodles are such a clever creation and adds much aesthetic appeal to the dish.
Sashimi - Tasmanian Salmon, Fermented Fremantle Tuna, Exmouth Prawn and Pink Snapper with Japanese Pickle
I was delighted to learn that sashimi was on the menu tonight, despite it being a ubiquitous aspect of Japanese cuisine. I absolutely adore sashimi and have to admit I was slightly underwhelmed with what I tasted. Fresh no doubt, but there was just something lacking in the texture that I couldn't pinpoint.

Now before I sound like an ungrateful little brat or even worse, a wannabe food critic, I have to emphasise I still thoroughly enjoyed everything on the plate. The pickle wrapped Pink Snapper was something new, as was the raw prawn - juicy with a subtle sweetness, and absolutely no hints of fishiness whatsoever.
One of the many bottles opened that night
Happening concurrently to the serving of courses was the generous flow of sake for all the diners, which I'm sure would have been much more appreciated had most of us not driven ourselves to dinner. Service was fantastic with detailed description of sake names, their origins and tastes while glasses were kept topped up without having to ask them to be - absolutely no hand raising was required.
Just so you know, this scene was for modelled purposes only and that bottle of sake is actually unopened :P
Fuku brought out their toy for the guests to admire, which resulted in a lot of ooohs, ahhhs and camera flashes. Allowed to look but not touch, all of us piled around and learnt of this device which was capable of chilling sake, to a temperature that top-grade sake varieties are recommended to be enjoyed at.
Lychee Mocktail
I regretted my decision to turn down drinks at the beginning of dinner as I was only a guest and did not want to go all out and exploit what was already a free dinner. A lychee mocktail was suggested to Whitney upon declining further refills of sake, served in a tall glass that we joked had a part time job being a flower vase.

I loved the tropical island holiday feeling of this mocktail, which was light and refreshing to drink. All the diners were kept well hydrated throughout dinner, being saturated with an assortment of beverages including sake, cocktails, sparkling water and brown rice green tea.
Scallop, Prawn and Crispy Prawn Head
The next course is simplistic with no fuss, but so wonderfully prepared that I think this was my favourite (amongst others haha) dish of the night. It was here where the teppanyaki action truly began, and the hot plate turned on for the rest of the courses to come. The atmosphere immediately enlivened when both chefs began to animate their teppan skills whilst preparing this dish.

The speed and accuracy with which the chefs deshelled and decapitated the prawns was astounding, which would have any home cook jealous with the time that could be saved trying to deshell each prawn - a painstakingly long process. The result was a delectable Tiger prawn, firm but springy to the bite. Accompanying this was a plump and perfectly seared scallop - smooth, juicy and full of its own natural sweetness.

As I am arachnophobic, it was slightly unpleasant to see the tangle of "legs" on the prawn head. Once I got over my silly thoughts and shrugged off my shivers, chomping down on the unbelievably crisp shell was a delicious moment. As all the components were grilled in sea urchin butter, the seafood was left with a glossy magazine sheen on the surface, that seeped right through the flesh to impart its rich flavour and scent.
Free range Quail, Buckwheat Crepe, Beetroot Relish and Szechuan Pepper Sauce
We are told that this course involves quail, served in buckwheat crepes that had been handmade by the chefs. The quail being used is organic, and belongs to the biggest species of quails available. Although being handmade is a nice touch, I did think the crepes were a bit bland and undermined the ability for the quail to show its true colours.

The quail meat was deboned and still warm from the hotplate it was grilled on. The beetroot relish accompaniment was the underdog of this dish, but was the thing that actually won my heart. That is a massive statement from me, as I am very anti-beetroot and usually despise its deep, earthy taste.
Giving the diners some action on the hotplate
Ready, Aim, Fire!
These pictures depict the process of preparing the next course, which was the Fish of the Day. On this night, swordfish was fish of the night, which looked like little pork steaks grilling on the barbie with string beans.

There were many steps involved; from the initial cooking of the fish, the transfer onto pre-prepared plates and the arrangement of components on the plates before whipping out the blow torch for the final finishing off touches to further sear the swordfish (and the long leaf it was presented on) before serving.
Pyromaniac at work (It took me a good several attempts on the burst mode setting of the camera to capture that flame!)
Fish of the Day: Swordfish, Lotus Root, Eggplant and Yuzu Miso Sauce
Starting to feel a little stuffed at this point but wanting to fit in as much as possible, I was still eager to try this next course that had been grilled, arranged, blowtorched and beautified to perfection. I am accustomed to flaky, soft and moist fish so the thickness and firmness of the swordfish was not a massive hit with me. It did however, have a lovely citrusy flavour from the yuzu miso sauce.

I am a massive eggplant fan and initially thought we were being served mushrooms. Pardon my ignorance. I love the way it is showcased on this dish, bringing out its simplicity and proving vegetables need not be Plain Jane. Hiding beneath the fish is a single lotus root, which I wish wish wished was a quadruple, quintuple, or even a sextuple serving.
You are my fire, the one desire...
This is an act I've seen chefs display at all the teppanyaki restaurants I've visited, and it's one I never get tired of. In addition to that split second of excitement, dining at a teppanyaki restaurant is all about that direct and close proximity to where all the action is at.
Watch your eyebrows.
Precise, undisturbed concentration. Something I fail at.
Wagyu (Full Blood) Sirloin Steak, Onion Rings and Spicy Miso Sauce
Devoting all my tummy to this penultimate course, I could eat a few more rounds of this heavenly wagyu despite feeling full just a minute ago. The chefs explain this is top grade wagyu we're getting, and has exceptional marbling throughout the meat, giving it that fatty, smooth, truly melt-on-your-tongue effect.

It was most amusing, when asking for cooking preferences for beef, that the chef eventually managed to convince the rare/medium rare beef eaters to change their decision to medium. This consensus was reached when we were educated about the wagyu, and that its prime state was in fact medium. I do think the onions could have been grilled and caramelised for much longer, but that crispy garlic...should definitely be packaged into plastic bags and sold as chips. Deeeeelish!
Fried Rice with Wagyu flavour
I'm an absolute sucker for rice and I don't think this extravagant 8 course meal would have felt complete without this staple food. The combination of beef mince, eggs and about a small truckload's worth of butter was a beautiful marriage of flavours, yet too much of a guilty pleasure that I had to give up most of my portion to dear Whitney, who polished the bowl out. Easily.
Yuzu Cheesecake, Chocolate Drink, Mountain Peach and Wasabi Cream
Yuzu made several prominent appearances on the menu, and featured in the grand finale dessert to end the night. A small cauldron of chocolate bubbled away to be poured into cups for us to sip (believe me, you will NOT be able to down it like a shot if you tried) whilst we dig away at the cheesecake. It was very rich but had a nice tart flavour to balance out the heavy sweetness of the drink, which actually had a delightful velvety sensation.

As the cheesecake had more of a crumbly texture than I preferred, the sweet and sour balance was well thought out. Whilst this was the final course, I do think that the true finale was the steaming hot refills of green tea - which to me, was the best thing at that point in time when I wished I wore looser pants to dinner.


Fuku is the perfect destination for those special occasion type dinners, when the ambiance, food and service is prioritised over everything else. It ticks all the boxes, and the extensive knowledge on display by all the staff is incredible. Impeccable service tied with a classy yet comfortable environment makes it an enjoyable experience all round, which continues inside the restrooms, with multifunction toilets and touch-screen light up mirrors!

Needless to say, the food is enticing and top quality. It is exquisite and carries a premium price; starting at $100 to $220 per person for their Good, Better and Best teppanyaki menus and $75 for a Make Your Own version. It won't seem like a lot, but you might just roll out the door by the end of the night.

With this comes talented chefs who know how to put on a good show, who showcase their knife handling, utensil spinning and pepper shaker throwing skills. Essentially, a $100+ ticket not only gives you front row entertainment at a theatrical dining experience, but also a really good answer for the next time someone asks you, "So where's a good place to eat?"

0403 470 964

Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday
Walk ins or online reservation (deposit required)



  1. Great write up and photos! Was lovely to meet you and Whitney. Will see you both again soon I'm sure!

  2. Looks absolutely beautiful! Japanese food can have such wow factor

    1. Yes! Especially when it is beautifully delivered too :)


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