Monday, June 2, 2014

Fuku - Mosman Park

Fuku is a small small restaurant in Mosman Park with no windows, and access is granted only via an intercom. Once indoors, feeling like you've been accepted into the sanctum of a private and exclusive club, the the space is very warm, inviting, and intimate. The back wall is lined with Sake bottles, of which the venue claims to have the largest range and collection in WA. Everyone sits around two Teppenyaki grills with uninterrupted views of the two chefs plying their trade with flair and grace. I love the theatrical aspect of seeing your food prepared, speculating on what's coming next, who's-getting-that-dish and I-hope-that-one-is-ours!


The menu is served Omakase style (chef's choice), akin to a degustation, and there are three options (good, better, best). We opted for the "Best" menu - 10 courses: abundant fresh seafood, Wagyu beef, Quail, and dessert.

Fuku also has an impressive alcohol menu, with a gigantic range of Japanese single malts, wines, and Sake. I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a Sake Pairing. Being novitiate Sake drinkers, this really allowed us to distinguish between the different types and flavours - the lighter and heavier, fruity and sour, warm and cold. The last serve was an amazing Plum wine, very smooth, subtle, sweet, and well matched with our dessert. Being the curious nerd I am, I would have appreciated a little more description or back-story behind each of the courses, but probably wouldn't have remembered much of it anyway. 


Beef Tendons

Our Amuse-Bouche: hot and cold Beef tendon. The warm Beef Tendon was soft, juicy, and well flavoured. At the risk of sounding inarticulate, it was just plain old yummy.

Fried Whiting, deep fried Edamame, a mixture of raw fish (Ocean Trout, Tuna), fried Nori (seaweed), Chawanmushi with Foie Gras

We were instructed to use the seaweed to dip into the fish Tartare, which was cold and refreshing. The deep-fried Edamame came with a fish-roe sauce (the small blob pictured, bottom left) which when mixed tasted a little of fish fingers. The Chawanmushi - a type of steamed custard - was bestowed a decadence by the presence of Foie Gras, and had a rich taste with subtle eddies of the meaty Goose liver.


Sashimi: Sweet Prawn, Salmon, Toro (fatty tuna belly)

I love raw fish, and the chance to eat it without it being spoiled by trails of Mayonnaise or mixed in with Avocado or drowned in Soy Sauce. The ethos when serving seafood at Fuku is to let the freshness and delicate flavours of the fish stand on their own and be appreciated. And appreciate this I did. In spades.


Toro. The fatty belly of a Tuna. One of my favourite foods. I can't help but close my eyes and let out a little sigh of ecstasy as I allow the room temperature piece of fish to dissolve in my mouth. The butterfly carved out of a single piece of carrot was also quite cute.

Nigiri: gently seared Toro, Wagyu with Foie Gras, Sea Eel, Red Emperor with tomato salsa

Glorious! A second serving of Toro! It wasn't ruined at all by the light searing from a blowtorch. The Wagyu was also bursting with flavour, however a little chewy. I adore the combination of seaweed and meat. The eel was salty and firm. The Red Emperor and Tomato Salsa was a surprising hit; we cleaned the plate.

Charcoal grilled free range organic Quail

My experience with the flavours in this dish don't really let me describe the profile of what I tasted with the justice it deserves. Some other blogs describe the Quail as having been prepared with a Pomegranate sauce, but I don't believe ours was. The best I can do is issue an array of gushing superlatives and clich├ęd adjectives like "luscious", "sublime", "exquisite", and so forth. 

The Quail was seated on a bed of Oyster Mushrooms, with I think even more mushrooms on top. The charcoal grill gave a beautiful smokiness to the soft meat. Moist, juicy, flawlessly de-boned, and unbeatable. Sourced directly from farmers in the Hunter Valley.



Crayfish

C was a little nervous about the white sauce we saw being prepared for other diners, concerned it may spoil the taste of her Crayfish. Her fears were unfounded, as it was a fluffy Miso flavoured sauce rather than a cheesy Bechamel, and it teamed up well with the ample amount of sweet flesh from the Crayfish. Mouthwatering.

Swordfish

Fresh catch of the day - Swordfish with green Beans and a perfectly seared scallop (still raw in the middle). I don't remember much about this dish, other than it being spectacular.



One of our chefs who performed a number of tricks - juggling utensils and salt and pepper shakers, flipping eggs and cracking them mid-air and making a volcano out of a flaming onion. Fortunately there was no flipping of food into our mouths, however one stray piece of fried rice did come flying our way. No harm, no foul. A few times during the night he had the entire restaurant applauding with his showmanship.


Wagyu

Wagyu 9+ marble score Beef. I mistakenly asked for this to be served rare, which doesn't allow the fat in the beef to melt properly and reveal its full depth, but it was still flavourful and well enjoyed. We didn't use any of the sauces provided - the beef didn't need it. 

Plum Wine, Matcha Ice Cream with Adzuki Beans and Rice, Sweet potato tart
Mountain peach.

I can't remember what the dessert with the strawberries was - it was cream cheese something? The best out of the three was definitely the ice cream with red beans and rice. 

If I had one complaint for the night it would be that our food was served a little too quickly - often food would appear as the previous plate was being cleared. We were there however for almost three hours, and once we asked for the service to be slowed a little our request was honoured. Fuku does require a deposit for bookings made in advance, but that's understandable. 

Fuku definitely rates among my top dining experiences. It offers a complete package: a unique ambience, extremely high quality food, showmanship, service, and great drinks selections. If you're looking at the price and asking yourself if it's worth it, I highly recommend it.




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