ROYAL STREET in East Perth resembled a ghost town on Tuesday night.
Virtually everything was closed, and the neon lights in the distance cast an eerie glow over the deserted Claisebrook Cove.
Thankfully Fuku Sushi was a culinary beacon, and I headed towards its glowing sign like a slightly overweight moth.
I last visited the eatery about six years ago with my wife. It’s downsized and moved a few doors down since then, but is still going and open on a Tuesday night.
The menu included a classic mix of bentos, donburis, stir fries, curries and noodle soups.
There was a good range of cold drinks and teas, including taro milk and honey red lemon red, and some intriguing asian-style burgers like katsu prawn and teriyaki fish.
Within a few minutes of ordering the smiley waiter was back with my Japanese beef curry ($13.5).
It was piping hot with plumes of steam rising towards the ceiling, and I liked how the sauce came in a seperate bowl so you could decide how much to add.
The viscous sauce was packed to the gunnels with curry powder and punctuated with dainty chunks of potato and carrot. It had a delicious savoury tang and was perfect for a cold winter’s night.
I’ve had so many curries with fatty or stringy meat, but this incarnation had lovely slices of tender beef.
The generous heap of coriander on the steamed rice added a flavour twist and kept things interesting.
Looking around, the small eatery had lovely Japanese artworks on the wall, including a 3D geisha girl, and there were a few leather bench seats.
Takeaway was clearly its bread and butter, but it felt like this quality of food deserved a grander setting.
Across the small table, the kids were busy tackling their giant chicken katsu bao ($12 for two).
Normally the kids are deathly quiet when eating, but this time they were vocal and very excited.
“I give this one zillion stars!” said my daughter.
“It’s lovely,” my son chimed in. The bao looked delicious, but I was near bursting point and still had to try one of the chicken gyoza ($6.5 for four pieces).
Thankfully they were super light with a soft steamed carapace and minced filling. Again the flavours were top notch and the dish surpassed my expectations.
Throughout the meal the service was superb, with a staffer rushing to my table to give me a new chopstick when mine fell to the floor, and asked if we wanted extra cutlery and some plates for the kids.
My wife was feeling a bit under the weather so she went for the asian equivalent of mum’s chicken broth – chicken katsu udon noodle soup ($15).
The presentation was spot on – slices of tofu bobbing on the surface were like pretty flowers, and rubbed shoulders with some spring onion and spinach.
The katsu chicken, served in a seperate bowl on the side, was lightly brushed with a sweet tomato-based sauce.
“The broth is light and isn’t oily, as some udons can be a bit greasy,” she noted.
“The katsu batter is good and the chicken is nice and tender.
“It’s the perfect comfort food and the serve is absolutely huge.”
Fuku is super value with top-notch food worthy of a bigger setting. They get extra brownie points for being one of the few places open on Royal Street on a Tuesday night.
This little gem is well worth a visit.
2/118 Royal Street East Perth
by STEPHEN POLLOCK