IT’S the summer that refuses to pack its bags.
On Tuesday lunchtime it was a balmy 32 degrees celsius and Royal Street in East Perth was teeming with office workers and students grabbing something to eat.
I don’t know if it was the sunny weather, but I’ve never seen the little stretch between Plain and Bennett Streets so busy.
When I’ve visited previously it has been like a designer morgue with upmarket shops doubling as headstones and the odd wealthy retiree looking like a gravedigger in high heels. But this week it was buzzing and I fed off the energy, lengthening my gait as I headed towards Fuku Sushi for my Asian treat.
I had visited Fuku many years ago and wanted to check if it was still keeping up its high standards.
The menu had a wide range of hot dishes including bento, Japanese curry, dumpling soup, donburi, udon, ramen, burgers, stir fry and bao.
As well as a wide selection of sushi, rice paper rolls, sashimi, inari, nigiri and sides.
Basically it had all the bases covered, but the menu was well presented and didn’t feel overwhelming or cluttered.
Although it was hot, I felt like something substantial and ordered a teriyaki beef don buri ($12.50).
The small eatery was packed with people getting takeaway and sitting-in, but I managed to secure a bench seat at the window.
It wasn’t long before the pleasant staffer delivered my steaming bowl of goodness.
First off, it was well presented and looked amazingly fresh and pleasing on the eye (some don buri look like a hand grenade has gone off in a paddy field).
The spring onions and slightly spicy dressing really got the tastebuds zinging, adding some pizazz to the dish.
The main attraction – the thinly sliced beef – had that classic teriyaki flavour but wasn’t overly salty and had been nicely seasoned.
At first I though the meat was a bit stringy, but it was actually a little strip of rind that had been left on the edge. Some will like this, others not.
So often the salad is a let down in a don buri – desiccated and tasteless – but these greens were spot on and super fresh.
It all came together when paired with the huge, tasty serve of sticky rice.
A very enjoyable don buri which could only have been improved by having more tender beef.
I took home some cooked tuna and avocado sushi (five for $7), teriyaki chicken sushi (eight for $11) and prawn rice paper rolls (three for $7) for the rest of the clan.
I’ve never been a fan of rice paper rolls – the membrane-like texture reminds me of a scene from Alien or worst, so I’ve stayed away for years.
But these rice paper rolls restored my faith and had a pleasant light texture that didn’t stick to the roof of your mouth for days. More importantly the prawns were top notch: really big and good quality.
The sushi got the thumbs-up from my young kids Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles, who wolfed it down in no time.
Fuku Sushi is even better than I remember – the interior had been revamped and the food has gone up a level.
It’s just a great option for a quick, cheap, good quality Japanese meal that puts other more salubrious restaurants to shame.
118 Royal Street, East Perth
by STEPHEN POLLOCK