Sitting in this minimalist dining room, in a Stirling Highway restaurant, we have a strong sense of Déjà vu. Less than a year ago we were dining in this very venue, anticipating an experience of excellent food, service and wine. This time around we’re not dining at Pata Negra, but Chef David Coomer’s new baby – Fuyu. Earlier this year the tapas bar closed its doors and was reborn as an Asian fusion eatery.
Fuyu, meaning persimmon in Japanese, draws inspiration for their menu from the cuisines of Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, Vietnam and Australia. The bones of the restaurant are essentially the same, with a lick of black paint and some red feature lights giving the dramatic room a warm ambiance. It’s quite a dark dining room – so you’ll have to excuse my photos! They certainly don’t do the delicious food justice.
The service is polished, although no quite as on point as our experience at Pata Negra. As with Pata Negra, the food is still served in a share style, many of the dishes you assemble yourself. There’s also a nicely put together wine list, though not too many are available by the glass.
To start, Chef and I choose a couple of small bites. I’d like to order almost everything from the menu, but we are aware that we want to reach dessert! The beef tartare, $24.50, is served with a salted duck egg. This dish is best eaten with hands and scooped up with a large, bright pink beetroot wafer, which is much like a prawn cracker. We love this Asian twist on a classic dish. The beef tartare is brimming with the fresh flavours of Vietnamese herbs and we eat it wrapped in bitter betel leaves.
The plump half shell Esperance scallop, $8.50 each, sits upon a slice of incredibly sweet pineapple and caramelised duck neck.
Fluffy Gua Bao buns, $6.50 each, are stuffed with morsels of succulent pork belly, pickled cucumber and lashings of hoisin sauce.
We take sliced tender and juicy Cape Grim sirloin, $38.50, and wrap the meaty pink morsels with fresh herbs in iceberg lettuce cups – san choi bow style. With a little heat from the nahm jim jaew chilli sauce and crunch of the lettuce and daikon pickles, this dish is full of texture and flavour.
We just have to order one of Fuyu’s signature dishes, the crispy aromatic half duck, $58. The duck is served Asian-style, chopped into large pieces, still on the bone. We were the lucky purchasers of duck #958. With the dining room’s low light, I have to eat it carefully, so not to eat any bones by mistake. The crisp skin is ever so moreish and unbelievably crunchy – almost like pork crackling! We drizzle a little jug of sweet and sour mandarin sauce carefully over the duck, so to not make the skin soggy. We relish the moist duck meat, which is served on a bed of grilled mustard Asian greens.
We’re surrounded by bustling tables of people enjoying getting their hands dirty over shared meals. There are a lot of impressive looking dishes coming out of the kitchen and it will take a couple of trips to get through many of Fuyu’s favourites. Feeling full, Chef settles on something light for dessert, the salted duck egg custard bun, at $6.50 each. The doughnut like bun is oozing with creamy duck egg custard.
I savour the scrumptious dessert “passionfruit hot and cold”, $16, which could easily be named a “passionfruit surprise”. I’m not sure what to expect. I asked the waitress and she described it as “like a soufflé”. The “hot” component is a passionfruit chiboust, which is incredibly light and fluffy. It is separated from the “cold” element of passionfruit mascarpone parfait by a crisp cinnamon and brown sugar biscuit – all this sits in a pool of passionfruit caramel. What a wonderful dessert!
Just as we had hoped, many things at David Coomer’s Nedlands restaurant remain the same, except of course for the menu. His delicious dishes are easily eaten with your hands which gives their Asian fusion a real street food edge.
At a glance
26 Stirling Highway
Phone 08 9389 5517
■ Opening times
Tuesday to Saturday
6pm till late
value for money 3
■ style – Asian Fusion
■ wine – A well put together
list, though not many drops
are available by the glass.
■ Chef – David Coomer
■ Owner – David Coomer
■ feel – intimate and relaxed
■ wheelchair access – no
Snacks – $4.50 to $8.50
Plates – $14.50 to $58
Dessert – $6.50 to $16
■ all in all – Finger licking food,
well balanced modern Asian
flavours and spot-on technique.
Friendly and attentive service.