You’ll find the inconspicuous Tsunami Ko, a small teppanyaki restaurant, on leafy Glyde Street in Mosman Park. If it wasn’t for the neon sign, you’d probably walk straight past its small frontage. As we arrive at the door, I press the intercom button. I wonder if we need a secret password – it feels very exclusive. The golden frosted glass door slides across and we are greeted and seated around the long teppanyaki bar by our friendly waitress.
“Ko” means “Son of” in Japanese and so it makes sense that Tsunami Ko is found next to popular Japanese restaurant Tsunami. It’s an intimate eatery, only seating 16 people. Sake bottles cover one wall and there are beautiful lit Japanese murals behind the grills. We choose the “steak and seafood dinner”, $59.90 each from the teppanyaki menu. Omakase (chef’s choice) is also available and must be booked in advance.
I try different varieties of sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. I find it sweet and slightly acidic. Chef enjoys a Japanese Yamaguchi beer. If sake is not your thing, Tsunami Ko also offers an extensive wine list, as well as the largest Japanese whiskey collection in Perth.
We begin our set dinner with a simple salad of tomato and lettuce. I soon realise I’m out of practice with chopsticks. I eat a large lettuce leaf, without much coordination, but that’s half of the fun.
Teppanyaki makes for an entertaining meal. As well as fresh food being cooked right before our eyes on the teppan grill, there’s the food theatre. The chefs are very handy with a pair of spatulas. They juggle them in the air, as well as creating some impressive flames on the grill.
In addition to the set dinner, we choose a couple of dishes to share from the extra’s menu. A plate of precision cut sashimi, $19, with a selection of salmon, local tuna and Hiramasa king fish is beautifully presented. The raw seafood is firm and fabulously fresh.
We watch our pork belly skewers $7, being charred over hot coals, on the imported Japanese Sumiyaki (charcoal grill). White charcoal gives the belly a crisp and smoky finish. The meaty morsels, served with just the right amount of fat, are incredibly tender and finished with a mildly spicy miso sauce.
There’s a choice of appetiser. I pick the crisp tempura mix of kale, sweet potato and prawn.
Chef relishes the thinly sliced smoked Wagyu tataki, which is briefly seared with a blowtorch.
I sip a steaming miso soup as we watch the Chef cook our main meal, flipping Shark Bay prawns, scallop imported from Japan, swordfish and beef tender loin expertly with his spatulas. They are seasoned with salt and pepper, then the multi-talented Chef spins the salt and pepper mills around in his hand and throwing them backwards over his shoulder. The meat and seafood dinner, with sautéed cabbage and carrot, is also accompanied by three tasty dipping sauces. The tender loin steak, served diced for easy eating with chopsticks, has a delicious depth of flavour.
One of my favourite dishes of the night is also one of the most simple. We upgrade our fried rice for $8, to a pimped-up Wagyu beef version. The fluffy rice soaks up the flavoursome wagyu juices, making this egg fried rice extremely moreish.
Feeling full, we share a simple dessert of yuzu honey ice cream, $10. The yuzu is an Asian citrus with tart flavours similar to an orange or mandarin. The honey softens the tartness, making the house made scoops of ice cream absolutely scrumptious. Chef and I almost come to blows over who gets to eat the last scoop.
The Tsunami Ko experience is quintessentially Japanese. Even the loos have more buttons than a Foxtel remote! I thought I had momentarily been transported to Tokyo on my trip to the ladies.
Chef and I dined at Tsunami Ko a few years ago, during the mining boom, when it was known as Fuku. Back then, was an expensive and high end dinner offering. Now, Tsunami Ko is more approachable and affordable, with quality still at its core. The food at Tsunami Ko is perfectly cooked, service is very attentive and there’s never a dull moment with juggling Chefs around!
At a glance
■ Tsunami Ko
20 Glyde Street
Phone 042 278 0661
■ Opening times
Tues – Sun
6pm till late
value for money 4
■ style – Japanese Teppanyaki
■ wine – An large wine menu,
with a well stocked reserve
list. Sake, rice wine, is their specialty.
■ Chef – Tetsuya Sakamoto
■ Owners – Brett Carboni and Tetsuya Sakamoto
■ feel – intimate and exclusive
■ wheelchair access – No
Set Dinners $42 – $64.90
Sides – $7 – $34
Dessert $5 – $14
■ all in all – Tsunami Ko has
it all. Well cooked food,
knowledgeable service and it’s
packed full with food theatre!