Kuki Tanuki – Erskineville NSW Japanese Restaurant Review

Intrigued by the promise of aburi scallop and steam sake fish, we drove to and parked in Erskineville to eat at Kuki Tanuki. Unfortunately when we arrived we encountered a menu significantly different to what was posted online on Zomato (no doubt we had seen an old one). This is our story.

Wagyu Beef Bowl ($25) – The wagyu beef bowl was the most expensive dish that we tried. It was a large bowl of rice topped with seared beef and a low temperature egg. I personally found the beef to be very raw, and did not think it was seared enough. Chewing on the raw beef I could really imagine the life that Daisy had led in the fields and under the sun. The beef was so raw that I could still taste some of her emotions. My partner did not find the beef so raw as it was difficult to see in the lighting just how raw it was. I did however really enjoy the egg and how it mixed into the rice. I wonder if these guys could take some inspiration from bowlsoc, and their illustrious leader the Meat Master.

Chicken Yakitori with tare (3 for $9). I really enjoyed the yakitori. My partner often confuses yakitori and yakiniku and doesn’t let me eat it very often. One of the negative aspects of the yakitori and I guess the meal was that all of the dishes were served concurrently. The yakitori therefore had time to rest on the counter while waiting for the cow to be slaughtered and put directly onto the rice. In doing so, the yakitori cooled down and ended up a bit lukewarm by time of eating.

The sashimi nachos ($13) were a lot more deconstructed than I had anticipated. In my short lifetime all nachos I have had have had the tortilla chips mixed into the salsa/dip. In this case we were served discrete tortilla chips and a bowl of sashimi and salsa mix and given no instruction. Using my keen sense of innovatoin and drawing on my past experience I was able to scoop some of the nacho mix onto these chips. They were ok. The chips were crunchy. The filling was fine. I wish they had just come as tacos.

Tasmania Roll ($17). My partner is a big aburi salmon fan, and even though she was outside making an important call and I had to choose all of the dishes by myself I knew that she would like this. The Tasmania roll basically had some aburi salmon on top and avocado and cucumber in the middle. My partner quite liked it but in my humble opinion I did not like that the middle was only green. It was a field of wasted opportunity.

The Soft shell crab mini burgers (2 for $13) were good though a bit oversauced.

The Yuzu sake ($10) was expensive but very good. My partner is a big fan of sour things, and liked it so much that she asked them if she could buy some for home. The answer was no.

Overall we ended up spending $81 for a dinner for two but weren’t able to have the two things I really wanted. This makes me quite sad. We will try and come back if the scallops reappear.

Kuki Tanuki
 63 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville NSW 2043
(02) 8084 7438

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