Kuki Tanuki is a small Japanese bar/restaurant in Erskineville, that I’ve walked past a hundred times but never got around to trying. This blog has made me go back to all those sorts of places, and start trying them out, and this one most definitely paid off.
It’s set up more like a little micro-bar, with bench seats and stools on low coffee tables, and a few larger shared tables in the back for groups. This gives the initial impression that it’s going to be focussed on the drinks and shared food, and have pretty basic meals… but it’s not. The meals are absolutely amazing. Some of the best Japanese food I’ve had in Sydney, bar none.
For entrees we had Gyoza and Prawn Sushi Roll. Gyoza are one of my go-to menu items at all Japanese places, and set a benchmark… they were awesome. Soft pastry, crunchy fried tops, and the insides were the right mix of pork mince and extras so you could still taste the pork (so often it’s just tasteless mush inside). The Prawn Roll was perfect as well. The prawns were so fresh they popped as you bit in, and it was all-round just a perfect sushi roll.
For mains we had a Seafood Salad and Pork Ribs. The Seafood Salad was good. Not mind-blowingly so, but still very nice. It was a basic lettuce/tomato/cucumber salad with some nice tempura prawns and calamari on top, and a wasabi-mayonaise dressing. I like simple salads though, so I still very much enjoyed it.
The Pork Ribs were another level though, wow. You could literally pull pieces of pork off the bones just with your chopsticks, and the sauce that was all over it was delicious, though a bit too salty (we had to order a side dish of rice since it came with none, to balance off the saltiness).
We also happened to fluke on Happy Hour, so tried a jug of their house cocktail which was a midori-based thing with limes, cherries, etc. The wifey seemed to love it, so bonus points there (happy wife, happy life!). Then we washed it all down with some cold sake, to complete a very enjoyable night out.
As we waddled home, I asked wifey to rate the place out of 5… her answer (while clutching her belly) was “nom nom nom nom nom nom out of nom!”… so I think they won us over.