|Fukuoka feast: The restaurant offers a variety of Japanese dishes, from sushi to tempura and grilled Kobe beef. — VNS Photo Hoai Nam
With a growing number of Japanese investors working in and visiting Da Nang, the city boasts a variety of Japanese dining options. Cong Thanh samples Fukuoka's fresh sashimi and grilled beef.
Located next to a swimming pool, the Fukuoka Japanese Restaurant features Japanese designs and decorations, but gastronomes are attracted more by its fresh fish and cuisine.
The new restaurant opened last October to give foodies in Da Nang city more dining options.
It is an ideal place to meet and dine, also features a Teppanyaki live counter and a private dining room that sits eight people.
It is on Hoang Sa Street along the My Khe beach, linking Da Nang and the ancient Hoi An town.
The restaurant, from where the beach is just a few steps away through a small lane, always smells of the sea and the surrounding green gardens.
Seafood is the popular choice of diners at Japanese restaurants.
Tuna and salmon are the favourites among 15 kinds of fish imported from Japan.
Tuna sashimi, with five slices on each plate, is the best choice to be made at this restaurant.
Chef Le Thien Cong cut a piece of tuna into slices and set them on plates like waves. He then decorated the dish with ground turnip, perilla and chrysanthemum.
"Cooking is easy but making a cuisine is an art. I spend time in displaying fish and vegetables in a way that would make the mouths of gourmets water. Just see and taste it immediately," Cong said, placing chopsticks beside the dish.
"Tuna is eaten with soya sauce and wasabi, but you must use chopsticks as per the traditional style. Sliced ginger, herbs and chrysanthemum balance the taste of fish," he said.
"We reserve the best and fresh fish to serve during the four seasons of Japanese cuisine, with different sashimi and sushi at the restaurant."
|Sea flavour: Sashimi is extremely popular with Vietnamese customers.
The chef deliberately set up a table of different sushi and sashimi that gastronomes could taste one by one. Sushi of tuna, salmon, tiger prawn, squid and caviar were placed on the table in the shape of sea waves, whales and fish.
Slices of ginger or wine can be had in between bites of sushi, while eating sashimi is easier. Cong explained: "You can get full with fish if you try the range of tuna and salmon sashimi, but sushi has tastes of rice and seaweed."
Koji Yamamoto, manager of the restaurant, said visitors should order a medium-size menu if they want to taste different fish in a meal.
"There are many kind of seafood that you may want to taste including oysters, squids and tiger prawns. But I think fish is always the top choice of the Japanese," Koji said.
He said, "Sake wine can be used at the 'fish party', but it's quite expensive."
Address: 8 Truong Sa Street, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang City
Tel/Fax: 84-511 391 8888/84-511 391 8333
Hours: Lunch: 10:30am-14:00pm Dinner: 17:00pm-22:00pm
Price Range: from VND80,000 to VND1 million
Comment: Fresh fish, a warm welcome and sea air.
The restaurant has a room with a sun-roof, with a table placed around a pan. It is very comfortable for groups of four or five as they can sit around and watch their dish being cooked by the chef.
The chef said Kobe beef is the second most popular item after fish because the beef is known for its quality. A 200-gram portion of beef is enough for a hungry gastronome.
"Beef is fast to cook, but we do that at the table. We arrange a sun-roof corner for an order of roasted Kobe beef. You can sit around and see us cooking," Cong explained.
"They can order raw, medium or well-done beef. The smell of food cooking in the hot pan helps people eat with gusto," he said.
"It's served hot with mixed sauce of chili and lime. Sake or wine is ordered along with the dish."
Not just beef, vegetable, pork, fish, squid can also be cooked and served in front of the customers.
Tiger prawns are deep-fried after being dipped in batter made of flour, fish powder - the most popular seasoning used in Japan - egg and pepper.
The sauce is a mixture of ground turnip, ginger, sea weed and soya sauce.
"The sauce adds a smell of the sea to the fresh tiger prawns. Ginger is always the most popular order by Vietnamese gastronomes during seafood parties at the restaurant," Koji said. He added that Vietnamese gastronomes prefer sashimi to sushi because they want to eat raw fish slices with wasabi.
He said miso soup, which comprises tofu, sea weed and softened miso paste, is included in Japanese-style parties, adding that the Japanese think fresh fish makes them healthier and stronger. The Japanese manager said the chefs make ice cream from green tea for dessert.
Customers can also watch a water puppet show around 8.30pm daily. — VNS