Japanese-Peruvian fusion may not be an obvious combination of cuisines, but it’s what you get when you visit Tsukaya. Head chef Pepe Tsukayama has a mixed heritage from both countries if you’re wondering where the pairing came from.
With more than 25 years’ experience as a sushi chef, his resume includes stints at Nobu in Los Angeles and Perth. Tsukaya’s menu is designed for sharing, neatly separated into plates and sushi rolls and served to you in appropriate order. The plates are where the fusion truly shines, with the base dish of each recognisable from one cuisine – tacos from column A, tataki from column B. Each dish is given a unique twist in its use of meat, seafood or sauce. Some dishes have a substantial chilli kick from the Peruvian sauces dolloped around the plate.
The taco assortment is worth trying, with pork belly the star filling. The attempt at Nobu’s legendary miso black cod was a valiant one, but slightly missed the mark. Friday and Saturday lunch is a daytime opportunity to try the excellent fried chicken wings and “umami fries” (chips to you and me).
As you would expect from a family owned and operated restaurant, the service is friendly although be warned that the setting is pretty basic. But then again, that’s not why you’re here. Tsukaya is BYO, and in-house liquid refreshment comes in the form of some relatively expensive Japanese soft drinks. Be prepared to take your after-dinner sweet tooth elsewhere, as there’s no dessert menu.