This neighbourhood Japanese restaurant brings Nobu-inspired food to the suburbs.

Having spent a large portion of his career at world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurants (in Los Angeles and as head sushi chef at the Perth outpost), it’s almost inevitable that Tsukaya’s chef Pepe Tsukayama would have that famous black-miso cod on the menu. But delve a little deeper at this casual Mount Hawthorn standby and there are standouts that suggest this isn’t Nobu-lite transported out of the CBD. A plate of fanned out wagyu tataki, the edge seared around a fatty red centre, for example, which has zest from yuzu ponzu, crunch from fried garlic, bite from spring onion and delicacy from grated chilli and daikon.

A plate of fanned out wagyu tataki, the edge seared around a fatty red centre, for example, which has zest from yuzu ponzu, crunch from fried garlic, bite from spring onion and delicacy from grated chilli and daikon.

Crisp-fried taco shells stuffed with the likes of sweet miso eggplant or salmon and avocado speak to a fusion of Japanese and South American influences, while pork-belly gyoza (impressively shaped like fagottini) are nicely tender and juicy.

The setting, meanwhile, is one where blond wood and stools complement a prominent sushi counter, with locals spilling onto outdoor tables. The BYO policy, too, reflects the tone. It may not be as fancy as (the very good) James Parker Sushi, or sure, Nobu, but there’s heart, and a whole lot of flavour right here in the suburbs.