Our family love Japanese food – the three year old eats steamed rice, the eight year old loves her Teriyaki chicken, I love katsu or tempura (anything deep-fried), the five year old prefers expensive sashimi (as long as we don't remind her what it is) or udon noodle soup, and my husband eats our leftovers.
So recently when we were searching for a Japanese restaurant in Mandurah, we were mildly concerned to discover there was only one. In a city of over 80,000 people.
Luckily, that one – Taku Japanese on the main drag (Mandurah Terrace) is quite a find. Sure, it is no-frills, small, needs a bit of redecoration, it only takes cash, and you have to wander into the carpark to go to the toilet – but the food is great, and that is what is important.
Sharing a carpark with group of other restaurants (and Baskin Robins), Taku is not really much of a looker. The maroon painted walls are adorned only with menus and other paper signs, and the kitchen is open and immediately behind the register. But it is popular with the locals and does an impressive trade in dine-in (booking recommended on weekends) and take-away.
There are also deluxe sets – perfect for big eaters, or to share between two people. There are three deluxe sets each building on the one prior. For example set A ($17.50) includes the choice of teriyaki fish, chicken or beef plus tempura and tori kara (crispy chicken in special sauce) plus rice, soup and salad. Set B for $2 extra also includes a California roll, while Set C at $21.50 includes all of the above plus sashimi.
My favourite is the spicy tori kara ($12.50 main) – big chunks of moist chicken in a crispy coating, liberally covered in a spicy (but not overly so) mayonnaise based creamy sauce. Yum.
Prices are reasonable with mains ranging between $10.50 and $17.50, starters and entrees between $6.50 and $9.50, sushi rolls starting at $6.50 and sashimi $10.50.