Tanpopo (translation: Dandelion) is no weed. In fact it's quite the opposite - it's another great little treasure of Mount Lawley's Beaufort Street. Tanpopo used to be hidden in the arcade across the road but with its new location, has bloomed, and found itself a lot of well-earned attention.
We all love Japanese food. It's fun, tasty, and healthy enough. Tanpopo is no exception. I am no bento box snob but it ticks all the boxes for me. The food has always been fresh and tasty and the menu covers everything that you think it should. There are the usual fish, chicken, beef and vegetable dishes. Choosing between the temptations can be difficult, so take an Izakaya (Japanese pub) approach and order several plates that you can share. Most would agree that Japanese food is often expensive.
That's if you're not buying it from a food court, or Tanpopo. I like to order up large and you will feed two for under $35, although that is always enough to leave me with over-eaters regret. You can't go wrong with $1.65 Miso Soup or seven piece Octopus Balls for $3.50. I like the Vegetable Tempura for that fried food fix. Or try the $7 Chicken Katsu Don; cutlets, egg and onion with salad and rice.
The restaurant is cosy and decorated simply. There are a few outside tables where you can enjoy the temperate evenings and keep an eye on the comings and goings of Beaufort St. If you want to eat when the rest do, you may need to bring your own patience.
The kitchen is small and it operates with only a few staff. Between the steady stream of dine-in patrons and take-away orders, they often have their hands full.
Tanpopo probably wouldn't be my choice of eatery with a romantic dinner in mind. I go there to satisfy that insatiable hunger for Japanese food. It is also a great spot to stop en-route to a show/movie/night out. Grab a menu, order at the counter, then wait for your number to come.
Tanpopo is at 623 Beaufort Street, across the road from the IGA and the Flying Scotsman.