RAKU, Take 2 – Birthday Dinner

Ben and Thea took me to RAKU for my birthday dinner – I really wanted to try all the dishes that we hadn’t had with the tasting menu last time, and Thea has not been to RAKU yet.

We had the following dishes to share:

Bincho Maguo Tarutaru – $18
SA albacore tuna tartar with wasabi miso crispy rice cracker

This tuna tartar was amazing! It didn’t have the theatre of the salmon tartar with its squid ink crackers, but it was still fantastic, and the tuna was so fresh.

Gyu Hoho Nikomi – $28
3hr braised 400-day drain fed wagyu beef cheeks with wasabi sour cream

Probably Ben’s favourite dish – I have never seen beef cheeks just fall apart with a single touch. The beef cheeks just melted in your mouth, the jus was so rich and inviting, and the accompanying carrots were beautifully turned and cooked well. When the dish first arrived, I was not expecting it to be quite so large, I could happily tuck into this dish with a bowl of rice to accompany it.

Apparently, the beef cheeks were sous vide. Our oven at home can go all the way down to 30°C (which is ridiculous, but also awesome!), so I am thinking of trying to sous vide something in there. Just pop a water bath inside, vacuum seal the meat or fish etc, then pop it into the oven at a low temp. It should work right?

Uchiwabe – $28
Moreton bay bug tempura with yuzu koshou and ponzu mayonnaise

I loved this tempura dish – it was a very generous helping of bugs, all well cooked. They tasted like little bug pillows of delightfulness. I would be very happy to have that by the beach on a hot summers day.

Spicy Maguro maki roll – $15
SA tuna, tenkatsu, chives, takuan, cabbage

This dish was bit underwhelming, it kind of looked a bit messy and ill prepared. I’m not sure if that was the look they were going for? It still tasted good though.

Truffle Kampachi maki roll – $16
SA kingfish, yuzu soy, chives, avocado, fresh chilli

This maki roll was awesome, and I loved the dollop of mayo and chilli on top.

Salmon furikake nigiri – $6 for 2 pieces

This was your pretty basic salmon nigiri, it just had a sprinkle of furikake on top, which elevated it a bit.

Unagi foie gras – $12.50 for 2 pieces
Taiwanese unagi, foie gras cream, dried yukari, shiso

LOVED this one. My personal favourite I think. I have been a bit obsessed with unagi and foie gras, those two ingredients just go together so well. While in principle, I do not support the foie gras industry, I can’t help myself when unagi gets involved. It is a personal failing of mine, and I do feel bad about it.

Hotate truffle – $17 for 2 pieces
Japanese hotate scallop, truffle, ponzu

We tried this dish again, it was very garlicky and delicious.

Uchiwa Ebi – $23.5 for 2 pieces
WA honey bug, foie gras, truffle oil

Another repeat, it did not disappoint. I just love the foie gras shavings. I think Thea is hooked on it now.

Ebi Sumibi Yaki – $26
Grilled QLD king prawns with XO butter, seasonal pickles

When I ordered this dish, I had a picture of what it would look like it my mind. What we ended up with did not meet my expectations. I think the description could have been better, just to prepare diners for what they will receive. Essentially the dish was 3 butterflied king prawns that had been brushed with XO butter. I did not taste any XO flavour, and I felt that the restaurant should provide the appropriate utensils for this particular dish. In the end, we had to use our hands with the chopsticks to get the meat out of the prawn shell – it was kind of awkward. I don’t think it was worth $26.


Chizukeki – $18
White Sudachi ganache, cheesecake mousse, muscavado crumbs, green tea sponge, sudachi cremeux

I really enjoyed this dessert, it was quite light. I didn’t get a lot of cheesecake flavour, but the little pops of sudachi were incredible! It was a really nice palate cleanser, and set us up quite nicely for the Zen Stone.

The Zen Stone – $23
Chocolate crunch, joconde, kalamansi ganache, chocolate orange mousse, charcoal cocoa butter

This dessert was incredible! It had theatre with the dry ice smoke, and it genuinely looked like a little stone! I was completely blown away by it, it was really an amazing experience. It tasted exactly like a chocolate jaffa, it was really amazing.

All in all, it was a beautiful dining experience, we all really loved it.





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