Kuki Tanuki – Japanese Sake Bar, Erskineville


The other night, my dad assigned the task me the task of choosing a restaurant for dinner. In a last-minute rush before work, I quickly skimmed Google and chose a Japanese joint that seemed to receive a number of positive reviews. Having never ventured into Erskineville before, I thought  this was a good night to try.

Kuki Tanuki is a Sake Bar. I wish I took note of that before I decided to bring my family along. When you first walk in, the dim-lit bar lined with sake bottles is hiding two chefs and three wait staff busy at work. Quite a lot of hand and feet for such a small space! The chairs are essentially milk crates with a thin cushion on top, and the tables are awfully tiny and low – which is fine if you’re just going to hang out with your friends, but once again, I was with my family, and they weren’t so keen on craning over to get to the food. My grandma spent a good minute laughing at the dark shades covering the lights. Whoops!

Sorry, once again these photos are taken (and edited) using my phone.

Untitled-1Pork Gyoza $8.50/6pcs | Kataifi Prawn Bites $9

The menu is a simple two pages, consisting mostly of smallish bites and sushi. We ordered the pork gyoza which had a thin and crisp pastry, with a tasty pork filling. The Kataifi Prawn bites definitely looked interesting, wrapped in string pastry that was reminiscent of Vietnamese spring rolls, and complemented with a tangy sauce.

Untitled-2Assorted  Tempura $14  | Wagayu Roast Beef Tataki $16

The assorted tempura consisted of praws, zuchinni, sweet potato and egg plant. It was good tempura, but definitely not something I would pay $14 for.  The highlight of the night was the Wagayu Roast Beef Tataki, I have never had beef like this before – perfectly cooked, thinly sliced Wagayu that went amazingly with the underlying salad. I would gladly go out of my way and head out to Erskineville for another.

Untitled-3Spicy Spider Inside Out Roll $14 | Caterpillar Roll $11

We wouldn’t really be doing anyone any favours if we didn’t order a dish featuring our favourite soft shell crab. Crab is awesome, but the fact that you can eat the shell and have your hands free of the mess and your gums safe from sharp shells … I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy crab. The spicy spider inside out roll was no exception, wonderfully cooked crab, albeit not spicy. The sushi here is definitely a feast for the eyes. Look how the avocado is sliced! I am not a fan of avocado, but the caterpillar roll sure changed that. The filling of tempura vegetable and lettuce gave it layers of different textures and was a great way to end dinner.

Overall, I highly recommend this place for small social gatherings with friends. Especially since the space is quite small (Edit/ they have tall tables and chairs at the back) and the portions are catered towards 2-3 people. If you’re anything like me, and head out with the family, be prepared for a hefty bill for the one person and quite a few unsatisfied stomachs. When I asked my dad whether he was full he just shook his head and laughed. Otherwise, I am really glad I found this place as it pumps out a new style of Japanese food that I am yet to find elsewhere. Hope to come back soon!

Kuki Tanuki
Address: 61 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville NSW 2043
Phone: (02) 8084 7438

Sunday 12:00-10:00 pm
Monday Closed
Tuesday 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Wednesday 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Thursday 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Friday 5:00 pm – late
Saturday 12:00 pm – 12:00 am

8 thoughts on “Kuki Tanuki – Japanese Sake Bar, Erskineville

  1. Hi Cynthia/Edwina! Thanks for your kind words :). Love the feedback and seriously our sushi chef is smiling ear to ear right now after we gave him your feedback. He loves that you love the caterpillar roll.

    Just to clarify, our space is actually broken up into two areas, one in the bar area (where there are low tables and sake crates) and the restaurant area (where the tables are taller, the area is quieter and a bit more suited to family groups). Perhaps there was a few bookings that night but generally we would offer a table in the restaurant if requested. Apologies and I’m really sorry if we didn’t offer the table. Also, thank you on your feedback for the portion sizes, we should of asked and known that you were after a larger meal. It seems most of the items you had chosen were designed to be paired with our drinks. In future, I would suggest choosing one of the hot dishes (e.g. chicken nanban bites) to complement the meal as well. Anyway, we’re stoked that you wrote about us. We would love to see you come back so please let us know next time if you do. We’ll show you our favourite drink – and it’ll be on us. Thanks again for posting.

    Warm regards,


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