Minako Fukui moved to Margaret River from Osaka 20 years ago and has never looked back. She was welcomed into the Settler’s fold early on, with the local tavern helping to develop Min’s bar skills and then barista duties at their offshoot café Sidekick. Min has pretty much become part of the furniture at the businesses and if locals don’t know her friendly smile from ordering their coffee or a pint across the bar, they’ll certainly recognise her from surfing down at Mainbreak. Min took a break from brewing coffees to share her local tips.
1. What’s your favourite beach ?
Surfers point. There are good waves there and I always surf on the south side where there are not many people. There’s always a high chance of dolphins. It’s kind of a secret spot because everyone’s looking at mainbreak. The people there are so unique as well and it’s a good spot to meet different people.
2. Where do you always take your visitors ?
I take visitors to Contos and Wilyabrup cliffs. At Contos, I’ll stop at the cliffs and then go down. That is such a great location, it definitely feels like a secret spot. I took my parents there recently. I also love Cullen winery. I always take friends and family there. I love their wines and the location. It doesn’t feel anything like other wineries. Cullen is so much more approachable.
3. Top three local food experiences ?
Mikis Kitchen always. Yarri. And Glenarty Road. Mikis is always good presentation, friendly staff and the food is special. The food is Japanese with a twist. And it’s always fresh. Yarri – I like the atmosphere. It feels more like a city feeling which you don’t get in the Margaret River region, and the food is always really nice. I love the food at Glenarty Road winery, and the whole picnic setup. On a sunny day sitting outside having snacks and bubbles it’s fun. You can see animals. I had octopus as a main and it was the best. Just so simple – barbecued but very tender and it was just the best octopus ever.
4. Your favourite drinking hole?
5. Best fun in the region without spending a cent ?
For me it’s surfing. I surf everyday or six days a week. It’s a daily task. I take my dog to the beach and I paddle out. Even in winter it feels really refreshing. If it’s really windy or stormy I still go for a quick dip.
6. Favourite time of year ?
My favourite time is autumn. There is beautiful weather that’s not too hot, not too cold and beautiful ground swell. The wave conditions are also great – nice winds, good swell. And I don’t mind winter here either. Nice and quiet – I like to go for a forest walk in the misty rain. I don’t mind rain, and I love fireplaces.
7. Best place to watch the sunset ?
Actually it’s a bit of a secret but between Surfer’s Point and the Rivermouth. In between – it’s hidden and has a different view. You can see the sunset from a different angle which is interesting.
8. You can’t leave the Margaret River region without doing what…?
Going for a swim. Just jump in the ocean! My friend from Japan says ‘water is too cold, I’m too cold to swim’. But I say just jump in, just two seconds. I always push people really hard to jump in the water. The corner of the Rivermouth – in front of box – it’s safe to swim. Normally no one is there in the morning. That’s where I go.