With delicious food, impeccable service, and a sleek, minimalistic interior there's a lot to love about Sono Japanese restaurant at Portside (the beautiful river views don't hurt, either).
Having recently returned from a holiday in the Land of the Rising Sun, I was hanging out for a Japan fix and Sono delivered in spades. From the moment you remove your shoes to take a seat at one of the sunken tables by the window you'll be immersed in the modern Japanese dining experience. In fact, if not for that view of the Brisbane River, it would be easy to forget you are in Australia.
The a la carte menu can most accurately be described as 'epic'. The vast range of choices includes sashimi and sushi; starters such as seared tuna Tataki with wasabi jelly and sesame sauce ($15) or Ebi Asahi Age (deep fried prawn cutlets in Asahi beer batter, $10); everyone's favourite pork Gyoza ($15); main meals such as black cod Saikyo Yaki (Grilled NZ black cod marinated in Saikyo miso sauce, $35) and salmon teriyaki ($31); and a whole host of side dishes, noodles, and desserts.
If Teppanyaki is your thing, you're in luck. Located in the centre of the restaurant is a large Teppanyaki bar where you can watch and learn as your food is cooked before your very eyes.
If all of this sounds too hard, you can't go past the six-course tasting menu. This selection will set you back $85 (plus an extra $45 if you want matched beverages from the range of international wines and sake). By the time you're working your way through the delicate appetiser platter of fresh oyster, soft shell karaage and seared Wagyu, you'll know it was money well spent.
The other courses include melt-in-the-mouth tuna and salmon sashimi and snapper carpaccio; fresh crab croquette and scampi spring roll; prawn tempura sushi, fish tempura sushi and salmon belly sushi with mayo, sea salt and avocado; a choice of either Wagyu sirloin with garlic soy jus, duck breast with teriyaki orange sauce or fish of the day for your main meal; and the chef's selection of dessert. The wine and sake is expertly matched to complement your chosen dishes and your knowledgeable sommelier will talk you through these tipples as they are served.
City slickers, never fear: there is a second Sono restaurant located in Brisbane's CBD.
Image: Vincent Lie Photography.