A sprawling riverside restaurant with Japanese food and cocktails.
October 01, 2023
Since opening in 2018 Brisbane's Howard Smith Wharves precinct has continued to expand. The spot boasts the sprawling Felons Brewery, bright Greek taverna Greca, and Louis Tikaram's excellent Cantonese restaurant Stanley — and since 2020 it has also been home to Jonathan Barthelmess' Yoko Dining.
If you've ever visited Tokyo and spent time exploring the city's izakaya and music bars, you'll be well prepared for Yoko Dining. Think tunes spun on vinyl, buzzing energy and a retro-futuristic feel both in the downstairs restaurant and on the mezzanine level.
In the kitchen, a hibachi has pride of place. The seafood-heavy menu heroes those unique smoky flavours that come from the Japanese-style charcoal grill. And there's a raw bar serving up fresh sashimi, ceviche and seasonal gyoza.
You'll also find soft shell crab temaki, wagyu and chicken karaage among the mains — plus spicy pork udon noodles. As for dessert, choose between black sesame soft serve, mochi, green tea jellies, and a fried bread topped with yuzu curd and kinako (roasted soy bean flour).
The drinks list at Yoko is just as promising as the food. Prepare to sip your way through a series of Japanese-inspired cocktails, ten different types of sake, and a range of umeshu, yuzushu (yuzu liqueur) and shochu. Japanese whiskeys, Japanese and Australian beers, and sodas with optional booze are also available — as is wine on tap and in bottles from a 100-strong list.
Yoko always promises a fun, boisterous night out that forgoes pretension and polish and will put you right in the party spirit.
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