This was a first visit with my boss, he would return every time he comes to Brisbane. I have been doing that too.
Hovering serenely above the madness of Queen Street Mall, swathed in delicate artworks and soothing folk music, Sono is perhaps the most beautiful and best Japanese restaurant in the Brisbane CBD.
Agedashi tofu – crispy deep-fried locally made Japanese tofu, topped with crispy rice pebbles and served with a bonito broth.
We ordered a la carte sashimi – salmon belly, tuna belly, and akashi shell clam. The salmon was beautiful, but I find the tuna belly a bit mushy. The akagai was crunchy, but not much taste. There were 5 pieces per serving, which was quite generous.
Soft shell crab with shiso salsa
Crispy deep-fried soft shell crab served with rice vinegar sauce and shiso leaf salsa.
This is one of their signature dish, the shiso salsa provided a bit of tartness and complexity to the monotonous deep-fried soft shell crab. Warm crab and cold sauce made an interesting combination.
Whole grilled withs sweet soy sauce.
This was underwhelming, tasted like it came out of the plastic bag of the variety from a Japanese supermarket. The sprinkling of the chimi powder was awkward because I really didn’t like that flavour.
Wagyu steak striploin MB8 180g
Southern Queensland Kobe cuisine wagyu beef, served with seasonal vegetables. Served with garlic sou jus, teriyaki sauce and ponzu sauce.
Another signature dish, the beef was done beautifully and really soft and tender. Not exactly Japanese wagyu, but for the price and portion, it was really good value.
Black cod saikyo yaki
Grilled black cod, pre-marinated for 48 hours in a traditional saikyo miso sauce.
The final of the three signature dishes here. it was buttery and full of miso flavour. Would want to come back and eat this again.
Traditional miso soup made with bonito soup and white miso paste with wakame seaweed, tofu and shallots.
There’s a sushi bar, where you can sit on stools and watch the chefs do their stuff with sharp knives and huge slabs of fresh fish. There’s at least one private room for functions. There are chairs and tables and my favourites – the booths. Sono’s booths are great – take your shoes off (so make sure you choose socks with no holes in them when you get up in the morning!), and there’s a well for your legs so you don’t have to sit cross-legged under the low tables.
Sono is a stalwart of delicious Japanese food in Brisbane. It’s been operating, unchanged, for years. The location is convenient, the staff attentive but not stuffy and the seafood is as fresh as it can be. Reservation a must.
PS: The location at Queen Street Mall is now closed and a new concept sushi restaurant has opened in the same location. Sono is still operating at a new and upgraded location Hamilton.
Sono Japanese Restaurant Portside
Level 1, Portside Wharf, 39 Hercules St, Hamilton QLD (opposite Dendy Cinemas)
Tel : (07) 3268 6655
Date Visited : Oct 2014
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