Turning Japanese.

Monday, March 22, 2010

So most of you know that Stephen and I are going back to Japan in two weeks time. We absolutely cannot wait! I'd love to do a special Project Romance update from beautiful cherry-blossoming Kyoto - but I do not plan to have the time to do so. But I can do the next best thing! 

It's no secret that I love Japanese food. And Brisbane is fast becoming a place with CHOICES (shock!) when Stephen and I get that hankering. There are a few choices when it comes to choosing this cuisine. The good thing is - Japanese food comes in all shapes and sizes and for all budgets. ALL of it is as romantic as you want to make it.

Sure you may not be able to cosy up on high stools at a sushi train, but what better place to go and sample new tastes together? I'm quickly learning which of Brisbane's sushi trains are worth paying for and which are simply taking you 'for a ride'. (Didya like that? I thought that up all by myself!). So without further ado, here are my Top 3.

3. Ginga Sushi Train - Southbank (near the cinemas). Funky lighting, and a train as long as the eye can see. Decent selection of Japanese drinks (sake is fairly typical - but after a few, you won't notice). One of the only places I know that serves edamame (although order it fresh - it's not so nice after sitting on the train for 10 minutes...). Good selection of both adventurous and not-so-adventurous sushi - however can get pricey. The dim blue lighting and atmosphere here is defintely date-worthy - especially if you're looking for something a bit interesting. Great place for dinner and a movie.

2. Sushi Station - Toombul (Centro Shopping Centre). This was my very first sushi train experience and remains a favourite even to this day. The staff are friendly, and will make you whatever you want if you can't find it on the train. Lots of the usual favourites here - and sometimes they'll surprise you with something a bit different. Doesn't matter either way - it's GREAT sushi and decently priced.

1. Sushi Station - Oxford St, Bulimba (next to Balmoral cinemas). Stephen and I have eaten here twice now and it has blown us away both times. It's a tiny establishment with a few romantic dark corners thrown in for good measure. The staff are great - and the food is phenomenal. You'll find something for everyone on this train - regardless if you're a seasoned sushi consumer or otherwise. Another great place for dinner and a movie. Especially if you're on a budget.

HOWEVER - if you're after something a little classier - or that absolutely PERFECT five star dining experience - I cannot say this ENOUGH - you need to head to Sono Restaurant at Portside (also in the city - however I haven't been to this one - I can imagine it's fairly similar). You get unparalleled views over the river, dim romantic lighting, and sumptuous food with an extensive wine and sake list. I try to get here at least once a year - because it's just a little slice of authentic, classy five-star Japan. The menu caters for both experienced and inexperienced palates and I highly recommend the tasting platters - especially if you're in the mood to try new things. Do yourself a favour and try it - you will not be disappointed!

  • Summary: Five star Japanese dining experience. Romantic as ANYTHING.
  • Tip: There is a beautiful boardwalk downstairs that stretches out along the river at Hamilton with lots of private places to sit and listen to the river lapping against the the edge. Breathtaking on a full moon-lit night!
  • Transport: Buses go past Portside - however check times later at night. There is an undercover carpark for restaurant visitors.
  • Where: Portside Wharf - 39 Hercules Street, Hamilton
  • When: Mon-Wed noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm. Thu-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm. Sat 6pm-10pm
    Sun 5.30pm-9pm
  • Cost: Five star restaurant prices - although can be reasonable depending on what you order.
  • Website: http://www.sonorestaurant.com.au/
  • Perfect For: Something different, romantic dinner, waterfront dining.
  • Downsides: Pricey pricey pricey. But soooo worth it.


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