Stepping into Amimoto you would probably not expect that you are about to have the best Japanese food of your life. It is a very authentic, casual restaurant furnished with cheap plastic tables and rather outdated decor but the food is easily the best you will ever have.
I was shown this small, traditional Japanese eatery by a friend about five years ago and I have been returning weekly ever since. Amimoto's is well known by many locals but easy to miss if you don't know where it is.
All raw seafood is prepared by the owner who chops the fresh fish day after day dressed in his kimono. The cloth banners showing girls wearing kimono and the bookshelf full of Japanese manga contribute to this restaurant's genuine feel. There is traditional tea at no extra charge but it has a rather sharp taste so you might not like it.
My favourites include the Chirashi bowl, a mix of raw seafood delicacies usually including tender scallops, kingfish, salmon, tuna, prawns, marinated mushroom and egg on a bed of steamed rice, served with miso soup for only $20. Amimoto's is one of the few places where you can get a delicious dinner for only $10, such as the mouth-watering California roll which is also served with miso soup. Their menu also features bento boxes, Japanese curries, a variety of soups, a few cooked fish and meat dishes and, of course, lots of sushi and sashimi, all priced between $8 and $24.
Amimoto is hidden away in Lido Arcade, one of the little alleyways between Orchid Ave and Surfers Paradise Blvd. Most of the shops in there are empty and it does not look too inviting but the food is well worth it. They are closed Sundays but open Mon to Sat for lunch from 11:30 to 3:00 and dinner from 5:30 to 8:00. It gets really busy on the weekends and on public holidays so making a booking is recommended.