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Published August 5th 2012
A Japanese Aphrodisiac
Japanese restaurants have exploded in the last twenty years with no sign of slowing down. Whether it be sushi or steak the Japanese do know how to cook tasty, healthy, satisfying cuisine that has us coming back time and time again.
Situated at the popular Portside Wharf on Brisbane's northside sits an authentic Japanese restaurant, Sono, to mirror the burgeoning upmarket real estate that is Hamilton. Sono was launched in 2007 as the sister restaurant to Sono Queen Street and boasts a modern style from its traditional city restaurant.
Perched opposite Dendy Cinemas at Hamilton, Sono provides its clientele appetisers for the palate and the eye. Enter Sono and you will feel like you have been transported to Tokyo, but have escaped the city streets to a relaxed yet contemporary location with the soothing sound of Zen music setting the mood for your traditional Japanese banquet.
The abundant menu at Sono is testament to its creative collective of Japanese chefs who bring their mastery in Asian cuisine to all they do.
A fantastic way to start is with a small cask of sake, either cold or hot, that can accompany the dishes that you order. Sono has an impressive in-house cellar with over 1800 bottles of wine, so there is something for everyone. Finding the perfect wine or sake to match your dish is a talent, however if you are like me and would choose the prettiest bottle, then the assistance from the knowledgeable staff will help to steering you in the right direction.
It is impossible to go to a renowned restaurant such as this and not try sushi; a standout in this arena is the Soft shell crab roll with mayonnaise, sesame and avocado. Crunchy, fresh and delicious are the three words that spring to mind when this dish comes to the table, the taste is satisfying and the crab is cooked to perfection.
Soft Shell Crab Sushi @ Sono (Photo instagram @neelsmcgee)
To continue the fresh seafood journey you can't go wrong with oysters and at Sono the balance of flavours between the molluscs topped with the Ponzo dressing of grated white radish, chilli and shredded shallot is out of this world. Something a little different is the Scampi. For those of you who don't know what scampi is, I would compare it to a mini lobster that is just as tantalising. Scampi three ways (tempura, filled into a spring roll and grilled with a garlic dressing) is a wise choice that will not disappoint.
The finale of the night was the customary Japanese Hot Pot. This is where the fun happens. The waiters bring out a stovetop and you cook your meal at the table. There are three selections for the hot pot menu (two with wagyu beef and one with crab) and the Wagyu Shabu Shabu, thinly sliced wagyu beef served in traditional shabu shabu broth served with sesame, ponzu dipping sauces and rice provided us with an overwhelming portion, enough to feed four people comfortably.
Sono is lavish on the wallet and makes a perfect option for a Valentine's Day date or intimate birthday party. A must for corporate Brisbane is the venue's lunch special at $25 (available Wednesday – Friday). This includes a wide speciality including miso soup, rice, salmon sashimi or sushi with your choice of main (more details in online menu).
Wagyu Shabu Shabu @ Sono (Photo instagram @neelsmcgee)