A freelance writer and father of two, I am interested in almost anything the ever-changing city of Brisbane has to offer. When I am not seeking the kid-friendly and affordable, I am tracking the home-grown and the unique... Come and discover with me!
Published February 5th 2012
Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday: the blessed discovery that my darling offspring—yes, both of them—shared my love of sushi. Any parent who has ever engaged in the battle of wills which is dinnertime with fussy eaters will understand the quasi-religious awe which I felt at the time. Here we were, eating a dinner which was at once fast, healthy and delicious, and which had involved neither bribery nor the surreptitious administration of sedatives to all concerned. I don't mind admitting, dear reader, that tears of gratitude welled in my eyes as I sat at the local Sushi Train and watched His Nibs and Her Ladyship scoffing salmon sashimi and tempura vegetables with a speed and relish once reserved exclusively for Happy Meals and birthday cake. Had I been able to determine which deity was behind this minor miracle, it is entirely likely that this article would never have been written; I might well have retreated from the world there and then, and would currently be living in a cave somewhere, pausing in my blissful contemplation of this mysterious super-being's benevolence only long enough to devour the daily sushi delivery.
However, the way of the cruel world is such that my tears of gratitude were soon to be replaced by tears of agony, as I counted the empty plates at our table and immediately became overwhelmed by an excruciating pain in my hip-pocket area. The next ten minutes are something of a tormented blur in my memory, and it was only thanks to the sudden weight-loss in my wallet that I was able to keep my feet and stagger to the car (which we could now no longer afford to re-fuel). How we made it back home (from which we now stood in dire peril of eviction) I will never know. I spent the rest of the evening on the couch with a wet towel on my head and an ice-pack in my pocket, praying that the massive quantity of raw fish and rice we had just ingested would provide sufficient nutrition to see us through the coming week of begging outside the local IGA.
Inside the Sushi Tram Station - unassuming decor, delicious sushi
As well as reinforcing a valuable life lesson—what goes down must be coughed up for—this experience left me far more cautious about committing to further sushi-centred outings. Sushi dinners, it seemed, were destined to join video-game arcades, theme parks and that-awesome-hotel-we-went-to-at-Surfer's-that-time on the ever-growing "one day / we'll see" list which will doubtless be a recurring topic at the counselling sessions for which His Nibs and Her Ladyship demand that I pay in a decade or so. However, our recent discovery of $3-a-plate Mondays at The Sushi Tram Station in Stones Corner has not only revived a spark of the initial wonder described above, but has proven so pleasant and affordable a way to finish the first hectic day of the week as to have become a Monday-night tradition.
The Sushi Tram Station, situated on the Montague Street end of the Stones Corner shopping strip, looks unassuming from the outside, but within serves as fresh and as varied a product as any sushi restaurant I have yet visited. In addition to the generously-portioned favourites available on the Tram—norimaki, gunkan, nigiri and a range of sweets all at the flat price of $3—there is also a small but reasonably comprehensive daily menu for those who don't fancy seaweed or raw fish, featuring such ever-popular choices as Teriyaki chicken and various noodle dishes. The miso is delicious, the green tea is free, the service is unfailingly polite and friendly, and if you can't locate a particular favourite on the Tram itself then the cheerful chefs are happy to prepare requests on the spot.
The restaurant space itself is small but spotlessly clean, and although at $3 a plate for some very good sushi you might expect a queue stretching around the block, we have always been ushered straight to a table which seats four of us—myself, His Nibs, Her Ladyship, and the mysterious-and-praying-to-remain-so Madame Trinity in comfort. I wonder, however, if this will always be the case, as news of The Sushi Tram Station's price to quality ratio is sure to travel.