Sono Japanese Restaurant Portside

Valentine’s Day came early this year when D took me for a surprise dinner at Sono. It was a pleasant surprise as I have been hinting about wanting to go there for as long as I can remember. Hence, the expectation bar was very high when I walked into the restaurant.

We were greeted by their friendly staff who showed us to our table. The restaurant looks modern and upbeat. There is even a good view of the Brisbane River. First impression, checked!

We decided to go with the six-course Tasting Course ($85) which seemed to be a popular choice on the floor that night.

The first course was served almost instantly. It was an appetizer trio of fresh oyster with lime sauce, seared wagyu with citrus soy sauce and chilli grated radish and soft shell crab karaage with shiso salsa. The oyster was fresh and creamy, but I couldn’t really taste the lime sauce. In saying that, it didn’t really matter because it was so fresh that there wasn’t much of an after-taste. The wagyu was tasty, but I wished there were more. Out of the trio, soft shell crab was the winner. Crunchy deep fried soft shell crab was complimented well by the light citrusy salsa.

Next came the sashimi platter: Tuna and salmon sashimi and snapper with shallot, sesame seeds, garlic vinaigrette. I was impressed by the great knife skill showed on the dish with both salmon and tuna sliced with precision. I enjoyed the snapper too, although it reminded me of the jellyfish cold dish served in Chinese banquet.

This was followed by fresh crab meat croquette and scampi spring roll. The croquette was too creamy that I couldn’t really taste any crab meat in it. On the other hand, the spring roll was enjoyable. The scampi head used as plate decoration added a nice touch to the dish.

The fourth course was a sushi platter of prawn tempura sushi roll, fish tempura roll and seared salmon belly sushi drizzled with mayonnaise, sea salt and avocado. The sushis are great, but not spectacular. It was the grilled avocado that took me by surprise. I love the smoky taste on the avocado and will definitely try it grilling avocado at home one of these days.

Next, we moved on to the mains. Out of the 3 choices on the menu, I ordered wagyu and D had the duck breast. My medium cooked South Qld Kobe wagyu was perfect. Juicy and tender like how it should be. Yum!

The NSW duck breast teriyaki orange sauce looked very impressive too.

The dessert was a bit of a letdown. Chocolate mud cake with vanilla ice cream seems out of place for a classy Japanese restaurant. I would have been more excited to end the meal with 2 simple scoops of green tea or black sesame ice cream, instead of this ordinary chocolate cake.

Overall the food was great, but I was expecting to be ‘wowed’. I guess I should be more realistic next time. 

Sono Japanese Restaurant Portside on Urbanspoon

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