Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sono - Brisbane CBD

As an end of year celebration, we went to Sono for dinner one night. As a last minute decision, we did not pre book, and as a result of this, we waited for quite a substantial amount of time before being given a table. 

The table was designed in traditional Japanese Style, we had to remove our shoes before sitting.

Without further ado, we ordered our food, and it arrived relatively quickly.

The first thing to arrive, was the crab creme croquette. Whilst it was fried, it was not overly oily. The texture of the potato inside was very creamy, there could have been a bit more crab in it though.

On the topic of crab. The next thing to arrive was our tempura soft shell crab. For those who are not familiar with it, soft shell crab is a form of crab which sheds its shell at regular intervals. Farmers monitor them on a regular basis and catch them right after they shed their old shell, whilst their new one is still soft. As a result of this, you can eat the whole crab without taking the shell off. In this instance, the crab was really fresh,the batter was not too overbearing and oily and the rice vinegar was really light and refreshing, it really added dimension to the dish and set itself apart from the other places I have had soft shell crab. I really liked it and only wish that there could have been more.

The next to come was the Gyu Tataki. As far as Wagyu beef goes, you could clearly see how well marbled the beef was. It went really well with the raw onion, and crushed garlic.

To much spectacle, and our delight, the next dish to arrive was the Salmon Sashimi. It was served on top of dry ice (hence all the smoke). The Salmon was fresh, and the cut was just the right thickness. What stood out for me though, was the wasabi. Traditionally, wasabi (sauce) is the ground up root of wasabi (plant). The little tubes or packets that other sushi places serve have already been ground up and processed quite a while ago. While sauces are usually better when it is creamy and smooth, you can usually tell whether the wasabi is processed or fresh by whether it is lumpy and breaks into little pieces when you try to pick it up. From this, I could tell the wasabi in Sono was freshly ground and rather authentic. I find that these little things make a whole lot of difference in my dining experiences.

The next to arrive was the Tempura Prawn Sushi. The rice was naturally short grain and well seasoned. the prawn was crispy, but I found the rice to filling ratio a bit lacking. I know that prawns are a certain thickness, but it could have been better if there was avocado or cucumber as well inside.

The next to arrive was the Salmon Avocado Hand Roll. Again, it was served with the yummy wasabi. For the price of $8.50 each, this is one of the more expensive hand rolls that I have had. Whilst the filling was fresh, and the ratio was good, I found it a bit small given the price paid.

The next to arrive was the prawn and scallops. Although I forget the specific name of the dish, the flavours of the prawn and scallop complemented each other really well, and the sauce was rich and creamy.

The next to arrive was the Aburi Wagyu Nigiri Sushi. The beef was cooked just right, and the rice was nice and warm.

One of the highlights of my night was the Ebi Avocado Yaki. Whilst the prawn was really big, the flesh still had a really nice texture. It was further ascentuated by the yummy avocado and cheese on top.

The Gyoza at Sono was very crispy, and the insides were juicy, but I would have preferred thinner skin.

The other highlight of the night was the crumbed oyster. Whilst other crumbed oysters I've tried have had very thick batter, I found the batter to be thin, and didnt overpower the oyster's freshness. The sauce it went with was also quite enjoyable.

We finished the night off with a Nabeyaki Udon. Whilst it didnt come out boiling, the pot was definitely very hot. The tempura was yummy, and the udon was nourishing and comforting. Whilst it didnt show up in the photo, the chicken and shitake mushroom was also a great combination.

In comparison to all the other Japanese restaurants I have been to, Sono is definitely one which prides itself on appearance. With its presentation, it would have been very easy for me to be disappointed due to my elevated expectations, but I was not. Whilst it is expensive, you definitely get what you pay for in Sono.

Price Range: $50 + per person

Taste: 9.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Environment: 9/10

Sono Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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