Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hosokawa - Hamilton

Without a doubt, Racecourse Road has become my new 'Happy Place'. I go there whenever I have anything to celebrate or just to make sure I have an enjoyable night out. With a recent happy announcement, I thought it would be a great opportunity to grab dinner at Hosokawa, which I have been wanting to try for quite a long time. 

I was very pleased that I managed to make a booking that day, because it was the last table before the whole store was booked out. The store itself was quite small and cozy. I really liked the environment, simple but elegant.

The menu was quite extensive, consisting of quite a number of pages. I ordered quite a significant number of things to share.

First to arrive for the evening was our Grilled Eggplant. It had a mildly sweet sauce on top, and was grilled to perfection. The texture was just right, and it was definitely warm and comforting.

Next up, we got to try the fried oyster. Compared to the oysters that I have had at other Japanese restaurants, the ones at Hosokawa were considerably larger, and had a much lighter batter. It was also a definite plus that it came out piping hot. The sauces and salads on the side also offered quite a refreshing twist to what would have been quite a heavy dish. My companions really enjoyed this dish.

The highlight of my night came next. The large Sashimi platter was absolutely stunning. I found the fish to be exceptionally fresh, and generously thick cut. The wasabi was the proper type, being freshly ground instead of the processed ones from a tube. We advised the chef we had a liking for salmon, and we note that there was larger portion of salmon than the other types, which was great. I also found the tuna and kingfish to be quite delicious though.

Beef Tataki came next. The beef was nicely marbled and tender. The crushed garlic and spanish onion added a whole lot of zing. It was served with quite a refreshing dipping sauce, and I really liked it.

We also had the gyoza. This was one of the better gyozas that I've tried. I do think that the gyozas didnt look as visually appealing as the ones I've had at other places, they could have been better caramelized at the bottom. I did find the skin to be exceptionally thin though, and the insides were very juicy.  


Next up we tried the Unagi hand rolls. They were the longest hand rolls that I have ever seen. The unagi was warm and comforting, and the rice was of excellent texture. I also love the fact that the unagi went all the way to the bottom of the roll, however I found it quite disappointing that the seaweed was already very damp by the time it arrived at our table. This was rather surprising actually, because I would assume the chef had freshly made it.

Our sushi platter came next. We ordered a Rainbow Roll, Tempura Prawn Roll as well as a Salmon Roll. The Rainbow Roll had very generous fillings and thick cut salmon. The Prawn Tempura roll was particularly nice because the prawn warmed up the sushi. I found the salmon roll to be pretty average though.

Our Tempura Seafood Basket came next. It consisted of two prawns, two pieces of salmon and some assorted vegetables. The batter was light, and not overly thick. I enjoyed the prawns quite a lot, but found cooked salmon to be rather underwhelming. 

We rounded off the meal with a nice hot nabeyaki udon. The udon was delicious and of the higher quality type, the soup was comforting, but slightly sweeter than I would have liked it. The egg was slightly under-done, but the rest of it was quite delicious. The fish cakes were chewy, and the shittake mushrooms were very flavoursome.

I had an exceptionally fun night at Hosokawa. Although it may not be up to the same standard as Sono or Nikuya, I think it is definitely one of the better Japanese establishments in Brisbane, and a nice cozy place to go on a date or with family.

Price Range: $40 - $60 per person

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 8/10

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