Having previously mentioned in my Animoto post, my previous favourite Japanese restaurant in the Gold Coast was Yamasakura. Since its closure, Uchouten has opened in its previous location on 3131 Surfer's Paradise Boulevard, above Hakataya Ramen. Despite it having been opened for quite a while now, I have yet to try due to the mixed reviews that my friends have told me abotu the establishment. Nevertheless, my curiosity got the better of me and we headed there to try it out after receiving quite a good recommendation from a family friend.
Despite the change of ownership, the decor remained the same basic wooden theme. We had hoped that perhaps the menus and food would also be of similar standard.
To our disappointment, the menu had drastically changed. It had a selection of set meals, sushi, sashimi and sides.
We started off our meal with the crumbed prawn udon. Being quite the filler, I was very surprised to see it come out first, before all the sushi and sashimi. Whilst it was made using delicious fresh udon, everything else about the dish was quite average. In fact, it was almost the same as ones I've had for takeaway at Nigi Nigi, near the exits of Brisbane's Central Station.
Our next dish was the salmon sashimi, which was presented in very thick cut, but small chunks. Given the thickness of this, I would have much preferred it to be sliced thinner but for the pieces to be bigger. We didn't consider the sashimi to be particularly fresh, and it is a definite decline from sashimi we have had in Yamasakura. Another thing that was rather noteworthy was the wasabi provided with the sashimi. It was watery and considerably mild compared to other wasabi.
Next we had the chicken katsu don, which was served in quite a large bowl and garnished with coleslaw and radish. Unfortunately the chicken was completely drenched in tonkotsu sauce, which ensured that it wasn't very crunchy, and the rice was long grain rice, as opposed to short grain, which is what the Japanese dishes traditionally use. Needless to say, I found it not very enjoyable, and comparable to cheap takeaways one would find scattered throughout the Brisbane CBD, rather than a traditional Japanese restaurant in the Gold Coast.
We also had a platter of mixed nigiri to share. This contained 2 pieces of salmon nigiri, 2 pieces of salmon belly, one piece of prawn, one piece of tuna, one piece of cod and one piece of scallop. Compared to the sashimi, the pieces of fish were much more thinly sliced, and I didn't really appreciate having that much skin on my salmon. In line with the sashimi, I firmly believe that the fish could definitely be fresher.
Between the four of us, we also shared four sushi rolls, tempura prawn, salmon avocado, crumbed chicken and unagi. I enjoyed the unagi most because it had avocado instead of cucumber (which is what the usual combination is), but other than that, the other rolls (barring the crumbed chicken one), were quite small, and had more rice than fillings.