Brisbane’s fanciest Japanese restaurants | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Brisbane’s fanciest Japanese restaurants

Prepare to feed your inner sumo, Brisbane – we know he’s hungry.

A miniature train on a conveyor belt carrying endless morsels of yumminess (aka sushi) our way; a theatrical experience where a chef literally throws freshly-grilled deliciousness at us (aka teppanyaki) – yeah, we love Japanese very matcha!

But whilst we may be partial to a California roll, Japanese cuisine is so much more than just sushi. So, every once and while say sayonara to your local sushi train and konichiwa to some of these bougie South-East Queensland Japanese establishments.


One of Australia’s most awarded Japanese restaurants, Saké at Eagle Street Pier is the place to head when looking to treat yo’self to some truly mouth-watering Japanese cuisine. Bringing a distinct, contemporary spin to tried and tested Japanese flavours, Saké’s menu comprises of signature dishes like miso-glazed Glacier 51 toothfish, hiramasa kingfish with soy dressing, popcorn tempura shrimp, nori crips with tuna, and, of course, a comprehensive list of premium Japanese saké. You can choose to order a la carte, but with a menu you’ll be wonton more of (or all of), leave your meal in the hands of one of the restaurant’s chefs and choose one of the three banquet menus available.


Lovers of sushi everywhere, rejoice, because recently-opened Shishou is a sushi-degustation restaurant with one of Brisbane’s best sushi chefs at the helm. An intimate restaurant positioned on Brunswick Street, Shishou offers diners a multi-course experience, where, perched at the bar, you can enjoy a short- or long-course degustation menu featuring lovingly crafted sushi, sashimi, and various Japanese appetisers prepared and served by Takashi himself. Whilst at the bar, make sure to order yourself a Japanese saké, plum wine, local red or white wine or champagne. Sounds good, kimo-no?


Head through the inconspicuous black door to discover a dark, moody space serving contemporary Japanese fare, where you can expect to taste a lot of Japan and a little bit of Australia with every bite. Broken down into raw, bites, bigs, and greens, Hôntô’s menu has been designed to encourage sharing, which is for the best with so many delicious options to choose from! To drink, amongst a selection of wine, beer, and cocktails, you’ll notice a bunch of rare and unusual Japanese whiskey and saké to sip on.


Next time you’re in Noosa, drag yourself away from busy, bustling Hastings Street and instead enjoy dinner (or lunch on a Sunday) at the riverside Japanese eatery Wasabi Restaurant and Bar. Boasting what would have to be one of the most envied positions on the Sunshine Coast, Wasabi occupies a prime spot on the Noosa River. Whilst the fit-out may be quintessentially Queensland, at Wasabi it is all about creative, authentic Japanese food, where only seasonal, local produce is used, with its very own farm at Honeysuckle Hill growing rare Japanese herbs, flowers and vegetables.


Don’t be a dumpling, be a smartling and choose to dine at Sono next time you’re at Portside Wharf. Whether it’s for a lavish event in one of the restaurant’s paper screened tatami rooms with your nearest and dearest, an a la carte lunch or dinner, or for (our personal favourite) teppanyaki, you’re sure to have a memorable experience. Featuring stunning river views, the menu at Sono comprises a comprehensive selection of sashimi and sushi, along with yakitori, gyoza, duck teriyaki orange and oh so much more. 


A striking mix of old and new, the highly awarded Kiyomi Restaurant and Bar, located on the lobby level of The Star Gold Coast offers diners mouth-watering sashimi, indulgent foie gras and freshly shaken cocktails, taking Japanese cuisine to daring new heights. Enjoy a modern, yet authentic taste of Tokyo (minus the long-haul flight) with dishes such as grilled prawns with nori butter, Moreton Bay bug with grapefruit salad, sambal and aioli, and wagyu 9+ striploin with Tasmanian wasabi and Siberian black pearl caviar.


Whether it’s saké you’re after, you’ve got a yearning for yakitori, or you’re going mad for miso, you’ll find it in Brisbane.

Words by Jarred Reinke
- the gourmet with their chopsticks at the ready.