Is this Brisbane’s best Japanese? | Gourmand and Gourmet

Is this Brisbane’s best Japanese?

From the moment you walk into Saké, you can’t help but feel a thousand miles away from Brisbane – or you would if it weren’t for the stunning views of the river and Story Bridge twinkling at you through the floor to ceiling windows of the Eagle Street Pier restaurant. Recently named Australia’s best Japanese restaurant by Savour Restaurant & Catering, Saké is a feast for all the senses – from the sight of the vibrant wall of saké barrels between the restaurant and bar, to the smoky aroma of delicious morsels being slow grilled over the new dancing robata grill. The ultimate spot to impress clients over a business lunch, catch up with the girls over a champagne-fuelled Sunday banquet or finish the working week off with bar bites and cocktails on the balcony, Saké isn’t just a dining spot – it’s an experience. You could take a seat in the riverside dining room with those spectacular views – or you could get really traditional and sit cross-legged at one of the sunken dining tables. More decisions over whether to go contemporary or traditional will follow when you cast your eyes on the menu, with age-old Japanese flavours and techniques given a modern twist on the hefty list of eats. For the traditionalists, nigiri and sashimi with scallops, eel, cuttlefish and salmon roe will satisfy any cravings for exotic Japanese delights. But for those with an adventurous palate, brush up on your chopstick skills and sample eats like sashimi tacos, salt and pepper bug tails, popcorn shrimp and Saké’s infamous Korean fried chicken sushi rolls. sake japanese restaurant brisbane 2From the dancing robata grill, so called because the 1000 degree heat causes the bonita flakes sprinkled on the skewers of meat and vegetables to dance (seriously – it looks a fish flake flash mob), you can order braised shortrib, charred corn and pork belly slow-grilled over hot charcoal. Do yourself a favour and order the mouth-watering Japanese eggplant skewers with chicken miso – you’ll never look at eggplant the same way again, we promise. Simply can’t decide? Let the chef do it for you and opt for one of the set menus. Designed for sharing, they’re best enjoyed in one of the restaurant’s private dining booths – where no one can see you battle it out with chopsticks over the last steamed prawn dumpling. If it’s a just a casual catch up you’re planning, nab a spot on the breezy balcony and indulge in exotic cocktails like the Japanese Rose, with shochu, peach, lychee, rose petals and lime, paired with dumplings and snacks from the grill. Of course, delicious Japanese fare and cocktails isn’t all Saké does well, with an impressive list of sakés, umeshu, shochu and Japanese whiskeys to sip your way through. If you’ve had bad experiences with saké before, don’t let that stop you from giving it another try, because this carefully curated list will soon have you swapping your usual brew for rice wine. Ready to brandish a set of chopsticks and sample Brisbane’s best Japanese food? You’ll find Saké Restaurant and Bar at Eagle Street Pier in the CBD, open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner and drinks. Words by Ranyhyn Akui Images by Judit Losh Keeping the G&G up to date with all the latest tasty tidbits requires a lot of double lattes and espresso martinis, so we occasionally need to give out some sponsored love. But rest assured that we only work with businesses that we think are really nifty, as the sponsor for this post is!