Nippon into Yamagen at QT
For those in the know, it’s no secret that the Gold Coast’s favourite Japanese restaurant, Yamagen, o-fish-ally reopened its doors this winter after a dramatic revamp. And while team G&G loves any excuse for a trip down the coast, we were even more thrilled to finally check out Yamagen for ourselves this month.
Tucked away in the ever-trendy Miami-surfer vibed QT Gold Coast, Yamagen embraces the tastes, atmosphere and funk of downtown Tokyo. First, let’s talk about the refurb – which is nothing short of fancyyy.
Think dimly candle lit, graphic print red walls, fishing net inspired light fittings and wood panelling to rival the eclectic Golden Gai district. Down to the floral kimono-inspired outfits of the waitstaff – it’s clear they’ve thought of every last little detail. Proving that the best things come in threes, Yamagen’s redesign offers three unique spaces for diners: its table-seki (main dining area) centred around the kushiyaki grill, an exclusive sushi counter, and a sleek izakaya bar.
Stepping away from teppanyaki, the new Yamagen has upped the game (and thrills) with a strong Japanese BBQ focus, thanks to the kushiyaki grill as the restaurant’s centrepiece. The menu is mostly share-plate oriented, mixing it up with more traditional gyoza and edamame to modern sashimi tacos and yellow fin tuna tartare with yuzu, avocado and sesame.
The stand out is of course, the skewer selection. We tucked into chicken and wagyu, but were blown away by the halloumi skewers, served with smoked honey and bonito flakes. If you’re tempted by tempura and can’t resist the rolls, then you’ll ab-soy-lutely love Yamagen’s sushi counter!
With only 15 seats available, this intimate dining space is the epitome of cosiness and class as you watch Yamagen’s sushi master Mitsuo Yoshino prepare food before your eyes (don’t fret, you can order sushi from the main dining room too).
And don’t forget to sweep your eyes over Yamagen’s mouth-watering desserts, especially their Yonuts, which are fried donuts dressed in honeyed yuzu curd and black sesame sugar. Rounding out Yamagen’s refurbishment is its inviting izakaya bar, featuring an extensive range of Japanese whisky, sake and an impressive cocktail menu.
Serving up ingenious drinks like the ‘Sake it to me’ cocktail and ‘Dragon Ball’ quencher (a shochu and pomegranate liqueur complete with eggwhite, yuzu, and lime). Our fave? The Kyoto Old Fashioned, with Japanese whisky, yuzu bitters and green tea foam. Yamagen Bar also offers one of the Gold Coast’s only late night dining experiences, with a bar menu of kushiyaki, gyoza and more running from 9pm-late every Friday and Saturday.
Now open 5pm until late six days week, be sure to hit up Yamagen for an experience that will transport you from the beach to the bustling back streets of Tokyo. We’re definitely saying yeah-again to Yamagen.
Photo credit: QT Gold Coast