This time around I was more than ever excited for dinner at Sake. Not only because I was coming back to the restaurant I truly enjoy, but also because it was Hubby’s first time dining there. I had a feeling Sake will be a great dinner-date place and who doesn’t like dinner-dates?
What makes a good dinner-date place in my books? Dimmed lights, intimate atmosphere, good food (if it’s easy to share then even better), conversation friendly environment – not too loud, but also not complete silence, friendly staff and a decent distance between tables. If there is an opportunity for a nice walk after dinner (like in this case, by the river) then I give it even more date-points.
Our evening started with Puru Puru Ume. What looked like a glass of champagne, turned out to be a sweet sparkling jelly (5% alcohol). Very surprising texture, especially if you expect champagne, but we both loved it.
To make things easier and skip the hard part of choosing what we want to eat, we settled for Signature Dishes Banquet ($88pp). First up were ikura scallops topped with salmon caviar & ponzu sauce. Pretty, soft and fresh, great way to start the tasting (and to set the bar high). After scallops we got a plate with sashimi selection. 5 kinds (10 pieces) of beautiful fish, but the star for us was tuna, with its rich flavour.
After the light start it was time for some cooked dishes.
Tonkatsu cups: panko-fried pork belly & spring onion bites, served in lettuce cups with mustard miso & japanese barbecue sauce – I’m going to just try a small piece, and you eat the rest – I said to Hubby. I usually try to avoid pork, especially pork belly, I don’t like the smell of it. When it arrived on our table, in a form of small balls, and I tried one I suddenly changed my mind. It was just lovely and I could eat them all by myself, in particular if it was served with a glass of cold beer.
Steamed beef, ginger & chive dumplings with spicy sour dipping sauce. Yet another thing that I don’t usually go for, after I had some bad experiences with dumplings in other places. But Sake once again changed my mind with this dish. Well balanced flavours of meat and chives with the dipping sauce which adds well to the mix.
Pan-seared ōra king salmon, cauliflower purée, sugar snap pea & roasted satoimo served with a baby spinach salad was up next. Delicate piece of fish, cooked to flaky perfection was satisfying and sort of comforting. But for me it was the amazing white-sesame dressing on the salad that stole the show.
Medium-rare grass-fed beef sirloin on sautéed onions & japanese mushrooms, topped with soy & ginger sauce was the dish we were looking forward to. It looked great, but in comparison to everything else we tried on the night it didn’t have as exciting flavours and felt overpowered by soy sauce.
For a dessert, that even my sugar-free diet couldn’t stop me from tasting – nihon nemesis (super chocolaty nemesis, green tea gel, sake jelly, chunky chocolate rocks and raspberry sorbet). Yes, if you ever decide, for whatever reason, to quit sugar, but one day you feel like it’s time to have a real dessert, this is the one you want to cheat on the diet with. Impeccable. Sake jelly combined with chocolate and berries is the bomb.
Throughout the meal we also enjoyed a sake flight (there is a range of sake flights available starting from $12pp for a flight of three different sakes). As we don’t know much about sake, we decided to just have fun with it, try them straight up first and then with food. Interesting experience, definitely worth trying.
Address: Level 1, 45 Eagle Street, Eagle Street Pier Brisbane
We dined as guests of COCOM and Sake Restaurant. All opinions, as always, are our own.