I love Asian food, and it is not because I am Asian. I really hate it when people assume that I know everything about every Asian cuisine just because I’m Asian. Thai food and Japanese food are worlds apart, OK!
My favourite Asian food is Japanese, it hasn’t always been like that, but I think I definitely developed a taste for it when I lived in Japan for nearly two years four years ago (was it really four years ago??). I actually think it’s very hard to find a decent, authentic Japanese restaurant in Brisbane. I’ve yet to be completely wowed. My favourite for sushi is Hanaichi (not the sushi deli, but the sushi train thing) – infact, that’s pretty much the only place I’ll go for sushi train. I quite like Sakura in West End but I think it’s very expensive, their sashimi platter is worth it though. I’ve been to Sono obviously but I think people go there for the ambiance rather than for the food because it certainly isn’t that authentic or that great for that matter. I also like Mizu actually…but I never think to go there, their fish cake brings me back to 600 yen obentos from Jusco and I absolutely love their soba noodle and crab salad. All the other places like sushi train places like Sushi Stations are just disgusting, I don’t even bother.
I recently read a review about Bishamon in Spring Hill and it had great reviews so I thought I’d give it a go. In the space of three weeks, I actually went twice. The restaurant is small, split into two rooms, a more casual look room and the other side that has a Teppan and posh chairs. The service is very much Japanese, with the waiters very attentive and friendly.
The first time I went there, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the extensive menu. There were at least two pages of appetizer/entree sized meals, a page of mains, sushi, sashimi, te maki (hand rolls), teppanyaki meals, shabu shabu (steam boat), sukiyaki (cook your own beef, tofu and vegetables in a sweet soy sauce). I spent a long time deciding and ended up ordering way too much. As usual, I ate before I could take pictures, but I ordered yaki gyoza, home made potato salad (it arrived served with chips as well!), soba noodle salad (huge, huge servings), B-Roll (inside out sushi roll with salmon, omelet, cucumber, avacado), beef tataki with rice, green tea ice-cream.
I thorougly enjoyed everything, the yaki gyoza was a bit dry – I usually like a bit of broth in it against crispy gyoza skins, the potato salad was exactly like in Japan, bits of mashed potato with pieces of potatoes with carrots and mayo – yummy. The soba noodle salad was delicious, it was simple with a mirin/soy type dressing topped with nori, I could easily just eat that for lunch and it only cost $10.50, the B-roll was also yummy, fresh and full of flavour. The beef tataki was served lightly seared so it was very rare, with a dipping sauce, I liked it but didn’t have THAT much flavour.
I decided to take MMa week later because she loves Japanese food, and annoyingly, it was not as great as the first time I went. We ordered the yaki-gyoza, but this time, some of the pieces were barely pan fried and were not Krispy, the chicken and cashew salad that we chose for the chef’s recommendation were pieces of fried chicken karaage with cashews doused in sweet chilli sauce. Disappointing, my mum could’ve whipped that up in three seconds and it wouldn’t be that coyingly sweet. Next came the grilled eggplant, which was a huge piece of grilled eggplant, halved, smothered in miso paste. The first bite was delicious, rich and very creamy, but after three bites, it became way too rich and the miso was way too sweet.
Our mains arrived next, I ordered teriyaki beef fillet which came medium (I requested medium rare) with a side a salad decorated with yummy Japanese mayo, rice and miso soup. The beef was nice, and I enjoyed it with the rice, I left most of the salad. Nothing to rave home about…I would’ve loved a good kobe beef…but I couldn’t really expect that for $30. MM was very disappointed with her salmon. Her salmon was cooked heavily in butter, you could the salmon swimming in grease and it was very overcooked and served with tartare sauce – not very Japanese. I didn’t mind it because I love butter, but MM felt it was too oily to be enjoyable.
Overall, I didn’t mind the meal, although I didn’t feel it was as great as the first time I went. The whole time though, I was obsessed with the table next to us who’d ordered the sukiyaki – it’s all you can eat for $35 wagyu beef!! Next time I go back (and there will be a next time), I’m definitely going for that.
500 Boundary St Spring Hill QLD 4000 | (07) 3832 3888
Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-11pm