Shop 1, 164 Grey Street, South Bank Parklands
Going back a couple of weekends now, Marc and I were on the hunt for lunch on Sunday and got hit with a serious problem. We were both tired as anything, felt extremely indecisive (in an "I don't mind what we eat yet nothing seems RIGHT" way) and didn't want to walk too far. I had this severe sashimi craving and we were open to Japanese but the nearest Japanese restaurant was closed for lunch.
Unwilling to walk to the city, we remembered that there was a Japanese restaurant in South Bank. At least, I thought it was Japanese. Marc wasn't sure but he knew the restaurant I was talking about. We made it to South Bank, praying the whole time that we had remembered correctly and that it was open. When San Kai came into view, I had a heart-stopping moment of "oh that looks dark, it must be closed" but Marc pointed out that it was just really bright where we were standing outdoors and across the street so the restaurant looked dark by comparison. He turned out to be correct and San Kai was indeed open and it also served Japanese food. All needs met with. I audibly sighed with relief.
I'd never looked too closely at this restaurant before but I like the set up. There's the usual inside dining area then a semi-covered outdoor space with comfy chairs that created a booth-like environment (we sat in a corner outside). Later when we left, I also noticed a takeaway speed-order area on the side.
The menu has all the usual Japanese offerings but we kept it simple. I knew I wanted sashimi. Marc wanted sushi. We got a large sushi and sashimi platter to share and a teriyaki beef. Easy!
Large sashimi and sushi combination platter
The platter was a glorious sight to behold. It wasn't massive but it ended up being enough to satisfy our hunger. The sashimi was all very fresh. It was perhaps not as refined as at a fine-dining restaurant but it was good enough for me. The sushi and nigiri pieces were basically more of the same but with the addition of sushi rice and/or nori (seaweed). I don't like eating rice so Marc and I negotiated some trading and I got more sashimi and he, more sushi.
The teriyaki beef came as a flat steak conveniently cut into portions and soaked in a light sauce. There were a few random pieces of vegetables that I considered to be unecessary (just for decoration perhaps?) but Marc ate them anyway.
Close-up of steak
The steak had a lovely sweet and salty flavor and I like that the sauce wasn't too thick. We wanted medium but I think it was more of a medium-well. It was a very thin piece of steak so I can see how it's easy to overcook. It didn't bother me but I think if they can't garuntee a specific degree of doneness, it shouldn't be offered as a choice.
We had a lovely, simple meal at San Kai. It ended up being a bit on the pricey side but I suppose that's what get when you choose South Bank as your dining location and dishes that feature seafood. The service was really polite and we didn't have to wait long for our food.