Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lunch at Kimono

119 Melbourne St, South Brisbane

As South Brisbane residents who love sushi, Kimono was something Marc and I were really glad to have around. Unfortunately, at least 2 times we tried to visit, it was closed. Both times it happened was on Sunday and finally we got the hint that Kimono was closed for Sunday lunch. Learning from our mistakes, our next attempt was Saturday and horray, we got in!

Kimono is fashioned as a sushi train but after a while, we realized we couldn't approach it as such. I'm not sure if it's just because we went after conventional lunch hours (around the 2pm mark) or if they're always like this but we waited for ages next to the rails and the only things that tooted past were sauce satchets and empty mugs with tea packets stuck on the sides. Forced to persue other options, we consulted the menus again.

There were a few chefs recommendations on one page and another page with lists of sushi styles and flavors. We started ordering random items just to get the ball rolling. After these arrived, they were so delicious (and the train was still barren) that we ordered more.

Below is a gallery of dishes that we ended up trying.

Seared salmon and scallop

 Seared salmon

Tempura honey fish


Japanese eel

Spider roll (soft shelled crab)

Complimentary salad


Seared salmon belly

Lobster salad

Karaage chicken

I had lowered my expectations when I saw how empty the sushi train was but once our a la carte sushi started arriving, my opinion did a 180. The first bite of sushi I tried (the seared salmon and scallop) was amazing. Because it was seared, it was slightly warm with a charred flavor and the sauce was just a perfect balance of sweet and salty. This high standard continued on with every variety of sushi we tried.

The okonomiyaki was good but a bit small. I enjoyed the karaage chicken but it would have benefited from a dollop of kewpie and a slice of lemon. The spider roll was probably my least favorite because the crab wasn't totally crunchy and also had a nasty fishiness. The complimentary salad was a nice surprise and also quite tasty.

Sushi trains are appealing because you don't have to wait for food and you don't have to think. My usual technique is to hunt by sight and rip down plates that look good. Kimono failed as a sushi train but as a to-order sushi establishment, the quality was exceptional. It may be that the place was quiet and after a while, we were the only customers in the restaurant and I felt like we had a private sushi chef! Food was being brought out to order and everything was fresh. Aside from a slight service snag where we were left without water, the staff were very friendly.
Kimono on Urbanspoon


  1. There seems to be an overload of sauce on most of the sushi dishes. Does the seared salmon belly even need a smear of fluid at all? I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to Japanese food so I'd get really nervous when I go to sushi bars and they go crazy with the fusion sauces, particularly the Korean-run places. You sure they are any good, or it's simply good food but not done in true Japanese style?

  2. Hi Kilas...

    I don't Kimono would qualify for super authentic Japanese. I'm not a Japanese food purist (haven't even been to Japan to try the 'real' stuff) but the bottom line for me was that the sushi tasted good :)