202 Edward Street, Tattersall's Building, Brisbane CBD
I really enjoyed the meal I had with my family at Sono Portside Restaurant. Ever since then, I was curious about trying the city location, which also has greatly positive online reviews. Even though the venue itself didn't appeal to me that much, the fact that it's right THERE in the city, where I wander around at least once a week, it seemed silly not to bite the bullet and try it out.
For whatever reason, I decided that last Friday would be the day. I think Marc had been there before (well, he seemed shocked to hear that I hadn't, which is rare for him) and enjoyed it so he was excited about going again. We were meeting up for lunch and my prior research of the menu indicated that the bento boxes were the way to go. They were definitely pricier than fast food Japanese bento boxes but hey, it's a fine dining restaurant so whatdya expect. I think we fabricated some excuse for eating fancy that day but I can't actually remember what our mutual lie was.
I've been breaking the trend these past few weeks by being The Late One at our lunch meetings. I can't help it if manicures and massages go for longer than expected! Marc rushed me upstairs to Sono and I was surprised to see the restaurant was larger, and much nicer than it appears from downstairs.
Japanese green tea
We had made a reservation, which I think is a good idea because the place definitely filled up over the lunch period. Our table was small but nicely located towards the back of the room, right beside their tranquil water garden.
There are a few different types of bento boxes on offer. From what I've figured out, the name in the title refers to one section of the box that you can choose. For example, the sashimi bento box contains a serving of fresh sashimi. Obviously. Aside from that, you can also chose the hot portion of your dish. There are pork cutlets, chicken options and fish options. Marc chose the chicken karaage, which I wanted too. Put on the spot, I went with the fish shioyaki instead.
Sashimi bento - with fish shioyaki, soft shell crab karaage, shrimp cocktail salad,chef's special dishes, miso soup and rice
The bento boxes were a stunning visual feast to behold. We each had a small bowl of miso soup, a serve of rice, fresh shrimp salad, sides of the day and of course, our choice of main. The specials of the day comprised of green beans with sesame and a small skewer of lotus root tempura and creamy salmon mousse. The green beans were good but by the time I got to the lotus root it was cold. My favorite of the sides was the soft shell crab.
Sushi bento box with Japanese-style fried chicken
The fish was... interesting. The waitress told me that a lot of Japanese customers order this from the menu. It was lightly fried and had a strong, soy marinade. It was overpoweringly fishy for me but the flavors were nice. I will probably stick to fried chicken next time. I was eyeing Marc's karaage feeling slightly envious.
My sashimi was beautiful though and there was no regret there. Each piece of fish was pristine in cut and freshness. Marc seemed equally happy with his sushi.
I really enjoyed my bento box at Sono. There was a good variety of components and it was filling enough without being too much. Everything was lovely to look at, including the staff who were decked out in traditional kimonos. I think this is a lovely spot for both a business lunch or a date night. It just has that sophisticated air about it.