A Brisbane based food blog written by a couple with a passion for food.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Last saturday, we were out with a team of four inclusive of Mr food hunter's brother and sister. Where do you go for lunch when there is more than the usual 2 suspects; now presenting the opportunity to enjoy a greater variety of dishes and have fun simultaneously when eating?? To the BBQ House that is! We have been to a few good korean bbq restaurants, but this time we moved eastwards, off to the land of the rising sun- Japan.
Stepping in, we were pretty impressed with the minimalistic interiors and the choice of stark dark and mahogany wood finishes. The restaurant can accommodate well over 80 patrons. The soft music in the background and dim lighting sets it well apart (in terms of ambience) from most korean bbq joints.
Traditional seating available too!
We scored a treat from Mr food hunter's brother (Domo Arigato!) and decided on the Shinbashi selection for 4 @ $168. The set menu has a total of 12 items ranging from wagyu cuts to ox tongue, pork belly, chicken tenderloins, seafood, takoyaki, kimchi etc. There are 3 Japanese beers; Sapporo, Asahi and Yebisu offered on the menu.
Shinbashi employs the use of charcoal and wire mesh grills. As first timers to Shinbashi, waitresses are obliged to assist in the cooking process. At first, we thought our friendly waitress was giving us a demo but she continued on and we politely declined her help. She then made special mention of how we should position the meat cuts for efficient cooking but shortly, we burnt a couple of pieces (Ooops! this never happened with the electric grills) and she was at the helm of cooking again. It was lovely to receive such special attention and to have grilled meats dished up for us, but it can get quite imposing in terms of having a conversation and we lose the fun of cooking for ourselves. Under such circumstances and not wanting to be rude, Mr food hunter's brother initiated a conversation with our now table cook and she became part of our eating experience....ok and moving onto the food....
A light chicken broth kick started the meal. There are a few sides which were part of the banquet meal. The takoyaki balls were a favourite for me, soft and gooey in the middle with a big chunck of octopus and a crisp outer shell. The kimchi we found to be strong in sesame oil flavour and sweeter with less heat than other traditional korean kimchis, perfect for those who can't handle the spice. Apparently, this kimchi is the alternate version, recreated by the taiwanese owner. We really enjoyed it with rice!
Oyster mushrooms cooked in the chicken broth, parsley added by me!
Sesame chicken tenderloin
Grain fed short ribs
Perfectly char grilled, Yum!
Just a couple of shots of the meat and seafood dishes, there were too many! The meats are not heavily marinated so the true flavour and quality of the meats can be tasted. Our "table cook" grilled, seasoned and added a few personal touches to certain items. The ox tongue was served with softened spring onions and the grilled squid was mixed through with lemon, chilli powder and a salt & pepper mix. We probably wouldn't have thought to eat them this way : ) There are a couple of sauces available to dip, one a light sweet soy and the other a spicy miso sauce, both good with the meats. All of the condiments mentioned above are right on the table top.
Desserts came complimentary and we had a choice of kiwi, passionfruit, mango and lychee sorbets. They were set in shot glasses and were ideal sweet refreshers to cool off the "heat" of the meal.
Shinbashi is great for gathering with friends and their several banquet options offer variety, quality and volume that is really worth the dollar spent. There are so many more items offered that are not part of this banquet we had and we are looking forward to trying them as well as the many other popular ala carte items and side dishes. Visit their website and you will surely be tempted!