Visiting Japan when the cherry blossoms fill the country with pink is certainly on my bucket list, but for the moment I'll have to settle for Sake Restaurant & Bar's Cherry Blossom Festival during September.
It's a month when the restaurant, on the top level of Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane's CBD, is filled with pink blooms, fairy-lit cherry trees and a new menu with plenty of sakura inspiration.
Executive Chef Shaun Presland's special Cherry Blossom menu has delicious options such as a cuttlefish and urchin dashi jelly shooter, ocean trout and scallop tartar with truffle ponzu and caviar, or steamed ocean trout stuffed with kenchin tofu, spring begetables, spinach chips and rich soy.
|Chefs Daisuke Sakai and Shaun Presland|
But the place to start is the cocktail list with a Kimono Doll cocktail - a refreshing blend of Ilchiko Shochu, cherries and coco served long.
I sampled the Chef's Spring Lunch Menu which is one of the first from the kitchen now headed by Daisuke Sakai who, with over 13 years experience in Japan and Australia, is one of Australia's most experienced Japanese chefs. The menu is available from September 1.
Daisuke's presentation of the sashimi appetiser was superb with the thick slices of fresh tuna, salmon and kingfish served on a bed of crushed, green ice.
Second course is beef brisket, thrice cooked very slow and very low, in a sweet soy reduction. The potato pave is layered with miso cream.
Dessert is a sakura strawberry tart flanked by pressed seasonal fruits.
Best tip: A Kimono Doll cocktail is a must, of course!
Bottom line: The Chef's Spring Lunch menu costs $38 and includes a non-alcoholic beverage.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Sake for the Cherry Blossom Festival launch