At first I came here on the recommendation of my regular customers and was surprised to find much more than a familiar face.
Actually story goes back to 2004.
Back then, we had the luxury of eating out wherever we pleased and actually enjoying the night (now we have to feed three more hungry and loud mouths). I was a young coal trader from Tokyo enjoying expat life in the Teneriffe woolstore apartments. There was a Spanish restaurant called Miro’s just down the road run by Jose and I used to frequent it. It was a lovely institution and was probably a positive factor in me opening up a restaurant. The sight of Jose and his team having a proper dinner after service seemed like perfect happiness.
Anyway, there was a middle aged German couple that was always there, even more than us and they would lay out about 6 bottles of wine on the table, drink about 4 of them and start lighting a cigar as the other patrons left. On many of those nights, he had Nami san at the table helping empty the 4th bottle. We naturally introduced each other and talked a little, back then, I think Nami san was the sushi chef at a Japanese restaurant in Toowong. The German gentleman spoke highly of Nami San’s sushi skills but having just come from Tokyo, I was preoccupied discovering various cuisines not available in Japan so I never got around to visiting Nami sans shop. I thought I will one day but those fond days quickly changed with the arrival of our child and the eventual closure of Miro’s.
Fast forward to 2018. I am now a Ramen chef in Brisbane and having been here for 14 years now, and with 3 hungry roudy kids, we are always looking for reasonable family friendly venue serving comforting Japanese food. All these years I knew of Ku-O in Sunnybank but I usually went to Sunnybank for Chinese and not Japanese. Anyhow, I wasn’t interested in their Ku-O Woolongabba shop in the beginning, same owners, same quality was my prejudgement. But I kept on getting recommendations from multiple customers including a foodie family and Japanese expats who knew their sashimi.
So I finally decided to pay them a visit a couple months ago and was pleasantly surprised to find Nami San, with his strong passion at the sushi counter. Expectation was completely exceeded, I must say I don’t know of a better way to spend $36 than the Large Sashimi platter expertly prepared by Nami San. It takes energy and passion to stock and prepare this much variety of fresh fish. Just look at any other Japanese restaurant. They usually only stock Salmon and Tuna, maybe kingfish and Nz snapper if lucky, plus frozen Prawns and frozen cuttlefish. Nami san always has far greater variety, all fresh mainly local.
And the value! Feeding my family of 5 is usually a bank breaking task but Ku-O is so generous and well priced we just find ourselves coming back again and again. Of our countless visits, guess what’s the one thing we always order, Large Sashimi Platter, cut thin. Nami san is happy to cater to requests like this. And for a mere $36, he wows us with the best fish of the season and his skills. Sometimes it might be the springy grouper or the freshest garfish or maybe the local squid with countless hidden knife incisions so the texture is just perfect.
I like the fact we can just walk in on most days so being greedy I am a bit reluctant to tell people about this gem but I hope Nami San gets the recognition and business he deserves.