The first time I heard of Shaun Presland was when I tuned into Season 2 Master Chef and watched Claire cook off against Shaun in the Celebrity Chef Challenge, as well as in a Masterclass when he taught the group how to make some basic Japanese dishes. I was especially interested because I had always been a fan of Japanese cuisine ever since I visited Tokyo a few years back.
Shaun is the Executive Chef at Sake Restaurant in Sydney and I had planned to visit Sake on my next trip to Sydney. A few months on, I found out that Sake was opening in Brisbane! So J and I went to check it out and boy were we in for an amazing night!
We arrived at 6:15pm and was greeted by a lovely lady who was quite friendly and promptly showed us to our table.
J and I couldn't help but gaze in excitement at the beautifully decorated restaurant, not to mention the countless bottles of Sake at the bar! Just amazing.
We ordered the sashimi appetizer as our entree, as well as the salt & pepper tofu as I had watched Shaun make it in his Masterclass and it looks so good.
The sashimi appetizer was an absolute treat. It was the freshest, most beautiful sashimi I had ever eaten. Even the king snapper/tuna/milkfish all had a nice texture and most importantly - it tasted fresh without the 'fishy' smell or taste.
Sashimi appetizer with wasabi & soy
Next came the salt and pepper tofu. The outside layer was crispy and the soft, silken tofu centre literally gave a 'melt in your mouth' sensation. It was such a simple dish, yet it was done so well.
Salt and pepper tofu with chill and spring onion
If the freshness and quality of the entrees were anything to go by, we knew we were in for a treat with our mains.
We ordered the scampi tempura and miso butterfish to share.
You can always tell by the way a restaurant makes its tempura dishes as to how good the restaurant is. The tempura batter was crunchy and the scampi was cooked just right. The sweet ponzu sauce went well with the tempura scampi, but it was a little bit too strong in taste for me. It would have been better if we had ordered a bowl of rice to go with this dish.
Scampi tempura crunchy tempura scampi tails with sweet ponzu, coriander and jalapeno slices
Our first main was quickly followed by this miso butterfish. The waitress told us that the butterfish was marinated in a sweet miso marinade for 24 hours before it is cooked and served to us. I liked the concept of having fish with a miso taste, but unfortunately this one was a little different to what I had in mind. The flesh was quite firm and the miso taste was not infused into the flesh very much. The sweet miso was also a little bit salty for my liking. Again, I think we should have ordered some rice to go with this dish.
Miso marinated butterfish grilled with pickled radish
We were almost full by the end of our second main, but J really wanted to have dessert and absolutely loves white sesame, so she ordered the white sesame ice-cream. I, also wanted to end my night with a sweet treat and ordered the green-apple mille feuille.
The presentation of J's white sesame ice-cream was amazing. What simply read as being "white sesame ice-cream per scoop " ended up being a huge scoop of ice-cream decorated with a chocolate layered plate, a black sesame tuile with sugar coated pistachios! There were so many things I loved, all on one plate! The ice-cream had a nice and strong sesame taste (the way it should be!) and the tuile was so crispy and the perfect sweetness.
White sesame ice-cream
My green-apple mille feuille was made up of green-apple mousse with layers of crispy thin pastry and apple vanilla syrup. Sounds delicious? That's because it was! The pastry was paper thin (almost!) and the taste of the apple mousse mixed with the tanginess of the green apples wedged between each layer. This dessert was certainly light enough not to make me think "I should have skipped dessert!" Mmmm... Oiishii!
Green-apple mille feuille
Our dinner at Sake Restaurant turned out to be a lovely dining experience. Whether it be the food, atmosphere or the great customer service, I think it was because of all aspects combined that made it such an enjoyable evening. I am looking forward to visiting Sake in Sydney also, but we will definitely be back to dine at Sake Brisbane again!