[GCM] A Taste of J a p a n PLUS

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A Taste of J a p a n PLUS

The spotless nature of the restaurant as we walked
towards it reminded me that Japan is the cleanest
country that I have travelled to. The speedy greeting
at the door and the warm smiles further reminded me of
the Japanese way, greeting their customers as family.
Tetsu Aki is a unique Japanese restaurant featuring
modern Japanese food in a part of the world that probably
has more Japanese restaurants per head of population
than most.
The 8.8m sushi bar is a wonder in itself. With three
chefs, including one who did his training and many years
honing his craft at a 5-star hotel, dedicated to the sushi,
sashimi and hot dinner menus and a leaning towards
fusing east and west in their cuisine, it is a complex
restaurant that is hard to categorize.
It offers a great luncheon with noodle soups, sushi,
sashimi and the Japanese lunch box, the Bento Box.
The restaurant is fully licensed with a concise wine list,
Japanese beers and a selection of Sakes on offer.

From the Sake list, we tried Sake Kimbakurini, which
is unique for the gold flake leaf floating within. Served
cold as all good Sake should be (unless you’re up to your
waist in Nagano snow), it had a light and smoothly citrus
taste to it. Some lovely Sencha (Japanese green tea)
accompanied this so that the Sake bottle didn’t disappear
too quickly.
The sashimi platter was exquisitely fresh and there
was fresh wasabi to mix into the soy sauce, with quite a
different taste to the usual tubed variety. Salmon, tuna,
king fish, sea scallop and snapper disappeared in no time.
The fresh oysters that followed had a delightfully light
and flavorsome ponzu sauce, so different in character to
the bottled versions that are generally on offer.
Lightly-seared slices of tuna tataki arrived with the
first hint of fusion cuisine – slices of jalapeño chili a top
the lightly blow-torched fish. They gave it a little bit of
zest without being over-powering. Sushi in the form of
vegetarian rice balls were served next, presented in the
manner of traditional fish sushi.
East met west again with the next oyster offering. The
oyster miso mornay looks very much like an oyster mornay
although the cheese topping is light and moist despite the
grilling. However a taste of miso further adds intrigue to
this long standing flavour combination.
A sushi platter of varied fish varieties and one steak
shard arrived next all lightly torched in the Aburi style.

This is a great intro for people who may baulk at raw fish.
The speedy blow torching of the fish changes the texture
to that one would be more accustomed to with cooked
seafood, but the light fresh nature of sashimi survives.
An old friend with a mixed tempura plate and
very light dipping sauce followed on from thisVarious
vegetables all encased in the lightest of tempura batter
and what we and hundreds of other devotees have
decreed are the best ever Crispy Prawns.
At this stage it became rather concerning that we may
not make our way through all we had ordered. But such
as the mystery of Japanese cuisine that despite being on
our eighth plate, we still had some room when the braised
pork belly arrived. This is more hail and hearty than the
traditional light ethereal Japanese cuisine. It certainly filled
any gaps in our hunger and had enormous flavour to it.
All the time glasses were topped, tea replaced and
dishes came and went with flawless service.

One can’t help but be struck by the multi-faceted nature of this restaurant.
The hot meal choices offer an interesting fusion
of east and west cuisine, or a western staple reworked
in the Japanese way. There were many more dishes on
the menu that I would have liked to have tried and the
wagyu steak particularly caught my eye, however, we were
indeed struggling with our final course.

The restaurant has an extensive take-away menu. The
wonderful Bento Boxes, noodles and soups , traditional
sushi and their own unique special rolls are a world apart.
It is a restaurant where you can take the whole family
with the younger family members feasting on the sushi
that they’re accustomed to while the older and wiser
heads explore the more unique aspects of this restaurant’s
menu.
Living close to Surfers Paradise as I do, I hadn’t been to
Paradise Point to eat since my favourite Italian restaurant
disappeared. However the unique and intriguing nature
of the Tetsu Aki menu will draw people from a distance
away as well as being a real pearl for the inhabitants of
the northern Broadwater. Open Monday to Saturday,
bookings are essential.
When Emperor Meiji ascended the throne in the late
1800s he decreed that Japan should retain its culture
but embrace the “best of the west”. I think he would be
pleased with what he would find here.

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