Hello! I hope you like the new-look Sugar Snapped. J has been working hard behind the scenes, and whilst there may still be some bugs in the archives we decided it was time to go live.
Full disclosure – J and I were guests of Sono Portside, however all opinions are my own!
J and I walk into the beautiful restaurant and remove our shoes to slide in underneath the sunken tables. It’s at about this time that I regret my decision to go with ballet flats and not shoes that require socks! I also question my decision to wear a rather short skirt. Minor wardrobe malfunctions aside, we relax and get comfortable in our lovely table overlooking the river. No cruise ships are docked at the moment, so we have an uninterrupted view down the river towards the city.
Our waiter Sho comes around with the menu and recommends the tasting menu (with matching wines/sake) to give us the best overview of what Sono has to offer. I love a good degustation/tasting, but I leave the wine tasting to J – I ran a half marathon this morning so 6 glasses of wine probably wouldn’t be the smartest idea…
Our first course (and in fact all the courses) arrives promptly. We have a fresh oyster with a touch of lime juice – it tastes like the sea, and I feel like I am getting more at ease with the tilt-your-head-and-gulp action required to enjoy an oyster. The soft-shell crab is crisp and sweet, and the wagyu piece tender and just barely seared. J tells me the Cloudy Bay Sparkling is light and matches well with the seafood.
Second course is sashimi, and the wasabi gives it a great kick. I particularly enjoy the white fish in lemon juice, and I prefer the tuna to the salmon. J and I agree that, although we don’t mind sashimi, we prefer the flavour when the tuna/salmon is just quickly seared on each side. The Mitchell Watervale riesling is crisp and not to sweet.
Next up is a fried spring roll filled with fresh scampi. The sauce it is served with is simply delicious, but perhaps slightly too overpowering of the delicate scampi for our tastes. The cheesy croquettes are excellent and the sauce really works well with those. I am not normally a fan of wooded chardonnay, but the Giants Step Sexton chardonnay is delicious.
Sushi course, and we enjoy some grilled salmon, tempura prawn and fish cake sushi. The pickled ginger is divine (and not fluorescent pink like a lot of commercial varieties!) – it makes me want to learn to pickle ginger at home (perhaps a future project?). J has the sake (Echigo Toji No Sato) with this course, and whilst neither of us have any particular experience with sake he thinks it goes particularly well with the salmon.
For the main, I choose the wagyu beef and J picks the duck. The beef is lovely, tender, cooked medium-rare according to my request and with a fragrant, rich sauce. This dish has what Heston would describe as “umami” and certainly satisfies me. J’s orange duck is also rich and perfectly cooked, but J remarks that a more aged pinot noir than the Roaring Meg could have also have worked with the dish.
Finally dessert! Normally dessert on the tasting menu is a tasting plate, but as special guests of the restaurant (how fancy!) we are treated to two full sized desserts. The profiterole swans are lovely, but my heart belongs to the gateau au chocolat, which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me.
From start to finish our whole experience at Sono Portside was delightful – the service was thoughtful (thanks to Sho!), the food was delicious, the view and company was wonderful.
Thank you so much to Sono Portside for the chance to come and have a delicious meal!
39 Hercules St
Ph: 3268 6655