Along your way on Albert Street, you will notice red paper lanterns in a restaurant. It’s Izakaya Kotobuki, a Japanese restaurant. The distinctive red paper lanterns are the trademark signs of sake bars and restaurants in Japan.
Japanese restaurants are usually busy and it may be difficult to find a seat without a reservation. But at Kotobuki, you can check for empty seats through the glass and get seated immediately if available.
Japanese “Izakaya” style
Izakaya(ee-zah-ka-yah) is a casual place for drinking and eating in Japan. Dishes are provided in small portions like Spanish tapas so that you can enjoy pairing alcohol beverages with a variety of foods. Usually it is affordable, and people can come and enjoy sake almost everyday.
Serving Fresh sake
Contrary to wine, sake needs to be consumed immediately, at most within a year, because it is designed to be at its best at the time of shipping. However, since cross boarder shipping from Japan takes at least three months, some sake sold in Australia may be more than a year old and their quality may not be as good as when it was freshly made and bottled.
Understanding that, Kotobuki makes the best effort to provide fresh sake that doesn’t exceed a year from bottling, while most other sake restaurants may be unmanageable.
Another interesting feature of this restaurant is that it provides sake in small 300ml-bottles. In general, sake is provided with a decanter and small cups, depriving you of its unique original bottle because original bottle sizes are too large for a person (750ml -1.8L). But in Kotobuki, you enjoy the small but artistic labels. Choosing sake by its design can be fun.
The most popular sake in Kotobuki is Komatsu Tatewaki ($16.50/300ml), named after a famous samurai warrior. You can see his picture on the bottle, and this is probably why it’s so popular. It’s a full-bodied sake with a light aftertaste, making it good for those new to sake.
Popular for sushi and other food pairings
Kotobuki has also become popular for ten years for its takeout sushi. But you will also enjoy other food offerings on their menu such as spitted okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake), fried beef with spherical seasonings, and dumplings. Price starts from $3.50.
Advice on choosing sake is available
The restaurant manager passionately supports customers selecting the best sake for the night. You can also select sake by seeing the labels right in front of you.
The manager took ten years to plan and realize this Izakaya, an authentic Japanese-style restaurant, and is very attentive to customers, wishing them the best sake and dining experience.
The selection of sake: Good
Japanese-style food: Good
A Japanese Izakaya is a casual and affordable place to eat and to drink, and Izakaya Kotobuki exactly replicates this Japanese culture in Australia. It’s not fine dining like posh French restaurants, but it certainly is accessible and enjoyable that you can drop in anytime without dressing up.
Location : 93 Albert Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000
Open : Mon – Sat 5:30 a.m. – onwards / Sun Closed
HP : http://sushikotobuki.com.au