Fortitude Valley is rife with options for Asian dining. Despite the Chinatown monicker, you can find Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and more, with a ton of options for getting your Japanese sushi fix. But, after eating at Zuri’s all you can eat Sushi night once a week for two months straight, I was ready for a change. So, the arrival of the Hirameki Sushi Buffet was greeted with much enthusiasm.
Hirameki Sushi Buffet
183 Wickham street,
T: 07 3252 2646
Lunch 12:00 – 14:30 (except Sundays)
Dinner 17:30 – 21:30 (Sun – Thursday)
17:30 – 22:00 (Friday, Saturday)
Previously housing a Korean/Japanese restaurant, it was the huge new sign out front that first caught my attention and made me want to finally give this restaurant a try and when I saw they were doing an all you can eat Sushi buffet I was totally sold. The prices were a little pricier than my standard Zuri outing ($22 dinner / $19 lunch), but I figured that just meant the quality would be higher. Besides, because it was BYO we could take a whole bottle in with us for 1/3rd of what we would pay at Zuri - so really it’s just as cheap.
As we reached the top of the staircase entrance, we were greeted by one of the friendliest elderly asian men I’ve ever had the fortune to be served by. He showed us to our seats and despite his really strong accent, he surprised us with his perfect grasp of English. My lady friend wanted to dine from the a la carte menu as she wasn’t very hungry and he had no issue explaining the options to her or answering her incessant questions (definitely more patient than I am!). Not only that, but they let her make some subtitutions for things without charging her extra, or making a fuss. It was all no big deal and that’s a great way to do business.
Opting for the buffet, I immediately hated myself for not liking seafood. From what I could tell, everything on there looked delicious and fresh… by far one of the most impressive seafood sushi spreads I’ve ever come across. Of course you’ll have to try it yourself, but there certainly wasn’t any canned tuna on offer here (actually the only fish I will eat!).
In terms of sushi, the non-seafood meat options were somewhat limited (there was only one chicken teriyaki roll being offered), but there was a whole heap of vegetarian options. Spicy tofu, egg, avacado, etc. Not to mention free inari (unlike some places that make you pay extra!). In addition to that, I was also pleasantly surprised to see that there was a hot buffet offering miso soup, karage chicken, tempura vegetables (and prawns when I was there), as well as a host of other random odds and ends, with all the various condiments you could imagine.
The atmosphere at Hirameki was very tranquil, bordering on sparse, with only 2-3 other tables dining on the Wednesday night we were in there. However, I could easily see how this place would pack out on a busy night - though I think that even if it did, the place is so open that it would be a great place to have a catch up with friends, or perhaps even to bring young kids (let’s face it, sushi is fun!). Looking for a little extra privacy for your meal? Enquire about the their separate VIP lounge.
Overall the meal was quite enjoyable. My date quite enjoyed her a la carte sushi, and I’d be keen to go back to try some of their other Japanese delicacies on offer - particularly, I want to see how good their chicken katsu is, as all the other Japanese Restaurants in Fortitude Valley are sorely lacking! And if you’re looking for a place to catch up with some friends over some great value sushi, with BYO to boot, then Hirameki is your place to go.