Who’s the newest kid on the block? Or Plaza? Sunnybank Plaza that is. Why it’s Himawari!
The original Himawari Restaurant in Brisbane has been open in Elizabeth Arcade for aaaaages, and is a popular spot for both office workers and students. Mr Ana and I have been there a number of times to sample their food. Their curry is very nice 🙂
So when I noticed they were fitting out a new restaurant front in Sunnybank Plaza, I thought I had to try it out. You know, so I can tell you guys how good it really is… I’ve walked past a few times since it opened and there is always a line. Good sign (well that, and people around Sunnybank sure do like to eat out!).
So I popped around today with mum to sample some of their dishes… Their menu has variety of rice and noodle dishes, from rice bowls to simple bento boxes, and yakisoba to curry rice. All dishes are around $10-$12, so fairly reasonable in price. Himawari also have a ‘set menu’ option, where you can order a little side dish for around $2. The side dishes include a little bowl of agidashi tofu, some karaage chicken, or some udon noodles. Pretty good for an extra $2 or so!
Mum decided to order a pork katsudon ($11) – a fried pork fillet topped with runny eggs and onion. She also ordered a little side of karaage chicken ($2.50). I ordered an omelet yakisoba with chicken ($11), and a little side of agidashi tofu ($2).
Our orders came out quickly and we eagerly tried the food in front of us.
I started with the little bowl of agidashi tofu. I was pleased that it was lightly coated and fried the way I would do it at home, but I noticed it didn’t have any ginger or daikon radish to compliment the soup base. Oh well. I broke up the tofu and had a sip of the soup. eek!! So salty and well, boring. Whoever made it doesn’t know how to make stock or poured the base straight out from a bottle. It was quite harsh and just tasted like soy sauce with a bit of sugar and hondashi thrown in with no thought to balance the flavours. The tofu was quite nice though, so I finished that and left the soup stock behind.
Mum let me sample her karaage chicken. Golden brown with a pleasant crunchy texture, this was a more enjoyable side dish. The chicken was lightly marinated prior to coating and cooking too. I think this was much better value then the agidashi tofu.
My omelet yakisoba looked very snug in its omelet blanket and I ripped it open with glee to see all its yakisoba guts spill out. The dish itself is very simple – stir fried soba noodles with chicken mince (boo!) a few shallots and cabbage pieces, then wrapped in a thin omelet and topped with some tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise.
The dish was ok only and I probably wouldn’t order it again.
Mum’s katsudon, however, was quite enjoyable. Crisp pork fillet that wasn’t too oily, covered with moist and well seasoned wet omelet and onions that seeped onto fluffy rice. While the katsudon wasn’t of the standard of say, a premium pork fillet from Hokkaido, every mouth full was enjoyable. Mum had to remind me to give back her bowl 🙂 Clearly she chose the winning dishes of the day!
Overall Himawari is a reasonable little restaurant to go and order cheap and reasonable food. The service is quick, however the food is quite simplistic. Mind you the prices reflect that. It’s not a restaurant that would make me drive all the way to Sunnybank just to eat their dishes, but if I were in the area and felt like eating a katsudon, I might pop by. I’m sure it will be popular with the locals, as Japanese food is… I think I’ll stick to making agidashi tofu at home for now, which is what I’m making for our entree tonight!