Wow! Yamagen you have my heart.
QT Hotels are known for their unique concepts, art installations and edgy designs. The Surfers Paradise property was the first of their now eight hotels and has clearly been inspired by the local beach culture of the 60’s.
After the unveiling of Yamagen last night it is safe to say they know how to throw a party!
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You never get a second chance to make a first impression and Yamagen did not disappoint. From the moment we arrived through the hotel lobby the atmosphere was electric with over two hundred foodies mingling poolside under a sea of lanterns and a perfectly lit cherry blossom.
There was a sense of anticipation as the restaurant was closed off and smoke started filling up the windows.
Once the dramatic performance of Taiko drumming finished we were moved through into the decadent venue. Combining Japanese styling with modern elements it really did feel like we were now in Tokyo.
For those who are not local, Yamagen is certainly by no means a newcomer, they have been at the forefront of the Gold Coast dining scene for over 30 years.
After a complete facelift via acclaimed international designer, Nic Graham, it’s an exciting new chapter for this local icon.
The restaurant is divided up into three distinctive areas, the bar, the table-seki and the sushi counter. It feels reminiscent of a traditional Izakaya you might found in downtown Tokyo but has a modern twist with glass windows throughout, creating a dramatic backdrop for the city skyline beyond.
The talented team of chefs are mixing old school samurai skills with new school chef invention and the results are next level menu items.
Hands down best dish of the night was the sashimi tacos with the steamed noodle dumplings coming in a close second.
With so many options to choose from why not try and secure a booking at the exclusive sushi counter where you can experience authentic omakase. Who doesn’t love a stream of fresh market fish sashimi and sushi expertly chosen by the chefs each day?!
The bar options are endless with top shelf sake, craft beers and well over sixty whiskeys (everyone need options).
There is something naughty about cocktails on a school night, they always seem to go down far too easily and our hot favourite was the “Utsumi Sour” a mixture of Tanqueray gin, peach liquer, amomo peach and lemon.
The only downfall of the night was that we hadn’t booked one of their plush hotel rooms. Sneaking upstairs to fluffy slippers and buffet breakfast at Bazaar would have been the perfect end to an amazing night.