On how some things just go back to the way they were

At 2, pretending the spoon was a plane and my mouth was a cave, I ate everything that was spoon-fed to me by my parents.

At 15, irritated and adamant to lose all that baby fat, I was picky about anything that my parents cooked.

At 20, becoming gradually weary of the family’s restaurant food, I almost always ate out.

At 26, not wanting to disappoint mum on the rare occasions that I visit them, I eat everything that is put in front of me.

Some things just go back to the way they always were.

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Sono, Portside Wharf, Brissie

Sono has been operating in Brisbane for years and years. It was one of the first few Japanese restaurants in the city, and then there was Sono Portside Wharf, Hamilton. I have always wanted to try the food there, which is supposed to be extremely good.

We were in Brisbane recently. Due to the lack of private transport, I decided to catch public transport to Portside Wharf from my parents’ house. Public transport is fantastic in Brisbane – we caught a bus to the city and then took the Citycat from South Bank. Citycat is like a supercharged ferry, but it still took us 40 minutes from the city to Hamilton (it probably takes 15 minutes by car if the traffic is good).

But all the travel was well worth it. Sono is decorated beautifully, in simple Japanese setting, spacious and elegant. We were seated next to the window (I knew this already, as I was told this when I made a booking). The seating area is a level down from the table, which means you had to take off your shoes and climb into your seat. I must, at this point, marvel at the amazing bathroom. You enter the bathroom by pressing a button on the wall, and the dark tinted glass automatically slides back, revealing doors to the bathrooms. How cool is that!

Our beautifully set table:

For starters, we ordered a large plate of assorted sashimi, which consisted of different cuts of salmon, king fish, tuna, and scallops. I really enjoyed the sashimi, because I could actually taste the difference between the different cuts, and we polished off 24 pieces of raw fish in no time.

For mains, we shared Sono’s signature dish of South Queensland Kobe Cuisine wagyu steak, medium rare, in a garlic soy jus, served with butter sautéed seasonal vegetables. The steak was perfectly charred on the outside, but the inside was cooked absolutely spot on to medium rare. The meat did not taste fatty or sinewy, top grade beef!

I chose the black cod saikyo yaki – grilled NZ black cod, which, according to the menu, was pre-marinated with a traditional saikyo miso sauce for at least 2 days. The fish had a semi-crispy skin, which was tantalisingly sticky with marinade. It was cooked just right, and a very substantial serving. Simply orgasmic.

Well, we loved Sono, and would definitely go back. Everything was perfect, down to the quick and polite service.

A shot of Brisbane city on our way back home:

‘Home’

I’m very lax when it comes to using the word ‘home’. If I was staying at a hotel overnight and just finished dinner outside, I’d absentmindedly say – ‘let’s go home’. I moved to Canberra from Brisbane almost three years ago, but whenever I go back to Brisbane, I always refer to it as ‘going home’. Nevertheless, I still tell others that my home is in Canberra, and I have even changed my car registration.

Can a person have multiple homes? And when does a house or a place to stay actually becomes home?

Lately, I’ve been wondering about this, mainly because of homesickness. Oh there, i did it again – homesick for which home? I’m talking about Brisbane, where I spent all my adolescent life, the warm and inviting city that I know like the back of my hand. The familiar streets, my favourite shops, those oddly comforting buildings. I miss my parents’ house and our street, with an impressive display of vibrant jacaranda flowers in mid-Spring. I miss the local Asian grocery stores and restaurants, which to me are like old acquaintances. I miss the Brisbane CBD, where I spent most of my time going to uni, going to work or just simply wandering around. I miss the humidity that people from other cities just love to hate, but it’s a perfect excuse for a dip in the pool. But most of all, I miss my family and friends.

No matter how long I stay in Canberra (or any other city for that matter), it’s not going to change what feels like ‘home’ to me. I can throw the word ‘home’ around like a ragdoll, but in the end, there is only one home. So yes, it’s only a matter of time before I go back home.

Hanging out with friends in Brisbane!

I was in Brisbane for work, stayed an entire week, but it somehow felt like I’ve only stayed a weekend. Waaaay too short!

Just some pictures of hanging (pigging) out with friends 🙂

Enjoying some after-dinner drinks at Sunnybank!

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Bing shouted me lunch @ Port Office Hotel. Yummy fish and chips (last pic). Thanks Bing!

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