Pavement Whispers: Simon Gloftis to open high-end Japanese restaurant Sushi Room at The Calile Hotel
We know what you’re thinking – isn’t Simon Gloftis already opening a new restaurant? Yes, eagle-eyed friends, he is. But when Simon Gloftis has a vision, there isn’t much that can stop him. In addition to anticipated all-vegetarian eatery Sunshine, Simon Gloftis and his skilled team have just announced that they will also be opening a Japanese restaurant – Sushi Room – in the early months of 2022. We chatted with Simon this week to get all of the delicious details …
Restaurateur Simon Gloftis and his lauded restaurants, Hellenika and SK Steak & Oyster, need no introduction. After firmly planting himself in the Brisbane dining scene (and more specifically, The Calile dining precinct on James Street) in 2018, Simon and his team have consistently pleased palates with their simple-yet-elevated menus and impressive dining environments. Earlier this year we announced that Simon and his business partners Theo Kampolis and Kelvin Andrews were underway with their third James Street concept, Sunshine (which is set to open in the site previously occupied by Chow House early next year), and now we can confirm a fourth. In the first quarter of 2022 we will be introduced to Sushi Room, a high-end Japanese restaurant in a custom-built space at The Calile Hotel.
Sushi Room will be truly as its name suggests – a restaurant dedicated to the intricate art of sushi and sashimi preparation. Ex-Kiyomi sous chef Shimpei Raikuni has come on board as head sushi chef, having worked in the SK kitchen over the past year developing Sushi Room’s refined menu. The fine diner will be driven by a predominantly sushi and sashimi-focused menu, alongside a clutch of more substantial dishes and sides such as succulent Japanese-style wagyu steak, fish and tempura. Forget the Japanese restaurants you’ve become accustomed to (there will be no Kewpie mayo in sight here) – Sushi Room is going to be an elevated experience unlike anything else. There will be no tricks or gimmicks, instead the restaurant will be honing in on the quality of each piece of sushi and sashimi, focusing on exquisite produce and traditional techniques. The dishes can be ordered a la carte or enjoyed as part of an 18-course two-hour omakase, where a small group of diners will be sat up at the bar and guided through an intimate gastronomic adventure with chef Shimpei (the produce, of which, will be presented in an intricate treasure chest to diners before the meal commences). Produce will be hand selected, with only the finest and freshest seafood making the cut – Simon notes that his early favourites from testing menus include the shime saba (vinegar-cured mackerel) and alfonsino and tuna-belly sashimi. If you haven’t already realised, no detail (or expense) has been spared in the vision for Sushi Room. Everything, right down to the rice, has been considered – there will be three different temperatures of rice, which the chefs will select according to the style of fish and its fat content to maintain the perfect balance.
Simon has once again worked with Richards & Spence on the design of the space, with the renowned architects taking cues from traditional Japanese design, whilst staying true to their signature pared-back style. The Sushi Room’s design will see the wall between the former Scotch & Soda tenancy and Museum of Small Things (M.O.S.T, which is moving to the pop-up space on the other side of the hotel) removed to create the 80-odd-seat restaurant and bar. The current M.O.S.T window in the lobby of the hotel will serve as Sushi Room’s entrance and front bar perch, while the restaurant will stretch through to the Doggett Street side of the space. A mezzanine will also be built into the high-ceilinged venue, which will house a striking ten-seat private dining room. The hero of the fit-out will be the sushi bar crafted from fine hinoki wood – a traditional and culturally significant timber that is native to Japan and Eastern Asia. In addition to its high quality (it is often used in the construction of temples, palaces and shrines), hinoki is coveted for its natural antibacterial and water-resistant qualities, as well as its striking grain pattern and alluring aroma.
Once open, Sushi Room will operate across five lunch and seven dinner services each week. Keep an eye on The Weekend Edition for an inside look in 2022!
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