Recently I was asked to find a restaurant in the Mr Gravatt area to have a catch up dinner with a couple of friends. Not knowing the area very well, I did a lot of urbanspoon hunting and found Koncept.
Eating out in smaller, local areas that aren’t foody-centric can be tough, as some places that cater to a large amount of people can get lazy (that Thai place near you, you know the one I’m talking about. But not mine, my local Thai place is YUM). There was just enough competition around to suggest that Koncept needed to stay on its toes.
I had made a booking, and we were seated quickly, although were still waiting for the last of our party to arrive. It was a quiet, mid-week night, but there were still about 3 other groups of people there- all Japanese or Asian. I admit, I am one of these people who gets a good first impression of an international restaurant positively if I see people from that country enjoying the food! Later, an anglo family joined us all.
We perused the menu until our friend arrived. Veggie options included dumpling, tempura and sushi. It wasn’t an exhaustive list, but was rather nice. The prices and sizes were small- think tapas bar, where you really need to buy two-three things to fill up. After the last person arrived, we ordered. I wanted to try the vege dumplings, as I was avoiding fried food, but they were out. I had veggie sushi, agedashi tofu and ordered edamame for the table. My friends ordered sushi and one ordered something fishy. Literally, but I just can’t remember what.
The timing of our food was a little slow and erratic. Things we thought would come out together came out last, or we had to ask for it. The wait staff were consistently pleasant and attentive. When the food did arrive, we weren’t disappointed. Everything was beautifully presented and very fresh. The presentation was very western styled, which was some of the fusion of the restaurant, I suppose. The edamame were delicious and salted a perfect amount. I normally am not a huge agedashi tofu fan (pictured) but this was good.
The thing to write home about here are the DRINKS! The DRINKS, children! Fully licensed, Koncept has cocktails based on traditional spirits, as well as saki and umeshu (plum wine. Well, technically not plums, but close). I had to drive, so couldn’t immediately jump into all the delights on the menu, but bevvies started from $5 to the more typical $15 for cocktails. Lots and lots on the drinks menu were $7-8 dollars. On the drinks specials menu, they were $11-12, but also a bit fancier. What you see here is a mojito, a pink mess (not its name, just can’t remember what was ordered) and a cosmo made on plum wine.
Everything I ordered came to just over $20. For a drink, sushi, agedashi tofu and a share of edamame, I’m impressed. If the food timing can be sorted out a bit, this would be a fantastic place for a light, yet satisfying meal (with drinks!).