The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Hot Plates: Tanto, Scarness

Hajime Horiguchi at Hervey Bay

Hajime Horiguchi at Hervey Bay

Ex-Wasabi chef Hajime Horiguchi's new restaurant focuses on fresh local produce and seafood cooked over a charcoal grill.

After rocking head chef roles at Wasabi, Queensland's top-rated regional restaurant, and at Melbourne's Minamishima - currently number five in the Victorian capital's top 10 - what's your next step? If you're Hajime Horiguchi, you make a sea-change and open your own pocket-sized venue. The Kyoto expat and his wife, Sumi, plan to grill beside the ocean from 13 July at Tanto in the low-key suburb of Scarness, near Hervey Bay on Queensland's Fraser Coast.

"It's casual - nothing fancy, just basic and small," says Horiguchi. "The concept of the restaurant is to cook fresh local produce on charcoal." The menu will change frequently and Horiguchi has spent the past four months working at Hervey Bay's Coast Restaurant & Bar, getting to know the native Fraser Coast bounty.

He'll work with local beef producer Jerakala at Mundubbera, whose meat, he says, "is unbelievable - full of flavour and really tender."

Seafood will also be a focus. Horiguchi plans to marinate seasonal Spanish mackerel and diamond mullet in Kyoto white miso (aka saikyo miso) before grilling them over binchotan charcoal. "Soon, it will be rock cod season, so that will change as well," says the chef.

Tanto's opening menu features just three main courses - the Spanish mackerel plus a teriyaki corn-fed chicken, and Jerakala grass-fed Angus beef, all served with koshihikari rice. There will also be house-made pickles and miso soup, made with a house dashi.

The venue's name is a nod to its charcoal-fuelled grill - and an encouragement to diners to eat heartily. "Tanto has the combined meaning of 'charcoal' and 'man' in Japanese," Horiguchi says. "And then, in the local Japanese dialect, used in the old days, grandmas would say 'tanto otabe' as they gently encouraged their family to 'eat plenty'."

Horiguchi has hand-built a six-metre counter for the venue and intends to use it for special monthly omakase set menu dinners. He has also invested in a soft-serve machine. "The first week there will be two flavours - Kyoto matcha, Okinawa black sugar warabi mochi and kinako; and hand-picked Bundaberg macadamia with saikyo miso."

Yep, Hervey Bay eats just got a whole lot more interesting.

Tanto, 348 The Esplanade, Scarness, Qld, facebook.com/tanto.charcoalgrill

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
French cuisine heats up in Brisbane
19.01.2017
A taste of Algeria in Northcote
18.01.2017
What to order at Salt Bae's restaurant
17.01.2017
Hot Plates: Pino’s Vino e Cucina, Sydney
16.01.2017
Long Chim Melbourne opens today
16.01.2017
Ben Shewry does souvlaki
13.01.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Hot Plate: Face2Face Noodles, Sydney

Chinatown's new spicy Chongqing-styled noodle bar is complet...

Hot Plates: Higher Ground, Melbourne

The line between cafe and restaurant is blurred at the CBD’s...

Hot Plates: 13 February 2015

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

L'Americano, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Estelle Bistro, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Bang Street Food, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Minamishima, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Lilo Tang, Canberra

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Mayflower Restaurant and Bar, Adelaide

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

The Vertue of the Coffee Drink, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Spirit House, Yandina, Qld

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Bistro Nguyen's, Canberra

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

University of Melbourne Farmers' Market

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

Clayton Wells at LuMi

The pair join forces for Sunday lunches at LuMi.

Farmhouse Restaurant, Pialligo Estate, ACT

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats ar...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×