Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast and if there’s one thing you need to try it’s the scampi!
It’s been quite a while since I was last on the Gold Coast. I reckon the last time I was there I was about 12 and back in those days it was cheaper to road trip there than fly. I vaguely remember going to Sea World, Dream World and Movie World, and spending hours at the Timezone in Surfers Paradise but for some reason I remember very clearly receiving a deck of cards from Jupiters Casino which started my love for all card games.
Anywhos a couple of weeks ago I was flown up for a much needed weekend escape – hello chillaxing on the beach – but the primary purpose of my visit was to visit Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, which opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. Chase’s Sokyo is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and I was keen to see if Kiyomi measured up.
After checking in and spending the day eating donuts with Helen, we return to our room and find a sweet surprise- a chocolate sculpture of the fruit that the restaurant is named after. The kiyomi is a small Japanese citrus fruit that has been cross-bred from a tangerine and an orange and it is deeeelicious.
We take the lift to the lobby level where Kiyomi is located and find that it is already packed – apparently all tables are booked out for the month!
Luckily we have a booking and as we’re led inside the restaurant I’m mesmerised by the fluorescent UV artwork by Tokyo-based Houxo Que, a Japanese street artist.
We start off with drinks, a refreshing Yuzu Collins ($18) and a Tengumai Umajun Junmai Sake ($10). I’m warned about the ice filled hole in the glass sake Tokkuri that keeps the sake cold without diluting it but still manage to knock all the ice out because I’m coordinated like that.
We design our own Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12), my fave of the lot being the silky, smoky eel.
We smell the Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18) before it even reaches our table, the yuzu force was strong with this dish! I love yuzu but woahhh easy there fella! I’m not the biggest fan of scallops but these were perfect specimens, plump and delicate and the addition of the charred corn was ace.
The Seared Scampi ($9 each) was just amazing. It just about blew me away and I fell head over heels in love with the combination of the clean flavour of the scampi, the richness of the foie gras and the tartness of the julienned green apple bringing everything home.
Moving onto the sushi and rolls section we order the Aburi Salmon ($19), the salmon is a generous fat slice draped over the pat of rice but it had barely a kiss from the blowtorch and we all know how much I love burning. That sounded sarcastic but really, who doesn’t love a good char 😀
The Queensland Roll ($23) is certainly interesting in presentation, with soy paper instead of the usual seaweed wrapping morsels of sweet spanner crab and a creamy avocado puree squiggle on top.
I’d hoped there would be miso cod on the menu but the Dengakuman Toothfish ($37) soothes my soul with its caramelised miso glaze and smoky flavour.
The Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37) is another hit for me and thanks to the magic of cooking on the binchotan grill, each slice is so fricken tender and juicy!
We were pleasantly full at this stage but we really had to see how their tempura game stacked up against Sokyo. The Tempura Cuttlefish ($20) is perfection with golden batter so light and crisp it could make angels weep.
And last but not least, Chase’s signature Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20), a slice of ruby red tuna lies on a dollop of spicy mayo and a cube of sushi rice that has been fried until crisp. Smashing.
We were stuffed to the gills but there’s always room for dessert right? Our only problem was choosing which dessert to get and since we were indecisive we were brought a dessert platter. The Mango Shiso (full size $13), tastes like summer with fresh mango pieces, dollops of creamy mascarpone and sour cream, crunchy shiso meringue, toasted milk powder and mango sorbet.
The toffee tuille in the Apple Jack (full size $13) is eye catching though immediately plasters itself to my teeth and while the Jack Daniel’s foam may not be for everyone I loved the combination of the gingerbread and honey ice cream.
I’m glad to see that Goma Street (full size $14) has made it on the menu as it’s one of my faves at Sokyo. I love cracking through the discs of dark chocolate and black sesame crumble to reach the extremely addictive caramelised white chocolate mousse and the black sesame ice cream is super intense in flavour.
The service at Kiyomi is top notch but I did find it disconcerting that because the restaurant wasn’t enclosed we could see directly into the casino and cringed as the doof doof music from the bar downstairs slowly increased in decibels throughout the night.
We rub our bellies and stagger off to sleep away the food coma.
And then breakfast time at Food Fantasy! I love hotel buffets!
There are pastries galore and a pancake machine which is seriously like the best invention ever.
The line for omelettes was never ending so unfortch I skipped this and went straight for bacon and waffles 😀
Then it was some quality time by the pool
I like long walks on the beach…
Farewell Gold Coast! You were bloody awesome!
ChocolateSuze dined at Kiyomi as a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Return flights from Sydney, one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy was included.
The noodle soups at Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd Haymarket) are freaking amazing but be warned there are 7 spicy levels of hell!
A couple of weeks ago it was wet and just absolutely freezing and it felt like the cold was seeping into my bones (yep I totally sound like an old person). I needed something spicy to warm me up so the boy and I ventured into Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket) after hearing stories of a noodle soup with 7 levels of hell. Ok I’m being dramatic but the noodle soup starts off at Level l and goes up to Level 7, although technically there’s only 5 levels of spiciness because 4 and 6 are bad luck numbers.
I start with the Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) thinking it can’t be thaaat spicy. I was wrong. I thought I’d been slowly building up my chilli tolerance but as it turns out, I’m still firmly in the unable-to-handle-spicy camp. I made it about half way because the soup was fricken tasty- sweet and rich but with a hint of sourness and packed full of coriander and shallots. There’s a choice of noodles- thin rice, glass, egg, flat rice, thai instant or wheat but I stick with the recommended fresh thin rice noodles which has a very satisfying chew to it. I absolutely loved the pork, braised until ridiculously tender and there was a jumble of fish and beef balls, pork slices that kinda reminded me of the pork in a banh mi and a handful of fried wonton strips.
Noods loves chilli but he pretty much started crying as soon as he dug into the Do Dee Devil Level 2 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10). He manages to finish the bowl though he paid for it later 😛 I kinda want to go with someone who’s attempting the Level 7 just to see if they’ll be in tears after one spoon…
Trust me, you WILL need beverages to help with the burning! Noods goes with luridly pink and incredibly sweet Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90) and I opt for the Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90) which has a generous heap of powdered Ovaltine on top.
When we return the next day I chicken out and go for the Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) which is absolutely perfect but feels like it’s missing something. Like chilli. Heh. There’s baskets of condiments filled with sugar and chilli powder on each table in case you want to tailor your soup to your liking but instead I spoon soup from Noods’ Level 1 into my bowl and it is perfect. I normally order the Jumbo but the Small size is perfect if you’re eating other foods. The noodles here don’t leave me with that heavy feeling you get when eating ramen but it’s also not too light that you’re hungry again after 2 hours which is tops.
We couldn’t resist the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2) which comes in a little plastic packet on a plate with some Thai basil and bean sprouts that I’m assuming was meant to go in our noodles. The pork skin is everything I’d hoped for, crispy, fatty and addictive but it tastes exactly like the type that I buy from Pontip, the Thai grocery 2 stores to the left of Chat Thai near Capital Theatre. If you’re going, make sure you buy the ones in a takeaway box, not the bag and the brand is Penny’s. You’re welcome.
The Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer) is a hit with the family, the pork is nicely seasoned, tender and with caramelised edges. Is that a hint of lemongrass we taste? Whatever it is, it’s fricken tasty.
We were originally going to order a papaya salad but instead we order the Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90) as it comes with the salad (actually there’s a choice of 7 salads but we go with the normal papaya salad), grilled prawns, mussels, salmon, squid, cold noodles and vegetables. The salmon is a tad on the dry side which is a shame but the papaya salad is the bomb! We chose a low level of spice and the julienned green papaya is mixed with chilli, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and dried shrimp and the whole shebang is super refreshing.
We’d planned on heading elsewhere next but all night we had watched desserts fly out of the kitchen so we ended up staying put and we’re glad we did!
Mango with Sticky Rice ($7) is always a must have whenever I see it on the menu, the mango was perfectly ripe and sweet and the sticky rice drenched in coconut milk.
The Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50) looked ginormous when it arrived! The pah tong goh aka deep fried bread sticks are piping hot but sadly are a little on the dense side. We still manage to polish off the dish though I would’ve liked a bit more of that pandan custard to completely drown the bread in!
I wasn’t too keen on the Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50), I love black sticky rice but I’ve never been a huge fan of taro so I pushed this over to the rellies who promptly demolished it.
Last but not least was the Durian with Sticky Rice ($7), the durian was fragrant but ah how I wanted MORE of it! Like, reverse the ratios of the durian and rice man!
Do Dee Paidang is a massive hit with the locals and especially all the Thai ex-pats and I can see why with awesome food at pretty affordable prices! I’ll definitely be back and will work on increasing my chilli tolerance so I can move up from Nursery!
Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe
9/37 Ultimo Rd,
Mon – Sun: 11am – 1am
The newest kid on the ramen scene is O-san Ramen which has opened up in the downstairs Dixon House Food Court (Cnr Dixon & Little Hay St, Haymarket).
Heads up Sydney, a new ramen challenger has entered the ring! O-san Ramen has opened up in the downstairs Dixon House Food Court (Cnr Dixon & Little Hay St, Haymarket). Brought to you by the peeps behind Busshari and Kujin, the head chef is Kazuteru Oh, making O-san Ramen his 7th ramen shop.
It was love at first taste with the Original Kyushu-style Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.80) with egg ($1.50). The broth is rich and pretty tasty but not as crazy thick as Gumshara. The slices of pork are fricken AMAZING and meltingly tender and the egg? My god so good!
Dat egg! Hellooo beautiful gooey yolk!
Of course we had to try the Black Tonkotsu Ramen ($10.80) with egg ($1.50) because garlic oil is just so tasty! The garlic oil wasn’t too overpowering and there was just enough of it to give the broth an extra oomph in flavour.
And when I went again the next day I ordered it again but without bean sprouts because I hate bean sprouts with the power of a thousand suns.
Shallot Tonkotsu Ramen ($11.30) with egg ($1.50). Now, I love shallots but man that was a looooot of shallots! Suffered a mighty potent shallot breath afterwards!
On our third visit Noods wanted the Sumo Ramen ($12.80) because he thought it’d be a giant bowl of ramen like Gumshara’s Super Mega Ramen buuuut what you get is heaps of bean sprouts and heaps of cabbage piled on top of the noodles with minced pork.
The soup is a pork and chicken bone broth but we could barely taste the soup because they were super generous with the amount of raw minced garlic which totally overpowered this ramen which was a shame. I love garlic but woah man there was enough in there to wipe out a country of vampires. We weren’t fans of this ramen but we absolutely loved the 2 fattilicious thick cubes of pork belly kakuni!
I loved the pork so much in fact that we returned again (yep consecutive visits haha) and ordered the Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($6) with egg ($1.50) and it’s AWESOME! And woo, value! There was a handful of shallots and sesame seeds scattered on the gloriously fatty slices of pork laid ever so carefully on a bed of rice and yep, comfort food max!
Extra Pork Belly Kakuni ($2.50) because you’re worth it.
They also sell Charsiu rice balls ($3) in case you want a snack for later.
Out of all the food courts in Chinatown I reckon the Dixon St Food Court can look pretty dodgy but O-san Ramen is pretty damn amazing and I foresee many a weekly visit to come! O-san Ramen is open every day 11am – 8:30pm but are closed on Tuesdays.
ChocolateSuze received two complimentary bowls of ramen on her first visit but paid for all of the following dishes on subsequent visits.
Cnr Dixon & Little Hay St,
Mon: 11am – 8:30pm
Wed – Sun: 11:00am – 8:30pm
The Rocks Brewing Company (160 Bourke Rd, Alexandria) supplies their beer to Hart’s Pub and the Lord Raglan and there’s also brewery tours for $20 (includes beer tasting) and a pretty top notch menu.
MY PRECIOUSSSSS!!! There’s just something about a big honking piece of meat that gets me all excited. Pair the meat with some tasty beverages and you’ve got yourself one happy camper.
Since we moved into the city, I’m absolutely loving how much closer everything is! The Rocks Brewing Company (160 Bourke Rd, Alexandria) has been on my hit list for a while now but I’d always been deterred in getting there but I managed to convince the boy that there would be meat and alcohol and boom!
We timed our first visit so we’d make the tail end of breakfast to order the ricotta hotcakes I’d heard so much about but ALAS they’d run out of ricotta! Instead I order the Rocks Scrambled Eggs ($15), fluffy scrambled eggs are folded through with tomato, feta, chilli oil and bacon on sourdough toast.
Noods has ordered the Eggs Benedict with Conviction ($16) and I am immediately green with envy at the sight of the golden hash brown under crispy smoked bacon, wilted spinach, poached eggs and blanketed in rich hollandaise. I send sad looks at Noods until he relents and switches plates.
By the time we’d finished brekkie we thought it was a respectable hour to try some of their beers 😛
Tasting paddles are pretty good value with 5 samples for $10. I liked the Drunken Monk, a smooth Belgian golden ale with a crazy high alcohol content of 8.2% zomg so easy to drink though!
We’d planned our next visit to coincide with Australia Day so we could bring our Malaysian rellies (HI UNCLE KEN AND MOON YEE!!!) to check out a good ol lamb on a spit mmm that lamb smelled so good!
The Lamb Rolls ($6 each) were awesome and stuffed with a generous amount of tender lamb. There was a choice of tomato sauce, bbq or gravy so we got one with each but the gravy was hands down the favourite and I would’ve happily drowned anything and everything in that beautiful rich gravy.
The special of the day was the 1.4kg Cape Byron Tomahawk Steak ($55) and it is a thing of beauty, charred on the edges but a perfect medium rare centre. It came with crunchilicious roasted potato wedges, a splodge of semi dried tomato and mushroom sauce. It was tasty with a capital T and didn’t really need the mushroom sauce because DAYUM dat steak! Juicy max!
There was a vote for some kind of salad to even out the meat overload so we ordered the Fig and Prosciutto Salad ($18) which was deeeelicious and had the perfect balance of flavours. There was enough gorgonzola to satisfy my cheese needs but not too much that it killed everything else it touched and the combo of prosciutto and figs is always a winner. Oh and there was roasted hazelnuts which were awesome.
It was a pretty wet day and because I was craving something spicy we ordered the Spicy Hot Wings ($12.50), southern fried chicken wings tossed in Louisiana hot sauce. Surprisingly they weren’t actually that hot and sent my tastebuds a light tingle instead.
I had high hopes for the Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich ($18) and it did not disappoint. I mean, LOOK AT IT! It’s just so gosh darn BEEYOOTIFUL! The bread roll was lightly toasted and jam packed with fat slices of melt in the mouth brisket, grilled onions, Rocks BBQ sauce and smothered in melty cheese. Oh and waffle fries on the side! Seriously, that was was mighty fine sandwich!
We ordered Smoked Pork and Fennel Sausages ($16) with mashed potato, caramelised onion and gravy which the nieces devoured in record time.
And the Convict Lager Battered Fish & Chips ($17) which were golden and perfect with a super light batter.
The Rocks Brewing Company is just down the road from The Grounds but with plenty of parking and a pretty top notch menu. The brewery supplies their beer to Hart’s Pub and the Lord Raglan and there’s also brewery tours for $20 (includes beer tasting). I’ll def be back for that brisket sandwich!
Rocks Brewing Company
160 Bourke Rd,
Mon – Sun: 7:30am – 10pm