Jupiters Hotel and Casino
Broadbeach QLD 4218
+61 7 5592 8100
Disclaimer: Adam and Libby dined as guests of Wonderland PR and Jupiters Hotel and Casino.
One thing that Goldie does well (besides sunny weather and producing entrepreneurs as well as cosmetic surgeons) is Japanese food. Japanese investment in the 80s and early 90s saw more than a handful of Japanese restaurants pop up – and we’re not just talking about bastardised sushi kiosks selling teriyaki chicken joints either. But while the Goldie did cheap to mid-end Japanese restaurants well, there was very little in terms of fancy high-end Japanese (except for maybe Ten).
That was, until Sydney’s Chase Kijoma rocked up to launch Kiyomi in the $345 million revamped Jupiters Casino in Broadbeach.
Broady, you’re alright.
Casinos are casinos so I’ll always think they’re inherently tacky.
But situated a floor away from the flashing neon lights (and bogans) of the gaming rooms is a cool, modern Tokyo-inspired oasis. ‘Kiyomi’ is the word for a Japanese hybrid citrus fruit that’s not dissimilar to a mandarin; it is also the name of Kijoma’s mother, which I thought was a really sweet touch. Chase Kijoma may not yet be a household name on the Gold Coast but his culinary rock star pedigree (lead Nobu kitchens worldwide and heads up the award-winning Sokyo at The Star in Sydney) means that he’ll be a name Gold Coast foodies will be accustomed to hearing.
Kiyomi’s décor screams out Tokyo cool. A customised fluro UV installation by a Tokyo artist combined with mood lighting did initially make me think Surfers Paradise nightclub on a Saturday night, but wooden cubes and glazed pottery brought the whole fit-out down to earth, adding a hint of sophistication.
To start, we had some cocktails. Adam decided to go for the signature cocktail, the Chasing Kiyomi. Paying homage to the hybrid citrus fruit, the cocktail was a flirty combination of Grand Marnier, Aperol orange bitters, and San Pellegrino mandarin mineral water, finished with a spritz of Tanqueray Gin. Being very much a beer man, Adam wasn’t keen on it so I happily finished his drink off for him. Just as well, because I struggled with my own cocktail, the Momoiro Sour. Touted as the Asian version of the Whiskey Sour, I thought the combination of sake, shiso, lime and egg white didn’t gel as much it should – and what was up with the rosemary?
The format at Kiyomi is izakaya-style dining – order a few drinks plus some plates to share and away you go! Alternatively, you can opt for their seven-course degustation menu for $140. We sampled a decent selection of dishes, many of which appear in the degustation menu.
First up, we had some edamame. I’m not a huge fan of those, preferring to go for snacks that have a bit more substance. However, these babies were coated in a lovely seven spice and soy marinade and topped with bonito flakes, making them addictive even for an edamame hater like myself.
Oh hey, Chase!
Next, we had a teriyaki wagyu sushi roll that was topped with seared foie gras cubes. It was a brilliant dish – a perfect mixture of smokiness, sweetness and earthiness with a hint of tanginess to finish (thanks, finger limes).
To refresh our palates, we had some watermelon cubes that were fittingly paired with some wasabi mayo. Nice enough, but would not pay.
Conversely, I would pay top dollars for the seared scampi. Beautifully presented and succulently sweet and fresh, the little babies were accentuated with hints of apple and mizuna, and the slightest dab for foie gras for a creamy finish.
Some of Sokyo’s popular dishes appeared on the menu tonight, including the raw hiramasa kingfish. The miso ceviche imparted a lovely nutty, sweet touch while the crispy potato shreds added a lovely dose of texture.
Beautifully presented, the tuna tataki was probably one of my favourite dishes. The perfectly cut slabs of fresh fish were delicious enough to enjoy on their own, but the trimmings elevated the dish to another level. They all provided a lovely touch of earthiness and if I was to be wanky, I’d make a comment about this dish being a perfect marriage of sea and land or something like that.
Another successful dish was the Moreton Bay bug tempura. I love bug meat in all forms, but the super light and crispy tempura batter really brought this dish to another level of ‘wow.’ Even Adam went for seconds (and he’s normally a pizza, pub fare and burger guy because ew who’d eat bugs, omg). I also loved the sauces that went with the tempura – the sambal mayo could have been a bit hotter but I loved its peppery tangy creamy taste while the vinegar was light and sweet, almost like a delicate blend of sake.
Speaking of sake, I think we downed about two bottles of the stuff on the night. And mind you, this was in addition to the cocktails, beers, whiskies and wines we consumed.
Named after a Japanese cartoon character, the Patagonian toothfish dish was another favourite of mine. Yeah, I know it screams out Nobu miso black cod but hey, I’m a sucker for fish and miso okay? Anyway, apparently this is a $37 dish if you’re ordering a la carte which seems like a rip because the portion size isn’t terribly big. However, the Patagonian toothfish isn’t a cheap piece of fish and given beautifully cooked it comes out (so soft, so buttery, so like omg) and given how perfectly balanced the flavours are, it’s worth every dollar. Go on, do it.
You may be asking ‘what the hell is poke?’ Well, it’s the Hawaiian word for ‘to slice’ so I’m assuming they mean ‘sliced truffle.’ Anyway, I wouldn’t know; I couldn’t taste any truffle nor was it truffle season anywhere in the world (though I could smell it). Regardless, I liked this dish – it was so earthy and so bold that it appealed to my Taurean sensibilities. That, and I also love mushrooms.
Now, our wagyu striploin was nice enough but I did expect it to be fattier given that it was meant to be a 9 score piece of meat. And while you can’t really go wrong with terikyaki and beef, I was hoping for the sauce to be that little bit spicier.
I was egged on by Adam to order the Yoko Ono cocktail because, yeah, it’s not like anyone has called me Yoko before. Still, it was a much better cocktail than the Momoiro Sour I initially had. Sure, it looked and tasted very 80s Gold Coast but it was smooth to drink, and I loved the little hint of spice at the end.
When we thought we had enough, they just HAD to bring out a neat looking sushi platter. The platter included bite-sized delights such as spicy tuna on crispy rice (essentially, puffed rice) as well as the Queensland roll, a soy paper-wrapped sushi filled with spanner crab and topped with creamy avocado puree. Yup, there was none of this chicken teriyaki shit on this sushi platter board.
My favourite sushi, however, was the curiously named tai nori shio kombu salsa. The base was a crispy thick piece of nori that was rolled up to form a hard seaweed taco shell. Snapper sashimi sprinkled with black pepper was the icing on the cake. So simple, so clever and so delicious.
Finally, we had dessert. After all the food we consumed, the last thing I wanted to do was to eat a super rich dessert but thankfully, these little green tea mochi triangles were the perfect finish – at least for a non-sweets person like myself.
And what were they filled with? Frozen strawberry milkshake. Oh hell, yeah.
Okay, so we had another dessert. This one was yet another Sokyo immigrant, the famous Goma Street dessert. If you like chocolate, you will like this one. Unfortunately (or perhaps that should be fortunately?), I don’t like chocolate so it’s not a dessert I would think to order. However, I do like black sesame ice cream so that kind of saved the dish for me.
So there you have it. Is Gold Coast’s newest Japanese heavyweight worth the hype? I think so. I was impressed not just by how tasty each dish was but also how much attention to detail was paid. I don’t recommend a lot of high-end restaurants on the Gold Coast, but this one’s definitely going on my list.