When you hear that Chase Kojima, Executive Chef at Sokyo, has announced he’s opening a casual dining and takeaway restaurant at The Star Sydney later this year, you know that ‘casual’ does not always mean low quality food.
There have to be places between fine dining and takeaway joints that offer quick, healthy cuisine while at the same time challenging us with their innovation and quality. When we find them, these places are our ‘go to’ eateries, essential for busy people who care about their health and are discriminating in their taste.
In Japan, informal dining is the norm: “You can eat great food, really cheap,” says Kojima. “It’s called ‘B-class gourmet cuisine’.”
To us, Sushi at Palm Beach is ‘B-class gourmet’ – a place where you can have a feast on the best cuisine at entry level prices.
Located in The Pavilions just outside a major supermarket, the shop looks pretty much like other sushi trains, but delve deeper and you’ll uncover a beautiful surprise: it serves some of the highest quality sushi we’ve eaten.
Owners Claudia Li and Joe Lum take great pride in the standard of their sushi and the freshness of their fish and meat.
Joe, who was a sommelier at both the Peninsular and Regent Hotels (now IHG) in Hong Kong, came to Australia following Expo ’88. His wife Claudia, who he met a few years later, left her banking career in Hong Kong to join him in Australia. Starting life together here was a time of challenge, ‘starting again from zero’, as the couple humbly put it. Joe still worked in hospitality in big hotels, but not as a sommelier, so at age 50 he decided to start a new career.
“It was really hard, put in the kitchen to train under a Japanese master chef,” Joe tells us, “but it opened my eyes to the science, innovation and artistic elements of Japanese cooking.”
The couple decided to open their own sushi shop, Sushi at Reedy Creek, their second shop, Sushi at Palm Beach, opening in mid-2016, a more upmarket version of their first store.
“We wanted something stylish, to stand out from the market,” Joe says, “so we have a lot more premium dishes here.”
Sourcing the best seafood, chicken and meat from Japanese suppliers, there’s a two-paged menu to choose from, including ‘don’ meals, sashimi, aburi, tempura and sushi, with the option of choosing the more nutritious black and wild rice in your sushi. The couple make their own teriyaki sauce from scratch and don’t use MSG. It takes them an hour to make the gluten-free soy sauce!
“We have customers bringing in our Instagram photos and asking for Wagyu beef and Blue Fin Tuna,” Claudia tells us.
These dishes win us over for both taste and presentation: the Kuro Maguro tuna the freshest, deepest colour we’ve ever seen – Maguro Magnifique! The salmon sashimi and aburi melt in our mouths. It’s sushi to be savoured, rather than downed quickly plate by plate.
While the couple aim their sushi at diners who treasure freshness rather than a cheap price, there’s also a great rewards program, with every fifth $12+ visit earning a free lunch!
For those who live at Palm Beach or close by, Sushi at Palm Beach is a must! Feast like kings on top quality, quick nutritious food and BYO for a small charge. This is gourmet casual dining or takeaway not to be missed!
Shop 9A, Pavilions, 10 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach Ph: 07 5534 6911
Open: Mon-Tues 11:30am – 3pm; Wed-Sat: 11:30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Sushi at Palm Beach.
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Sushi at Reedy Creek, 1 Kingsmore Boulevard, Reedy Creek, Queensland 4227
Ph: 07 5568 0756