25 September 2023

A culinary feast on Queensland’s Gold Coast

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By John Rozentals.

Chase Kojima … in charge of Kiyomi on the Gold Coast and Sokyu in Sydney.

I guess most people come here to gamble, whether they be Asian high-rollers or locals seeking the very slim chance of making a motza from a flutter.

Your writer is at The Star Gold Coast, however, to indulge in another of the deadly sins — gluttony, otherwise known as dining out to bursting point — and he certainly has plenty of choice at his command.

I’m going to start in Kiyomi, the Star’s premium Japanese restaurant, where executive chef Chase Kojima rules the roost and commands highly talented line-ups in the kitchen and on the floor.

The emphasis here is principally on sashimi-sushi-tempura-style dishes but there’s also an exceptional range of other dishes as well — things such as organic duck served with umami purée, crispy brussels sprouts and citrus duck jus, and wagyu tenderloin.

A luxurious wash … bathroom at The Star Gold Coast.

The staff waves goodbye to the standard menu and decides just to feed and ‘water’ me, providing a range of dishes that they think will showcase what they do best.

I’m more than happy to agree to the arrangement, and I think I’ve answered a question that has been lingering in the back of my mind for a couple of years — where does Chase go when he wants better sushi than at Sokyu, the Sydney Star’s Japanese restaurant, which he also manages?

He comes to The Star Gold Coast, of course, and Kiyomi, the restaurant he named after his late mother, who died quite a few years ago and with whom he unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time.

Kiyomi’s crispy rice with spicy tuna … perhaps my pick as dish of the night.

Anyway, I’m thoroughly spoilt and the parade of delicious, beautifully presented dishes arriving at my table attracts plenty of envy.

That parade starts with the most sumptuous array of sashimi — tastes of treats such as seared scampi, kingfish belly, bluefin-tuna belly, ocean trout and seared Hokkaido scallop.

Then comes, for me anyway, the evening’s high point, a sashimi dish of crispy rice and spicy tuna. Its presentation doesn’t rival what came before, or what’s to come afterwards, but its flavours and texture are sublime.

And what follows is substantial — a taste of four different tempura dishes, some Glacier 51 toothfish, a Chase-style lamb cutlet, some wagyu flank, a course of Chase Torotoro including bluefin tuna tartare, Tasmanian sea urchin and WA fresh black truffle, and, finally, a dessert featuring goma ice-cream, green-tea mocha ravioli and Japanese donuts.

Cucina Viva … specialties include wood-fired pizzas.

Perhaps it had been too early in the feast to declare the crispy rice and spicy tuna as the overall favourite. Perhaps the title should have been shared by that dish and the delectable Chase Torotoro.

I did notice that the other meaning for ‘kiyomi’ is as a baby girl’s name meaning ‘pure beauty’. How absolutely appropriate.

Another highlight of my dining at The Star Gold Coast came at Cucina Viva, the resort’s Italian-inspired eatery, evoking the atmosphere of the cliff-top restaurants of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Its centrepiece is a huge wood-fired oven but its specialties go well beyond the pizzas that produces.

Kiyomi … The Star Gold Coast’s premium Japanese restaurant.

I am a huge oyster fan and usually like them the way God intended them — au naturel — but couldn’t resist starting with a couple done the chef’s special way, with limoncello and chilli dressing. They were pleasantly bitey and tasty.

I followed this with an earthy entrée of a range of mushrooms — swiss browns, oyster mushrooms and porcinis — served with gnocci, and an equally earthy offering of a cream-based veal scaloppini with a marsala sauce, forest mushrooms and roasted kipfler spuds.

They certainly went well with a couple of glasses of chianti — full-bodied and dry and certainly not in a raffia-clad bottle.

My culinary adventure also included a trip for yum-cha style treats at Mei Wei Dumplings, a hawker-style eatery with an open kitchen and basically open seating that treat a bevy of diners to a great experience of spring rolls, prawn har gow, shao mai, etc.

It’s easy to grab a seat, and the menu is a delicious one to browse through.

Disclosure: John Rozentals was a guest of The Star Gold Coast.


The Star Gold Coast: Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach, Queensland; www.star.com.au

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