I'm a Gold Coast writer always in search of fun activities to fill the weekends.
Published June 15th 2015
Japanese if you please
Sushi lovers looking to indulge on the Gold Coast will be delighted with the stylish Kiyomi Japanese restaurant and bar, the first eatery unveiled as part of Jupiters Hotel and Casino's major revitalisation project. Opened in December 2014, Kiyomi was conceived by renowned chef Chase Kojima, who founded the very popular Sokyo restaurant at The Star Sydney.
Kiyomi is located on the lobby level and, though open to the din of dated tunes from the Atrium Bar below, is a sanctuary of ambient light and classic Japanese décor.
With four booths for larger groups and a centre row of high tables for couples, Kiyomi seats 120 diners within its intimate, rectangular space. The walls feature Japanese motifs against textured wood blocks, contrasting with a large fluorescent UV artwork created by Tokyo street artist Huoxo Que. The effect is a mix of classic style with a modern edge – representative of Kojima's intention for the menu itself.
Japanese motifs adorn the wall at Kiyomi Japanese resturant, Jupiters Casino (photo courtesy Jupiters Hotel and Casino)
The service is outstanding, with our attentive and very friendly waiter, Dev, quick to welcome us, pouring condiments from tiny teapots and suggesting cocktails to start the evening. I choose the Japanese Teapot – a fruity blend of strawberry puree, cranberry juice, Midori and vodka. It looks lovely, poured from its glass teapot, and is refreshing yet so sweet I couldn't commit to a second.
Kiyomi's Japanese Teapot cocktail is sweet and fruity
We order steamed edamame beans served with salt flakes ($6) to begin, and have just time to begin devouring the tasty traditional snack as our dishes arrive.
First up is the aburi sushi platter ($19), which is carefully presented with five pieces of tuna and caviar, spicy salmon with teriyaki, kingfish, scampi and scallop with pink grapefruit pearls, all atop rice. The fish is very fresh and the texture melt-in-the-mouth, with the balance of salty, sweet and spicy spot on.
Aburi sushi platter with tuna, salmon, kingfish, scampi, scallop
Next up, we can't go past our sushi bar go-to, the trusty salmon and avocado roll ($14). It doesn't disappoint, with eight delicious pieces, cut to be bite-size but with generous amounts of tender salmon, rolled in sesame seeds.
Salmon avocado sushi at Kiyomi Japanese restaurant
Continuing the sushi theme, we go with waiter Dev's suggestion and order the soft shell crab sushi roll, with avocado, cucumber and tobiko ($18). With eight pieces, we are entirely satisfied by the delicate mix of fresh flavours and crunchy texture.
If only we'd left room – the dessert menu looks amazing. On the to-do list for next visit is Goma Street ($14), a confection of tempered dark chocolate, caramelised white chocolate mousse and black sesame ice-cream that has proved its winner status on the menu at Kojima's Sydney restaurant.
For those wishing to pull out all stops, consider Kiyomi's new seven-course Omakase degustation menu, which allows diners to select from a range of specially created and signature dishes, which are paired with wines, cocktails or sake (degustation shared menu for two; $140 per person including drinks, $75 without drinks).
Jupiters Casino is currently in the throes of a $345 million renovation, destined to haul it into the contemporary space now occupied by Australia's other big casinos.
Jupiter's second new restaurant, Cucina Vivo, opened in February, while the poolside area has also been updated. Expected to be completed by 2018, the redevelopment will include a new luxury hotel tower and modern exterior for the entire complex.