Most of us are familiar with sushi and burgers but it took the imagination of entrepreneur and restaurateur Chase Kojima to combine the two and introduce a brand new food concept to Sydney – the Sushi Rice Burger! The restaurant takes its name from a play on Kojima’s surname and the Japanese word for rice, ‘gohan’ – a key component of his trademark creation. Gojima is the first casual dining venture for Kojima, who is the Executive Chef at Sokyo at The Star Sydney and Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast.
One year on from its opening, Kojima reflected on the journey and said “Opening Gojima has been an amazing ride. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of combining my fine dining experience with the playfulness of fast food to create something new that represents modern Japan.”
For those that haven’t tried the rice burger, it’s made by covering a pan-fried, rectangular slab of sushi rice with a thin sheet of seaweed. The rice is then folded in half and completed with a filling of your choice. The classic is 100% all-natural Angus beef, but the crispy chicken burger is just as delicious and popular.
As one side of the rice is shallow fried and quite crunchy, it doesn’t feel like eating sushi; but with the beef pattie sandwiched between sweet and vinegary sushi rice with seaweed, it doesn’t feel like eating a burger either. This is a highly original dish and Gojima is still Sydney’s only dedicated sushi rice burger restaurant.
To mark the restaurant’s one-year birthday, Kojima and his team also unveiled a number of new side dishes and desserts. Top of the list is a Sashimi Salad where sustainably sourced sashimi grade Tasmanian salmon, yellowfin tuna or Hiramasa Kingfish is combined with mixed leaves, shaved fennel, cucumber, radish and cherry tomato, dressed with ‘super delicious’ kale vinaigrette dressing. All salads are Gluten free and priced at $14.90.
In true Japanese style, Green Tea Azuki Tiramisu is a new addition to the frozen custards menu. It’s mixed with malt cookies, vanilla whip cream, coffee infused sponge cake, house-made Azuki red bean cream and matcha to finish. The Strawberry and Watermelon Pavlova is also a crowd-pleaser. Strawberry and cream frozen custard is mixed with apple spiced muffin, meringue, freshly cut strawberries and watermelon, vanilla whipped cream and finished with a strawberry sauce. Both desserts are priced at $7.90
Also worth mentioning are the exotic Japanese beers served at Gojima. Hitachino is a red rice beer with a distinct feel on the palate. With a 7% alcohol content, it’s stronger than usual beers but still very easy to drink, especially for the ladies. The ale and stout offer slightly more muscular tastes .
Over the last 12 months, Gojima’s unique rice burgers, legendary Japanese-style fried chicken, and delicious house-made frozen custards have made waves in Sydney. We look forward to seeing what Chase and his team have in store for us in 2018.
Level G, Cafe Court The Star
80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont, Sydney NSW