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Harajuku Gyoza

“Irasshaimase” is the greeting you’ll hear happily called in your direction every time you set foot in the newly opened beer stadium and dumpling bar in Broadbeach, Harajuku Gyoza.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. The space is decked out in the restaurant’s signature style with huge arched entryways, their famous decorative plates perched across the back wall depicting Japanese movie scenes and the wide, Manga-style face of the Harajuku Gyoza logo smiling out at all who enter.

See the chefs prepare your goodies through the kitchens open glass windows and marvel at the specialist wrapper as she expertly twists her way through countless gyoza (over 10,000 were wrapped on opening weekend).

It’s been dubbed a beer stadium due to the array of Japanese craft beer on tap, several of which are distributed through huge, colourful Yoyogi vats perched behind the bar. Feeling adventurous? Give a frozen beer a try! It’s Kirin circulated through a frozen cylinder to create a foam which is then added to a regular beer. Magic.

Now to the menu. As you’d imagine, gyoza is the game changer here. Poached or grilled and with choices of pork and kimchi, three cheese and lemongrass chicken to name just a few, they’re cooked to perfection; juicy and melt-in-your-mouth.

In an interesting spin, you can opt for open gyoza where the casing is deep fried and crunchy and topped with a choice of pork belly, smoked salmon or tofu, taco-style.

If you’re feeling extra peckish go for a Salmon Sashimi Poke Bowl, Chicken Katsu Curry Don or Chicken Ramen bowl.

With four venues in Brisbane and one in Sydney, the Harajuku Gyoza good vibes are as infectious as the food is delicious and the Gold Coast restaurant is no exception.

Set yourself up in a booth inside or sprawl out in the outdoor dining area and watch Broadbeach roll by.

Inside tip: order sake to sip on and watch the spectacle unfold.

LOCATION: Broadbeach Mall, Oasis Shopping Centre (opposite the stage), Broadbeach

HOURS: Thursday to Monday 7am to 11pm and Tuesday/Wednesday 11am to 11pm.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

11 top spots to sip sake on the Gold Coast

Sake from Misono Japanese Steakhouse at JW Marriott Gold Coast
Misono Japanese Steakhouse at JW Marriott (image supplied)

A traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice with additions of water, yeast, and koji, the legend of sake surrounds the story of a prince who once used the beverage to intoxicate a dragon to save a princess. Not your average fairy tale, but a clever prince nonetheless.

Originating in Japan over 1,300 years ago and traditionally revered as an offering to the Gods, it has become popular worldwide thanks to its unique hot and cold varieties and its ability to enhance the tastes of our beloved Japanese food. Always on the hunt for flavour, we found the 11 best sipping spots of sake on the Gold Coast in honour of the sacred brew.

Misono Japanese Steakhouse
An in-house speciality, sake is much loved at Misono. Served solo in six varieties and with detailed explanations of each on the menu, Misono’s sake options all fall within the range of the four main designations of the drink (dependent on how much the rice grains are polished). Not only can you drink it straight, but Misono also specialises in cocktails incorporating sake for something totally unique. Try the Kiwi Sparkler with sake, muddled kiwifruit and lime on ice topped up with sparkling wine.
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Eddy + Wolff (image supplied)
Eddy + Wolff (image supplied)

Eddy + Wolff
The intimate little venue hidden away in Robina, Eddy + Wolff are the masters of contemporary Asian eats, tasty tipples and an interior like no other. You’ll love the rounded, polished concrete ceiling, neon sign and soft pink hues that make up the stunning space. Of course, the team have chosen only the very best sakes to complement their menu, including one reminiscent of Limoncello that we can’t get enough of. The perfect spot to share a sake with your pals.
Where: 12/217-219 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina

Kiyomi
Masters in the art of sake service, the team at Kiyomi have been through a rigorous training program to ensure they know their stuff. Offering a sample from each sake category, flavours range from earthy mushroom to citrusy and floral in both still and sparkling varieties. Kiyomi serves their warm sake at 46 degrees, the traditional temperature, and present it in a stone Tokkuri, handmade in Japan. Cold sake comes in a mouth-blown Tokkuri made with a large divot for holding ice spheres to keep it at the correct temperature. If sipping sake on the Gold Coast is a must for you, you have to visit Kiyomi.
Where: Lobby level, The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach

Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Iku Yakitori Bar
Iku Yakitori Bar is a Burleigh favourite boasting many a delicious Japanese dish cooked over Binchotan coals and with lots of extra smoky flavours. Of course, there’s a handpicked selection of sakes on offer of the absolute highest quality possible, as is the way of the Iku team. Ask for the story behind each and prepare to be dazzled by their knowledge and the unique flavours on offer.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Cocotte Dining
Tucked away in Robina Quays is Cocotte offering a fusion of Japanese and French dining and plenty of sake options to complement the delicious dishes. Eight opportunities await from the popular Hyogo, Yamaguchi and Fukui regions, both by the glass and the bottle. A favourite is the Dassai Junmai Daiginjo, made with rice milled to just 23% of its original size and boasting flavours of grapes, flowers, strawberries and the freshest mineral water.
Where: 16A Robina Quays Shopping Centre, Corner of Robina Parkway and Markeri Street, Robina

Etsu Izakaya
At Etsu, they say sake has something to give that wine can’t, most notably texture and umami (the flavours that’s neither sweet nor sour). With over 16 varieties of sake from seven different regions of Japan on offer, Etsu has one of the most diverse ranges on the Coast. Keen to try them all? Ask for a Sake Flight – three, 40ml samples of selected sakes. Add a little fun to your dinner with a selection of one cup sake, take-home souvenir cups printed with popular classic Japanese cartoon and Disney characters.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Etsu Izakaya (image supplied)
Etsu Izakaya (image supplied)

Cafoo Izakaya
If opulent plates of the freshest hunks of sashimi matched elegantly with crisp and refreshing sake sound like a flavour party you want a piece of, then may we suggest you look no further? Cafoo has been wowing Palm Beach locals for a while now with excellent displays of off-the-charts Japanese cuisine and is often booked out. If you manage to grab a spot, you must try one of their signature sake cocktails — to freshen your palate, of course — or an ingenious twist on a European favourite: Sakegria.
Where: Shop 6, Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach

Wazen
A hidden gem out the back of Burleigh, Wazen is serving up incredible Japanese eats at VERY affordable prices. The menu is extensive, so go there at a starving time of the day and, of course, don’t forget to sample a few sakes while you’re there. There are several authentic varieties to try, and the staff know exactly what they’re talking about: ask what will best go with your favourite dishes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty time.
Where: 1/33 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Burleigh Heads

Little Itoshin
Tucked away in the residential backstreets of Miami should by no means put you off dropping into a haven of Japanese delicacies. And when you do drop in, be sure to try some of their fantastic fresh oysters or deftly made nigiri with a crisp and well-matched sake that will leave your tastebuds all shook up. It doesn’t end there. If you have the space, be sure to ask about their desserts not found on the menu: if you know — you know!
Where: Shop 6, 110 Mountain View Avenue, Miami 

Little Itoshin (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Little Itoshin (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Harajuku Gyoza
With playful vibes of Tokyo’s most notable suburb throughout their Broadbeach venue, crispy gyozas and the freshest Japanese craft beer are eternally flowing at Harajuku Gyoza. But it’s the hard-to-find sakes — served both warm and chilled — that round out a taste adventure not worth missing. Grab your gang and request a cheeky round of sakes to up the ante on your evening out — kampai!
Where: G66 The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue Broadbeach 

Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
This Gold Coast favourite specialises in an enticing blend of modern and traditional tastes, and offers a range of sakes from house to premium and speciality sweet blends. Ranging from dry to delicate and fruity to floral, flavours include apricot and marzipan, mandarin and lime, tropical fruits and banana and savoury and nutty — to name a few! Mamasan also offers a Sake Flight served chilled and made of three 30ml choices from the menu.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Photo by Zaji Kanamajina on Unsplash
Photo by Zaji Kanamajina on Unsplash

Bine Bar & Dining x I like ramen

Popular Nobbys Beach hangout Bine Bar & Dining has teamed up with the Gold Coast’s latest market hoppers, I like ramen, to bring tasty vegan ramen to the people.

Every Tuesday night Bobby and the I like ramen team will takeover the Bine kitchen to offer an entrée of panko crusted mushroom bites and three types of ramen.

Kimchi ramen – noodles served in a spicy kimchi broth, topped with fried tofu, house made kimchi, green onions, roasted seaweed and black sesame.

Mushroom ramen – noodles served in a rich shiitake broth, topped with smokey portobello strips, green onions, fried shallots, roasted seaweed and white sesame.

Chicken ramen – noodles served in a vegan chicken broth, flavoured with sesame oil and served with vegan chicken strips, green onions, roasted seaweed and black sesame.

I like ramen will be popping up all over the Coast at night markets, but the meantime, head down to Bine Bar & Dining next Tuesday night from 4pm

HOURS: From 4pm to 10pm Tuesdays

LOCATION: Bine Bar & Dining, Chairlift Ave, Nobbys Beach

Sneak peek: Yamagen

A Gold Coast institution for over 30 years, Yamagen is set to re-open on July 28th to the delight of the Japanese Izakaya’s countless devotees.

After quietly closing its doors, the venue at QT in Surfers Paradise, has undergone a dramatic makeover fusing a traditional Japanese style of eatery with an eclectic, upbeat, Tokyo-style vibe. Yamagen pays homage to the old maintaining the soul of the restaurant it once was, while introducing modern dining concepts never before seen on the Gold Coast.

Diners enter through a dimly lit bar stocked with an impressive range of Japanese whiskey, sake and of course, a cutting edge cocktail menu.

Jordan Melling, co-creator of said cocktail menu, lists his personal favourite as the Kyoto Old Fashioned made with Japanese whiskey, yuzu bitters (a Japanese citrus fruit) and gelatin foam made with Gyokoro green tea, honey and Nikka from the barrel – phew. You’ve been told.

While you’re sipping watch the Chef whip up Sashimi Tacos and Master Kobe Wagyu from the kushiyaki grill set in the centre of the room. The space mimics a traditional Japanese home where the kitchen or tea is the centerpiece.

When it’s time to eat, there are a couple of options. First, sit yourself around the sushi bar and watch Sushi Master Mitsuo Yoshino work his magic. Think Spicy Jalapeno Hiramasa Kingfish and Yellowfin Tuna Tatare. It’s an all-encompassing experience and the perfect opportunity to get some one on one time with the Master.

Of course, the candle-lit dining room also beckons if you’re after a little sophistication. In an interesting progressive dinner-style spin, you’re welcome to start your night at the sushi bar and then move on in to the dining room when you’re ready to re-ignite your tastebuds.

The menu is sensational, including Tempura Crispy Bugs (Moreton Bay ones!), Steamed Prawn Noodle Dumplings and, in perhaps the best news of all time, Halloumi Skewers with smoked honey and bonito flakes (smoked, dried tuna).

For dessert you must taste the Miso Caramel Chocolate Fondant with goma ice cream and, because what’s overeating, also try the Yonuts – fried sweet donuts with yuzu curd and sesame sugar. Yes, those are real.

The entire experience smacks of traditional Japan while cleverly infusing a dining experience that is the epitome of QT-cool. It’s your new Surfers Paradise go-to. So go.

HOURS: From 5pm seven nights a week
LOCATION: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

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