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Mr Kojima brings modern, Japanese eats to Chevron Island

Mr Kojima interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Japanese food is absolutely heaven sent.

Made up of a myriad of mouthwatering flavours, intricate cooking techniques and perfect presentation, each dish seems more like art than eats but luckily for us, it is both.

Especially in the case of Chevron Island’s new Japanese eatery, Mr Kojima by a man whose dishes you’ve no doubt sampled before now.

That man is Jon Kojima and his culinary expertise has spanned over 30 years.

So yes, he knows what’s up when it comes to preparing a tasty dish.

Sushi, Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Sushi, Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Now Mr Kojima can be found right in the thick of it on Thomas Drive on Chevron Island with plenty of parking spots and it’s just lovely in general.

The space is long and narrow with wooden slats lining one wall, Japanese-style art at the front and a pretty textured wall behind the bar.

Which is stocked with plenty of sakes and Japanese whisky of course.

Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The food though is the star of the show and you can dine at both lunch and dinner time with a different menu for each.

At lunch time there’s an array of Bento Boxes to choose from including chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian varieties plus side dishes like Crispy Prawns, Wagyu Gyoza and Kingfish Carpaccio to name a few.

Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

At dinner time there’s an extensive menu packed with everything from a Raw Bar with everything from Oysters to Beef Tataki, Taco Tartare and Salmon Usuzukuri.

You may then move onto sushi and small dishes like JFC Karaage, Crispy Prawns, Peppered Squid, Yakitori and Scallop and Crab.

Mr Kojima’s main dishes are where the magic happens and you’ll absolutely want to sample eats like Beef Cheek Katsu, Barramundi, Black Cod Miso Yaki and Rib Eye Fillet – along with pretty much everything else.

Scallops, Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

To drink, the aforementioned sake and Japanese whisky plus cocktails of course.

We’re quite fond of the Pink Geisha with vodka, shochu, strawberry and watermelon and the Imperial Garden with sake, vodka, lime, yuzu, mint and cucumber.

Mr Kojima is the kind of place you’ll want to keep going back to and indeed, it seems the local clientele have returned time and time and time again.

Laidback, friendly and with incredible dishes, what more could you want?

Head in to taste is all for yourself.

Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

LOCATION: 1/62 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island
HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday 11am until 9pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Black Cod Miso Yaki, Mr Kojima (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Chevron Island scores a fresh, new brunch spot

Is it not the best news ever that you can enjoy an island adventure, complete with exceptional eats and a beverage or two, without even having to leave the Gold Coast? You can even hire a little boat to get there should you wish to have an authentic experience.

The island we’re talking about today is, of course, Chevron Island, a little paradise unto itself bursting with exceptional foodie spots and pretty parks to laze about in having consumed all the exceptional eats.

The latest little newbie to grace Chevron Island with its’ presence is Mint Espresso, an intimate, rustically decked out space with both indoor and outdoor seating, painted a cheery shade of green (mint in fact) and lots of natural light flooding in.

It’s the work of a local Gold Coast family who are also the proud owners of the cutest baby French Bulldog there is in the world. Mint Espresso is their first venue and they’ve done quite the impressive job if you ask us.

The menu is made up of breakfast slash lunch eats along the lines of Shrooms on Toast (a favourite) with an array of tasty mushrooms on Turkish bread with grilled haloumi, basil pesto and poached eggs.

The Ultimate Eggs Benedict is also a winner; it’s Turkish bread topped with spinach, hash browns, sausage, bacon jam, poached eggs and truffle Hollandasie and it’s the perfect combination of breakfast goodies.

Everything is filled with flavour and absolutely stunningly presented to both delight your eyeballs and your Insta followers.

The coffee on offer is by the good folks at Byron Bay Coffee Co. and there are also cool, refreshing juices and of course, beloved milkshakes and thickshakes in case your inner child is calling.

Also, there are HOMEMADE baked goodies including brownies that will melt in your mouth and also come with ice cream.

In conclusion, if you’re in the market for a little island getaway complete with delicious brunch time eats and without breaking the bank, Chevron Island and newbie Mint Espresso are the go.

Prepare to be impressed.

LOCATION: 9/37 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 5.30am until 5.30pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Anekawa brings fine Japanese dining to Mudgeeraba

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese dishes are an (absolutely delicious) art form and one that we are happy to indulge in every single day of our lives. Particularly when they are created by someone who has been perfecting said art form for many moons.

Which is exactly what is happening in Mudgeeraba of late due to the opening of Anekawa – an exceptional new Japanese eatery you are going to want to sample at the earliest available opportunity.

It’s an intimate space, perfectly fitted out with light wooden furniture, earthy textures, raw slabs of stone for tabletops and a light sprinkling of draped greenery. You’ll recognise the work of Owen Thompson who has designed and created interiors for the likes of Project Tokyo, Baked at Ancora and Double Barrel Kitchen (to name a few).

The bar is the feature of Anekawa, again made of a huge piece of stone with a few bottles stocked on the wall behind and piles of ceramics perfectly placed to create a cosy, homey vibe that we could absolutely never recreate at home. It’s perfection. As is everything about Anekawa honestly.

Owner and Chef Koki have gone above and beyond to develop a menu that’s quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen with unusual dishes and cooking techniques designed to get you to step outside of your comfort zone.

The focus is on local produce sourced from growers and suppliers with ethical practices and using organic ingredients as much as possible. Koki is very mindful of where everything is grown and how it’s harvested and the high quality produce is the driver behind a menu that changes often, depending on availability.

For example, at the moment there’s a dish involving a Long Spined Sea Urchin because it’s in season and Apellation Oysters are sourced from premium leases in areas where there are native wetlands and are not mass harvested. How good.

One of a couple of the staples on the menu is the Organic Gotofu with sesame soy and cherry granola, which is probably not a dish we’d usually try but was one of the most delicious combinations of flavours we’ve tasted. Absolutely next-level.

Rice Clay Pots are another staple and you can order those in combinations like beef, coddled egg & chives, snow peas & school prawns or sweet corn & butter.

Chargrilled Fish Heads with Umedare and Chives and Pan Fried Petuna Ocean Trout with green pepper kosho and chargrilled capsicum are dishes that are currently on the menu and ones you won’t want to miss out on.

Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Chef Koki uses cooking techniques unique to his birthplace of Saga in Japan and they’re not often used across the rest of the country, let alone here.

There’s also a tightly curated cocktail list and of course, sakes, whiskey’s and beers.

Exceptional, in a word. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen an addition to the Gold Coast dining scene as unique and exciting as Anekawa and we are quite thrilled about it. Go see and sample for yourself.

LOCATION: Cnr Swan Lane and Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
HOURS: 5.30pm until 9pm (last orders) Tuesday to Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Burleigh Heads scores an epic new Japanese eatery

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Japanese food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So when a new, perfectly curated eatery bringing the traditional tastes of Japan to Burleigh Heads opens up, we are obviously all about it.

The newbie, Oi Izakaya can be found in the little alleyway off James Street where the Mexi-goodness that is Hail Mary also resides.

It’s the work of local lads Troy Olsen and Stephen Thompson who, along with renowned Gold Coast design genius OJ Thompson (of Ally Chow and Etsu fame), have created something the Gold Coast is going to absolutely love.

The newbie is a low-lit, moody space reminiscent of back alley, Tokyo-style Izakayas with all burnt wood paneling, dark intimate corners and an open-style kitchen, so you can watch the magic unfold.

The bar, at one end fits snugly into the corner and is jam-packed with an impressive array of whisky’s (love you), sake and Japanese beers. Tiny samurai fight for attention on one wall, while a (really quite magical) golden orb shines out from another.

The vibe is the perfect combination of old school Japanese and modern sophistication and we’re big fans.

Menu-wise the eats are refined and authentic, infusing mind-blowing flavours into dishes you’ll never want to stop eating.

To start, sashimi, always. The freshest of tuna and salmon for your tasting pleasure. But also Edamame Cheese Chips, a thing we have never before had the pleasure of sampling but will now order at any and every opportunity. Don’t ask, just order.

The Squashed Cucumber is not only one of the great dish names, it is a great dish. Basically it’s cucumber in plum sauce but the flavours defy that overly simplistic description. Eat it.

Oi Izakaya also have a Sushi Burger on the menu and yes it is indeed stacked like your run-of-the-mill burger but made with sushi. Genius and so very tasty.

Of course, the menus’ pièce de résistance is Okonomiyaki, the dish that made Troy and Stephen fall in love with Japanese eats and the reason we now get to spend all our time at Oi Izakaya.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure Okonomiyaki is made up of many things including egg, cabbage, flour, Japanese spices and your choice of meat. The dish we sampled was Hiroshima-style (with noodles) and it was the very best variety we’ve ever tasted.

We ate the entire thing and you should order it and subsequently be impressed by how good we are at eating.

To drink, we suggest getting involved in one of the MANY Japanese whisky’s on offer but if straight up isn’t your thing, the Brown Rice Old Fashioned is as good as it gets.

Oi Izakaya

All in all, Oi Izakaya is quite a treat and the perfect addition to Burleigh’s foodie scene and we suggest you get down there at the earliest available opportunity and give the boys some love.

And if you need someone to mentor you in the art of whisky drinking, you know where to find us.

LOCATION: Shop 4-6, 30 James Street, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Wednesday and Thursday 4.30pm until late, Friday to Sunday 12pm until late

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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