Dressed with edible flowers, green apple matchsticks, foie gras and mizuna
this scampi is a feast on the eye and a seductive dance on the palate.
Gold Coast in sunny Queensland is world famous for its seemingly endless stretch of beach along its coastline.
Japanese real estate investors poured hundreds of millions into this sunshine haven and made it one of Australia’s hottest tourist destinations in the 1980s. But what is a resort without a casino that adds so much glamour and excitement to a vacation?
Owned by the Echo Entertainment Group that also operates The Star casino and resort in Sydney, Jupiters Hotel & Casino was established at the Gold Coast in 1985. And after thirty years of entertaining holiday makers from every corner of the earth, it is now embarking on a 345 million transformation to lure more gambling and entertainment dollars. This upgrade boasts a sparkling new poolside, two new restaurants and stylish hotel room designs.
With the kind invitation of Wonderland Publicity and Jupiters Hotel & Casino, I am here to check out the hotel and its new facilities.
Welcome to the Gold Coast
I am greeted at Gold Coast airport by chauffeur Allan, who is tending to a gold stretch limousine from Jupiters.
“Good afternoon sir and welcome to the Gold Coast” he says with a smile.
He introduces me to the hotel’s stretch limousine which is spacious to say the least.
“It’s a beautiful day isn’t it?” he tells me. “Help yourself to a drink and we should be at the hotel within thirty minutes” he adds as I stretch my legs and sink into the plush black leather seats.
Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast
Located in Broadbeach just twenty minutes north from the Gold Coast airport in Coolangatta, Jupiters offers holiday makers a chance to spin a few dollars on the Black Jack and roulette tables.
But I’m not here to gamble at the casino today.
Rather, I am eager to check out a brand new Japanese restaurant where the brains behind the food is already well known to so many Sydneysiders.
Kiyomi is a rare Japanese citrus fruit that is a hybrid between a mandarin and an orange.
Located on the same mezzanine level as the lobby, the restaurant has a vista over the entrance into the casino on the ground floor.
Kiyomi, Gold Coast
The cocktail menu looks like a dream girls’ night out on a couple of pages.
As I walk into the bar area, the bartender is topping San Pellegrino mandarin sparkling onto a couple of signature cocktails.
Served in a tall glass, Chasing Kiyomi is Tanquery gin, Grand Marnier, orange bitters and Aperol topped up with San Pellegrino mandarin mineral sparkling.
A liquored cherry cradled by an orange peel adds a tinge of sweetness to a crisp, citrusy finish. This one turns out to be my favourite among five Kiyomi cocktails this evening.
I am a not a fan of cocktails but I love downing margaritas in a single gulp after licking the entire rim to gather as much salt as I can on my tongue.
This Japanese margarita with Herradura Plata Silver tequila, Cointreau, agave nectar and yuzu juice tastes too much like any margaritas I have had in my time.
The black salt rim (presumably black salt harvested from volcanic regions around the world) as stated on the menu is obviously missing.
A Tom Collins is probably as iconic an American cocktail as a Singapore Sling is to the Raffles Hotel though the latter might be younger by almost a century.
Served in a tall glass to the traditions of a Tom Collins, Yuzu Collins at Kiyomi is Tanqueray gin, kakushigura shochu, yuzu juice, bitters and sparkling soda.
Lacking in sugar sweetness, I suspect it might be a modern interpretation of the original.
Momoiro Sour mixes onigoroshi junmai, shiso leaf and lime juice with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Personally, I find this cocktail too tangy and wonder if sweet sake is best mixed with lime juice.
Uma is Japanese for horse and this cocktail has been designed with its elegance and poise, combining sweet flavours of Canadian club complemented with kakushigura shochu, yuzu juice, vanilla infused sugar syrup and ginger beer.
Seared scampi with foie gras, apple and mizuna
As it should be, scampi is so lightly seared it is sashimi-like.
Relieved from their shells, the scampi is dressed with edible flowers, green apple matchsticks, foie gras and mizuna on bamboo leaves over a bed of crushed ice. Green apple offers crisp tartness against rich foie gras, gently teasing the subtle sweetness of the scampi. It is a mouthful that sings complexity and elegance.
Though everyone on the table left the scampi head alone, I found sucking out the innards to be one of the highlights of this dish.
Hiramasa kingfish, miso ceviche and crispy potato
Having worked with legendary chef Nobu Matsuhisa may have influenced the trademark pairing of green chilli with raw fish.
Slivers of hiramasa kingfish ceviche are enhanced by sweet miso while a filigree of crispy deep-fried potato offer crisp textural contrast.
Tuna tataki, asparagus, enoki and tosazu leek sauce
Slices of seared tuna tataki gloriously red in the middle are garlanded with colourful flowers.
Tosazu leek sauce is perhaps chef Kojima’s take of an elegant Japanese style vinaigrette that brings together the seafood and leaves.
Moreton Bay bug with grapefruit, sambal, mayo and vinegar
Tempura is very much refined in crisp morsels of Moreton Bay bug.
The spiciness of sambal mayo is subtle though I prefer the tangy vinegar as a dipping sauce.
Seijo Karakuchi is Dewazakura’s table sake that can be served hot, warm or cold. It displays subtle herbal aromas with a crisp and dry finish.
Choosing cold means we have a carafe with a hollow cradle for crushed ice that keeps the sake chilled.
Dengakuman toothfish, caramelized miso and cucumber
Dengakuman toothfish is smoky from the binchotan.
The combination of sweet caramelized miso from the grill with the flaky and succulent texture of this fish possibly one of the most beautiful mouthfuls that one can experience with seafood.
Wagyu +9 striploin, eschalot and spicy teriyaki
Wagyu striploin arrives with charred aromas and a healthy blush of pink.
Each slice is tender, full of beefy flavours and enhanced by a spicy sweet teriyaki.
King brown mushroom, truffle poke and lime
King brown mushrooms are intricately scored to absorb earthy truffle flavours with a tinge of tangy lime.
Queensland roll, Crispy rice & spicy tuna and Tai Nori
The showcase of Chase Kojima‘s sushi begins with crispy rice and spicy tuna, Queensland rolls and Tai Nori.
A slice of tuna rests on a crispy log of toasted rice with a dollop of spicy mayo adding a tinge of creaminess to the fish.
Tai is laced with shio konbu salsa and craddled by a sheet of crispy nori that bursts of sweet fish, tangy lime and textural elegance.
Queensland roll combines sweet spanner crabmeat, soy paper, avocado puree and puffed rice. Unlike most nigiri sushi, this one takes on a sweet and creamy mouthfeel with gentle pops from the puffed rice.
Goma street is one of Kojima’s most popular desserts at his Sydney restaurant.
It is replicated here and this familiar sight brings back sweet memories. Chocolate and black sesame ice cream combine with a swoop of black sesame paste that resembles Japanese calligraphy.
Dark chocolate disks are interspersed with sesame mousse and cystallized black sesame pops while crumbly bits of sesame caramel complements the ice cream.
Chef Chase Kojima greets us after dinner to tell us about his inspiration for Kiyomi’s menu that is driven by the freshest of seafood and seasonal ingredients that Australia has to offer.
Kiyomi is like the little sister of Sokyo in Sydney.
The menu is tighter with some of the most popular dishes such as the tuna tataki, Hiramasa kingfish ceviche, crispy rice and spicy tuna set to entice the Queenslanders.
Hotel & accommodation
Our visit to Kiyomi includes complimentary accommodation at Jupiters.
This room is spacious with a long desk and television though its 1980s design is apparent. Wifi connection is complimentary at the hotel’s lobby level though incur additional charges in the room.
A mini bar is well stocked with red, white and sparkling wine, juice, beer, soft drinks and standard liquor.
The view from the rooms is either overlooking the new swimming pool or coastal views of the beach.
I decide to work off last evening’s beautiful dinner with a few laps in the pool the next morning.
The location of Jupiters on Broadbeach Island is merely a fifteen minute walk to the nearest beach.
After a 6km walk along Kurrawa beach, I have burnt off last evening’s indulgence and I am ready to check out the buffet breakfast.
Buffet breakfast at Food Fantasy
Buffet breakfast at Food Fantasy starts at 6.30am daily to 10am daily.
For the health conscious, there is a variety of fresh juices and fruits to cleanse and detox.
Crisp waffles, butter and maple syrup awaits those feeling a little more wicked.
And after that morning swim and a beautiful walk along Kurrawa beach, it’s time to tuck into a hearty brekky before heading back to Sydney.
ChopinandMysaucepan dined courtesy of Wonderland Publicity and Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Interstate return flights, airport transfers, accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy were compliments of the hotel. Prices are included for readers’ information. All views and opinions on this blog post are our own at the time of attendance.
The buffet breakfast at Food Fantasy starts at 6.30am to 10am daily. Price for adult is $30, children 5 – 12 years $15 and children aged 4 and below at for free.
Jupiters Hotel & Casino Gold Coast
Broadbeach Island (off Gold Coast Highway)
Tel: +61 7 55928443 or 1800 074 344
Kiyomi opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 5.30pm – 10pm