Giles Hohnen of Sumi Open Kitchen in Noosa Junction with some fresh produce.
Giles Hohnen of Sumi Open Kitchen in Noosa Junction with some fresh produce. John McCutcheon

The secret Noosa restaurant you might not know exists

A TRADITIONAL Japanese restaurant has quietly opened in Noosa, so secretly, only those with a trained eye know it exists.

With minimal advertising, Sumi Open Kitchen was unveiled three months ago, on Sunshine Beach Rd.

Located in a back corner of The Pavilion, "off the main drag", Sumi is gaining quite the following.

Owner and restaurateur Giles Honhen said while its location presented challenges at first, it was also part of the strategy.

"We want to represent a Japanese cuisine that isn't really seen in Australia," Mr Honhen said.

"A lot of restaurants do Australian blended Japanese food without the deep understanding of the culture.

"They're strictly business and tend not to get as high a quality.

"But we have gained quite a following, mostly repeat customers. Sixty per cent of our clientele would be repeat."

 

Giles Hohnen of Sumi Open Kitchen in Noosa Junction with some fresh produce.
Giles Hohnen of Sumi Open Kitchen in Noosa Junction with some fresh produce. John McCutcheon

Mr Honhen believes tapping in to Noosa's Japanese community will see his business "make serious revenue".

He spent almost five years in the land of the rising sun, learning the culture in both households and restaurants.

"People here in Noosa are well-educated and cultured, and our customers have been pleasantly surprised with our authenticity," the 43-year-old said.

"We don't bother with imported seafood, ours is either delivered locally or I go buy it myself.

"Our dishes are the kinds of ones you would see in Japan. It will be a new experience for most."

With a menu compromising of fresh seafood, appropriate ingredients and subtle flavours, Mr Honhen has brought the taste of Toyko to Noosa.



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