So after teasing my wife for at least a month by whispering GooooooJiiiiiiiMaaaaaa in her ear every time we were considering what to have for lunch- we finally returned back to Gojima Haymarket, located in the 1909 Market City dining precinct, for some Japanese inspired burgers!
What can I say, I’m playful at times, but oh-so-annoying most of the time as well! Haaha. A number of weeks back we were bouncing around the city, looking for a place to have dinner on a Friday night and everything was packed out. One of our last options was to check out Gojima, and because they’re set-up like a take-away burger joint we were able to order our food and take that home to consume, as there was no available seating at the time. That first time my wife had the Gojima Stack (Cheeseburger with a crispy Katsu mushroom) – $16.90, and I had a Sushi burger (Salmon Miso burger- $14.90). And like most people who have dined at Gojima, our feedback was mixed. For me, I liked my Sashimi burger but it was very small for what you were paying for, if anything it felt like a snack rather than my main meal at dinner time. While my wife absolutely loved her Gojima Stack, calling it the best burger she’d ever had!
Thus the teasing re GoooooJiiiiiiiiiMaaaaaa, as I knew my wife wanted desperately to go back to have another Gojima Stack, while she was keen in having me try the Gojima Stack for myself – allowing the stack to change my mind re Gojima. So after riding the historic first day of Sydney Light Rail’s operations down George Street, we headed over to the 1909 Market City dining precinct for Japanese inspired burgers, take two.
Being a weekend and relatively early for lunch, this time we managed to get some seats and managed their dine-in experience – the place had a geometric concrete look to it, while my booth seat had no straight lines to lean back on. *Shrug*. No surprise, my wife ordered the Gojima Stack burger and so did I ($16.90 x2), and we shared a serving of regular fries ($4.90).
The wait for our food was only perhaps 10 minutes in length, and after taking their burger glamour pics I picked-up the Gojima Stack to put it through the ‘Big bite test’. And the amazing thing was that it failed the big bite test! But it was a good fail, as it meant that the bun stack was actually too tall for me to wrap both top and bottom teeth around it to make a clean first bite. Which is pretty surprising, considering how flat and small my Sushi burger from last time was.
The rice buns were held together by a piece of Nori seaweed, the rice burger buns were a great texture and it held together nicely, the meat patty was thick and juicy, although the slice of cheese was kind of lost in the mix, there were fresh pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and the star of the bun stack was the super fresh Katsu mushroom! The burger became a bit messy towards the second half, when the mayo and BBQ sauces were leaking all over the place, but Gojima were aware of this, as they provide you with a nice thick paper napkin and a wet wipe as well. So you’re able to walk-away with totally clean fingers (to then run those fingers along hangers of clothing in neighbouring Market City clothing stores if you so choose).
The fries were fried to order so when they came out they were super crispy covered in a green umami seasoning! However if you allowed them to go cold, the shoe string fries weren’t much better than what the Golden arches offer up to their customers.
At the end of our meal, I quizzed my wife on her repeat try of the Gojima Stack burger, whether or not it lived up to her expectations (you know, how sometimes things aren’t as good as you remember them to be?). She answered confidently that on the second go-around, the Stack was just as good as, or even better than the first time! Now that’s a pretty telling statement.
Our end verdict? 4.0 Stars from 5.0! (2.5 Stars for food (I think it highly depends on what you order, with the Gojima Stack burger, our opinion of the food and the freshness of the food is quite glowing); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff were polite and efficient); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (they had a modern Christmas playlist going and if you can get a seat, they’re pretty comfortable); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money ($14.90 was a rip-off for what I had last time, but $16.90 for the much more substantial Gojima Stack burger, this was almost value for money)).
In the end, we welcome the opening of Gojima in Market City, as it saves us the trek to the Star to have our Japanese sushi burger fix. The produce they use in their meals are super fresh, but depending on what you order you’re left underwhelmed and hungry, or completely satisfied and dying to come back for more! Now that’s the perfect definition of ‘mixed feedback’.
Gojima-Saturday 14 December (4.0 Stars).
Level 3, 1909 Dining Precinct Market City, 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket
Mon-Sun 11am – 10pm