Chase Kojima, executive chef at Sokyo has announced he’s opening a casual-dining and takeaway restaurant at The Star Sydney later this year.

The restaurant will be called Gojima and will offer the same quality produce and skill as Sokyo, but for a cheaper price. The streets of Japan, where informal dining is the norm, are the inspiration behind the restaurant. “You can eat great food, really cheap. It’s called ‘B-class gourmet cuisine’,” says Kojima.

Kojima says this foray into a more casual approach feels natural. “Fine dining is my passion and what I’ve based my career on, but to tell you the truth, I always eat causal food,” he says.

Born and raised in San Francisco it is Kojima’s love for Sydney that motivated this venture. “I want to offer diverse restaurants that are beneficial to everyone – more cool restaurants to celebrate more options. I want Sydney to be proud of me and I want to give back to Sydney,” he says.

The name “Gojima” is a combination of Kojima’s name and the Japanese word gohan, which can mean “white rice” or “meal”.

He is secretive about the menu, but what he does let slip is that rice burgers will come with chicken, beef, sashimi or a vegetarian option alongside “nice sides”. It’s a trend he noticed popping up around the world, but thought it done without finesse or expertise. “No one has executed rice burgers well, no one’s really put 100 per cent behind it. It’s usually something done on the side to get attention. I wanted to apply my skillset to design a rice burger that’s unique and delicious,” he says.

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Interior-design company Luchetti Krelle (Tequila Mockingbird, Bar Brosé, Hotel Centennial and ACME) is responsible for the design of the 60-seater.

Watch a video of Kojima telling his story while making his tai ceviche dish, which is available at Sokyo.

Stay tuned for Gojima’s official opening date and more details.