Bec Dent sits down with Uthai Thammajak and Jenny Jung on the recipe to their success.
Don’t be fooled by the name, Sushi Boy is so much more than sushi. With an extensive Japanese and Korean menu, you’ll fall in love at first bite (if you haven’t already). Having built a strong fan base after opening their Bentley Park location almost 10 years ago (in May), there’s now two ways to enjoy over 20 years of culinary experience on a plate, with the doors opening on their Abbot St restaurant in December last year.
The decision to open a store in the CBD, was about going full circle for the duo who met whilst working at the Cairns International Hotel’s Japanese Restaurant ‘Yamagen’ 15 years ago. Jenny was managing the restaurant, Uthai was the teppanyaki chef, and 5 years later they decided to combine their loves of food and each other and ‘Sushi Boy’ was born. And, just like a child, Sushi Boy is a reflection of both of them down to the smallest detail, with even the Sushi Boy logo hand drawn by Uthai.
Living on the Southside themselves, the duo wanted to bring their passion and experience to the Southern Suburbs. ‘It started as a small takeaway and took 3 years to build,’ Uthai explains, but since then, Sushi Boy has since taken off, becoming a staple in the lives of the community and it finally felt like ‘the right time to expand and reintroduce ourselves back into the City.’ Judging by the public response, the people agree!
‘There’s no secret’ to their success, Uthai says; ‘as long as the food is tasty, fresh and consistent. That’s the key. We want customers to return, and to know when they do, they can order the same item and it will be the same.’ One customer in particular can testify to their consistency, ordering the same item on the menu twice a week for the last FIVE YEARS! Feeling compelled to give it a go yourself after such a stellar testimonial? Pop on by to taste the mouth-watering flavour sensation, aka ‘Spicy Chicken.’
Other fan favorites include their Teriyaki Chicken or Karaage Chicken, but I always like to know what the people behind the food suggest. Uthai personally loves to eat the Spicy Chicken too or the beef hot plate set. But, he also says to give the XL Sushi Rolls a try, ‘it’s like a footlong of goodness’. Jenny recommends the ‘Ebi Nasu’ (grilled prawn on eggplant with authentic miso sauce made from scratch). You could say it comes with an 100% satisfaction guarantee, because everyone she’s made the recommendation to- comes back to thank her, she’s even had a guest tell her it ‘was the best they’d ever eaten in their life.’ Huge praise, that’s well deserved and definitely not isolated. Having an extensive history working in hospitality, Jenny says ‘people don’t generally give a compliment unless they really mean it,’ and one scroll through their Facebook page will show they are not short on great feedback, they are definitely doing something right with a 4.9 star rating.
Watching their customers leave satisfied and happy is why the Sushi Boy creators love owning a restaurant. Uthai says his ‘goal and pleasure is passing on everything he has learned and enjoyed to their guests’ and that ‘all of these beautiful comments make all the effort worthwhile’.
Experience Sushi Boy for yourself today. Great food, great coffee, friendly service and a reasonable price. All the boxes are ticked.
Sushi Boy Cairns – 127 Abbott Street
Ph: 07 4221 1771
Open for lunch 12-3pm Monday to Saturday,
Dinner service Monday-Thursday 5pm-10 pm
Dinner Friday-Sunday- 5pm-11pm