Sushi Machines Australia has supplied commercial sushi machines to a husband-and-wife team that operates Café de Wheels in Burnie.
Burnie, located on the North West Coast in Tasmania has a population of about 20,000 residents. Leo Handojo, a champion car racer has been running Café de Wheels successfully with his wife, Sherly for many years.
During peak weekends, they operate at two different event locations with the help of their van and trailer.
Lacking commercial sushi making experience, Leo and Sherly decided to engage Sushi Machines Pty Ltd to be their sushi machines supplier, which also came with free consultancy.
Their sushi project was ambitious with a fairly huge restaurant serving not only sushi and Japanese hot foods, but also a wine bar and other popular family restaurant food including kid’s menus.
The couple was willing to invest in the sushi machine capital outlay and placed their trust in Melvin Wee, the owner of Sushi Machines.
As part of an initial ‘look-see’ visit for Leo and Sherly, Melvin Wee of Sushi Machines spent two days bringing them to about six customers operating automatic sushi machines in Melbourne, including Noriba at the airport and Momo Sushi. This gave them a good feel of the sushi business and its potential.
A week before the training trip by Sushi Machines, Japanese ingredients and sushi machines were picked up by Toll Express from Melbourne for delivery to Burnie. Unfortunately, the shipment did not arrive till another week later.
However, Melvin Wee decided to use the three days’ training time by giving lessons to Leo in sushi making, some of which were outside his normal scope of sushi machines training:
- Manual sushi making of sushi rolls, sushi cones, sushi rice balls as well as different sizes of sushi nori seaweed to use
- Slicing raw salmon fillet for sashimi and sushi rolls filling or topping
- Making salmon mayo salad sushi topping
- Special technique of cooking sushi tamago (egg with a special Japanese egg pan)
- Food preparation including slicing cucumber, egg, carrot, tuna mix etc., suitable for sushi toppings or sushi roll fillings
- Preparation and cooking of teriyaki sauce from scratch
- Preparing and cooking teriyaki chicken
- Preparing and cooking the popular kaarage chicken
- Preparing prawns for tempura prawns, preparing the batter for it and the fine art of frying tempura prawns
- Rolling reverse sushi rolls and hand rolls (temaki)
Without automation, the spreading of sushi rice onto the sushi nori seaweed is extremely labour-intensive and inconsistent. Leo also appreciated the free consultation provided by Melvin Wee.