In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Rice Workshop: 100% Australian but authentically Japanese

A Japanese restaurant that is more than just sushi and sashimi.

A concept developed by entrepreneur David Loh and Nagoya (Japan) native Chef Tomohiro Suzuki, Rice Workshop dubs itself as a Japanese rice bar that offers dynamic, inventive and quality Japanese food

The man behind Melbourne quick service restaurants Dessert Story, Food Republik and Taiwan Café, Loh hopes to deliver a unique, innovative and affordable Asian eatery unlike anything Australia has ever seen.

"Rice Workshop is creating the real taste of Japan in your bowl, everyday," Loh told QSR Media.

"Bringing familiar Japanese flavours, served fast-to-go, the experience brings a bowl to our customers quickly, hot and fresh. There is a vast variety and there is an opportunity to customise your bowl with extras to make the dining experience individual."

The brand is Inspired by the energy of Japan’s famous Shibuya district, the décor features a futuristic mix of street elements and origami sprinkled with a hint of iconic Japanese video game Street Fighter.

Rice Workshop's first store opened 18 months ago in Melbourne and enjoyed immediate success and allowed the brand to quickly expand to six more locations.

Rice Workshop has quickly become a local favourite with a range of bowls on offer including beef, chicken, salmon, salad and Japanese curry in a slick, modern atmosphere.

Last year, the brand brought on franchising partners to be able to operate more stores. Franchisers have opened Knox City, Emporium Melbourne, Box Hill, Northland Shopping Centre, Highpoint Shopping Centre, Eastland Shopping Centre and are about to open Werribee Pacific Plaza, Westfield Fountain Gate, Westfield Geelong and are also crossing the border to New South Wales.


After opening seven successful stores in Victoria, the brand is now set to expand to New South Wales with their first store set to open in mid May at Westfield Sydney CBD.

"Rice Workshop is excited about breaking into the Sydney market. Having had a successful run in Victoria and the business booming, it is an exciting time for the brand with the Sydney market place being a different ball game to Melbourne," said Loh.

He hopes to replicate the same success they have experienced in Victoria. "The exceptional quality of the product, the five-star service provided by our staff, and the affordability of the food, beverage and dessert menus are all in our favour. I’m proud to attach my name to these establishments," he noted.

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