Thursday, September 1, 2011


Tokonoma, the third of Toko establishments in Sydney, is undoubtedly my favourite Japanese restaurant. As soon as I walk through the blink-and-you-miss-it wooden door with a massive, red circular window insert I can feel my body relax, it is such a beautiful space. It's a more elegant version of the Toko bar & restaurant next door; the dim lighting, use of timber, leather and fabric throughout the whole place makes you feel right at home. 

While it is famous for its extensive range of sochu, Tokonoma also has a list of cocktails, spirits, wine and bubbles that will keep you happy. The service is top notch, each and every time. New dishes would appear on cue as soon as the empty dishes are cleared away from the table. 

We had a party of 7 tonight so we were seated at one of the circular banquette lounge booth. While there was just enough room to fit all of us, it didn't feel crowded but rather cosy and intimate. We kicked the night off with a bottle of vintage Moët and nibbled on edamame, which comes in the traditional form - with salt, but I prefer the spicy version since I love chilli in my food. Mind you, the chilli in it is very subtle even my friend who's not keen on spicy food loved it.

My cocktail choice of the night was the Lychee & Jasmine Mojito (fresh mint and lychees muddled with jasmine sugar, lime and matusalem platino, served long with jasmine tea and soda). Consider I love lychee, jasmine tea and mojito, this is one concoction I could not pass on. 
hotate no jalapeno amazu zoe
Many dishes were ordered during the night, while they all sent my taste buds to heaven, if I had to choose, then hotate no jalapeno amazu zoe (grilled scallops topped with sweet pickled apple and jalapeno garlic) and ami yaki ro-su to wafu sauce (scotch fillet steak served with wafu sauce & garlic crisps) are a must. The scallops were done to perfection and the steak cooked to medium rare was so tender it reminded me of the melt-in-your-mouth Florentine steak I had in Florence. 

Whether it's for a romantic date or a group outing, Tokonoma will not disappoint.

Tokonoma: 490 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010  Toko on Urbanspoon

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