Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sokyo - Bringing Tokyo in Sydney - Birthday Treats Part 2

Just one week ahead of my birthday I had a pleasurable problem to solve – to decide on a restaurant for the family birthday celebration dinner. After some vigorous research I found the perfect place to cater for the family’s love for Japanese food and my passion for trying something out of the ordinary.

The Star (aka former Star Casino) is shimmering with the addition of dazzling eateries such as Momofuku Seiobo, Black by ezard and Adriano Zumbo Patissier. After reading some exhilarating reviews, I set my eyes on Sokyo, where stylish Tokyo meets vibrant Sydney.

We surpassed the buzzing dining area on the top floor and headed to the more discrete dining area downstairs. The restaurant is fully occupied, the lighting is dim, the music is loud and food is ridiculously good! At a young age of 29, head chef Chase Kojim has led Nobu kitchens all over the world including Dubai, London, LA and Bahamas. With his experience and creativity, he’s changing the games for Japanese food in Sydney.

The menu is divided into several sections including sashimi, sushi, tempura, robata (meat, seafood and vegetables grilled on white charcoal) and “essential dishes”. Everything is beautiful but there are some exceptional standouts, like the enoki mushroom tempura (in fact all tempura items are brilliant – lightly battered so that they are crisp and flavoursome) and the beef short rib robata with caramelised eshallots that are so succulent, sweet and appetizing. They also serve fantastic cocktails - Miss J commented on her plum wine cocktail being the best she's ever had.

The waiting staffs are proficient and made good recommendations on what and how much to order. We ended up spending around $120 pp, which is how much it would be if we had gone for their degustation. Of course I much prefer having control of what will end up on our plates (ok, I'll admit again, yes I'm a picky eater :P) so I would encourage going in a big group so that you can try the variety of yummy dishes they have on offer. I won’t ramble on as I'm sure the pictures will speak for themselves.

Entrance to the bar-like restaurant

An extremely heavy teapot

Some good looking clay tea cups

Coffee Beer

Two-ended chopsticks – how ingenious! 

Sashimi Platter
24 pieces of mixed traditional sashimi

L Loves... Enoki Mushroom with Sokyo tempura sauce and
Pumpkin Tempura with Poblano, rocoto sauce

Tempura - Moreton Bay Bug with sambal mayo, grapefruit salsa, 
Sand Whiting with curry salt, apple aioli, layu and 
Cuttlefish with chilli de arbol, tarragon ponzu sauce

L Loves... Beef Robata
Short Rib, caramelized eshallots, BBQ teriyaki

L Loves... Beef Robata
A closer look at those delicious juicy beef short ribs

L Loves... Hokkaido Scallops
Wasabi shitake pepper sauce

L Loves... Baby Corn
Burnt sweet soy, shichimi pepper butter

King Prawn
Enoki, pancetta, green chili sauce

Crowd Pleaser: DengakuMan
Caramelised miso cod, Japanese salsa, celery croutons

Wagyu +5 T-BONE 610 grams
Sokyo dipping sauces

Wagyu +5 T-BONE 610 grams
Sokyo dipping sauces

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Nigiri
Crispy nigiri, truffle salt, spicy mayo

Crowd Pleaser: Salmon Belly Aburi, Ooma Maguro Toro (Premium Tuna Belly), 
Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, Braised Sea Eel Nigiri

Goma Street
Caramelised white chocolate, sesame ice cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondant
Vanilla ice cream 

Look at that gooey peanut butter centre!

Pineapple mascarpone filling, crème fraiche ice cream

Pouring that lovely berry sauce over the Donatsu

The discrete entrance inside The Darling
 in The Star - don't miss it!

L's Verdict:

·     Taste: 9/10
·     Ambience: 3.5/5 (trendy, but a bit too loud and dark for my liking)
·     Value: 3/5
·     Service: 3.5/5 (proficient, but had to ask repeatedly for our drinks order)
·     Creativity and other WOW factors: 4/5 

Overall rating: 23/30

Level G, The Darling, The Star
80 Pyrmont Street   
Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Ph: 1800 700 700
Lunch: Fri-Sat 12pm-2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Thu 6pm-10:15pm
Fri & Sat 6pm-11:15pm

Visited June 2012

Friendly advice: Sokyo is all about the quality and not quantity, so expect to pay ~$100+ pp to walk away full. That being said the food is top notch. If you don’t want to overspend, after tasting some of those delicious food in Sokyo, you can hunt for more good food at Café Court inside The Star, including Flying Fish & Chips (inspired by Sydney’s iconic Flying Fish), Din Tai Fung (world famous dumplings from Taiwan), Adriano Zumbo Patissier (for yummy desserts & macarons) and Messina Gelato (for the ultimate gelato – believe me they are the best in Sydney!!). 

Sokyo on Urbanspoon

Updated photos from Din Tai Fung, Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier and Messina Gelato...

Entree, main and desserts from Din Tai Fung:
Xiao Long Bao (Steamed pork dumpling), Fried rice with shrimp,
Golden taro bread, golden red bean bread

Fried rice with egg topped with black pepper beef cubes

Shrimp & pork wonton tossed with spicy sauce

Xiao Long Bao (Steamed pork dumpling)

Din Tai Fung
Cafe Court 80 Pyrmont St   
Pyrmont, NSW 2009 
Ph: 02 9000 0000
Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

L Loves... Delicious Zumbarons:  Watermelon & Orange, Salted Butter Caramel,
Peach Ice Tea, Popcorn, Pancake & Maple Syrup, Custard Crunch

L Loves... Delicious Zumbarons:  Watermelon & Orange, Salted Butter Caramel,
Peach Ice Tea, Popcorn, Pancake & Maple Syrup, Custard Crunch
Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier

Cafe Court 80 Pyrmont St   
Pyrmont, NSW 2009 
Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon

L Loves... Gelato takeaway tubs from Messina Gelato

Messina Gelato
Cafe Court 80 Pyrmont St   
Pyrmont, NSW 2009 
Monday to Thursday: 11am to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am to 11.30pm
Sunday: 11am-11pm

Gelato Messina Pyrmont on Urbanspoon


  1. Whoa - look at that nigiri sushi platter! I want it ALL!

  2. Hi Tina, I didn't comment too much on them because I don't eat fish. But everyone else at the table loved the nigiri and raved about how fresh and how delicious they are, especially the Ooma Maguro Toro! The Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice (yes, cripy rice!) and Braised Sea Eel Nigiri are also said to be very good!

  3. I'd come here just for the desserts! Choc peanut butter fondant looks spesh.

  4. Hi Joey, i couldn't agree with you more! For the last few months we've been checking into The Star nearly every week just for desserts :P