Sake and Sushi – finger snappingly good.
What’s it all about?
Toko has the feel of a bar and that’s partly because… there’s a bar there. But that’s not entirely the reason; it’s a dimly lit, classy set up with subdued music coming from invisible speakers. All of which suits higher-end Japanese cuisine quite well. The restaurant takes up a subtle presence on a Crown Street corner Surry Hills, and is one of only a few Japanese restaurants in the vicinity.
The good bits
There’s just so much that is good about this place. The waiters are knowledgable and have all the patience in the world to discuss the food with you. The sake (Japanese rice wine) selection is wide and the quality is assured. The food is nothing short of exquisite. As well as having a collection of standard dishes, they take some traditional Japanese cuisine and instead of bastardising it with Aussie or American twists, they further the experience by mixing different aspects of Japanese dishes. One simple example of this is the salmon-maki (roll) that has a tare (a type of Japanese sauce) and ten-kasu (bits of tempura batter) sprinkled on top.
But the menu doesn’t always stay the same, so the best thing to do is to just go there and bring yourself to trying new things – you will not be disappointed. And the restaurant itself? As mentioned before, the place is dark and sleek. There are some unique wooden structures on the ceiling of the “Toko Bar”, which resembles the roof at a theatre in the opera house. The place might not look Japanese, but the fresh style makes up for the lack in tradition.
The bad bits
The price? But high prices are to be expected in a place like this. Just go there, and you won’t feel ripped off. Be prepared to splurge, if you want to have a good time.
Rating: 9.5/10 – Sion Weatherhead
Top photo from Rita. Yang Flickr feed