Trying out Tokonoma was probably one of the best food-decisions I've made this year. Not only is this restaurant/lounge super stylish and cool, the food is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and worth every penny. I'm talking fabulous entrees that look too pretty to eat, sensational mains that deludes your stomach to expand in size and dangerously seductive desserts that will have you craving more. Convinced? Dial 9357 6100 to make a booking right now or hit the Read More button to be persuaded :)
The interiors alone was worthy of attention and talk - it felt as though I had stepped into a restaurant in Hong Kong or New York. So many contemporary architectural elements within the decor - be it the exceptional use of timber, lighting or leather.
The Lychee and Jasmine Mojito ($17) was a havana club special stirred with lychees, fresh mint and lime - served long with chilled jasmine tea and club soda. Sweet, refreshing and almost like a slushie (from the shaved ice), this cocktail is by all means the classic order. Will surely be loved by both the ladies and the boys :)
The Ama Mizu ($17) is also known as the quintessential watermelon martini. A sexy concoction of fresh watermelon shaken with shiro shochu, belvedere vodka and persian rose petals - not for the faint hearted.
We kick start the evening with the Spider Maki Roll ($16.80) which is the perfect option for those who have a weakness for soft-shell crab and wasabi mayonnaise. It was fresh, tasty and meaty - yum!
However, it was the Hiramasa no usuzukuri ($16.20) that left a lasting impression for me. Thinly sliced kingfish sashimi with sprinkles of chilli and yuzu ponzu dressing - this was heaven on a plate. The dressing was fabulous in all its zesty tangy flavours and the kingfish was beautifully fresh and topped with tasty seasoning. Almost too pretty to eat...almost...
The Moreton Bay Bug Tempura ($28.60) was one of the finest tempura dishes I have ever tasted to date. Accompanied by chilli ponzu and yuzu koshou mayonnaise, this was a fancy affair in the world of fried goodies. A delicately light but crispy batter coated the generous bugs on display and upon each bite, the juicy tender insides dissolved graciously within your mouth. A luxury order for tempura perhaps but one I do not regret. (Sorry about the bad photo...lighting was not so great)
M had been looking forward to trying the Duck Breast ($28.80) since last year when he first stumbled upon a blog with absolute food-porn-worthy images of said dish. A glossy sweet glaze occupies the outer crispy skin of the duck and the flavour itself resembled that of Peking Duck - but with a twist. Cooked with sansho pepper with a side of pickled nashi pear, this dish is definitely a must-order!
The Scotch Fillet Steak ($32.20) refused to pale in comparison with the duck and my god it sure did stand firm on its own. Cooked to a perfect medium rare in wafu sauce and with garlic crisps, each bite-sized cube was as flavoursome and tender as the next. In the image, the centre of the meat looks quite red however it really was cooked perfectly and was an ideal match with the steamed rice.
Just when we thought how could anything top the feast we had just demolished...desserts proved us wrong. The Chocolate and Hazelnut Fondant with Milk Ice Cream ($17.80) put me to a momentary freeze as I broke into it.
The creamy hazelnut centre spilled out like lava from an unstoppable chocolate volcano. As I bit into the 3-dimensioned piece (cake+melted chocolate+ice cream), I knew straight away - this dessert was a killer. It was rich, it was decadent, it was luscious, it was sweet - it was every other word synonymous to divine.
Accordingly, I have added this dish to my "Top 3 things to eat right before I die" list. Oh yes I am very dramatic when it comes to dessert.
After experiencing that mind-blowing dessert, I could barely concentrate with the Chilled Rhubarb-Macadamia Crumble ($14.20). I wasn't a fan of the apple sorbet in the centre as I found it to be quite sour however M loved how refreshing it was. The pool of vanilla custard was beautiful with the crumbly bits and on the whole, it was a great summery dessert to order. Nevertheless do note: consume this before the fondant :P
Overall our experience at Tokonoma was like no other and we left feeling full but satisfied. We thoroughly enjoyed dining in the spacious and comfy leather banquettes and loved the casual but sophisticated ambience. Definitely the place to go with friends for a chilled after-work cocktail with some delicious bites of quality food. With such a wide array of options on the menu - you will have no trouble finding something you love.
Right next door you will find Toko Restaurant which is apparently a more formal dining affair. Tokonoma Lounge offers pretty much the same dining menu as Toko with the added bonus of a lounge dining experience. One thing's for sure...I will definitely be returning to either Toko or Tokonoma :)
490 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010