To say that I was excited to dine at TOKONOMA would be an understatement, I had dined at TOKO on Crown St and was a devotee of the venue so there were high expectations when I was invited to TOKONOMA.
The venue is Tucked away just off Bridge St in a side lane and sunk into the sandstone that the Sydney Harbour area is famous for, when you enter there’s a sense of warmth with beautiful murals on the wall and a buzz in the air from expectant diners.
We were greeted by a happy, friendly waitress who introduced us to the manager who made us feel right at home and led us to a table. We were seated and presented with menus immediately and offered some water, and my guest immediately said he felt quite comfortable and felt that the space was inviting and relaxing.
I suggested as we were guests of TOKONOMA the manager pick some of their favourite dishes for us to try, and perhaps we could begin with a Saki of his suggestion. The Saki was delicate with a depth of flavour that danced on your palette, and seemed to tighten the flavours in the first of our dishes –
Hokkaido Scallops with Yuzu Granita, Dried Miso & Shiso
Venison Tartare, Kojichan, Capers, Sunchokes & Quail Egg
By the time the third dish my dish was brought out we had both fallen silent, totally enamoured by the taste sensations and flavours we were experiencing. The mix of soft and crunchy, raw and cooked with hot and cold was incredible as each dish came out.
Tiger Prawn Tempura, Ebi Salt, sam Mayonnaise
Agedashi Tofu, Eggplant, Katsouboshi, Dashi Broth
Kingfish Maki, Kizami Wasabi, Blood Lime
Softshell Crab Maki, Burdock, Chives, Wasabi Mayonnaise
Double Cooked Berkshire Pork Belly, Kojichan Miso
Scallops, Pickled Apple, Jalapeño
Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Wasabi Creme Fraiche
Finally after our taste buds had being lavished with a plethora of flavours it was time for dessert, I wasn’t sure if I had anymore room for it but after seeing it brought out to our neighbouring table there was no way I was going to miss out on trying it. The desserts were beautifully assembled, decadent, palette cleansing and satisfying, it was the perfect end to what was an immensely delicious food journey.
Chocolate Fondant, Salted Sesame Ice Cream, Chocolate Soil
Green Tea Frozen Yoghurt, Mochi, Strawberries
by Arrnott Olssen
Editor Rogue Homme