Sokyo – The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont. http://www.star.com.au/sydney-restaurants/signature-fine-dining/Pages/sokyo.aspx
Since the Star’s refurbishment, I hadn’t had the opportunity to try any of the restaurants there, although I had been to the food court and of course Adriano Zumbo. The general sentiment seemed to be that most of the restaurants were overpriced, so I stayed away. However, a friend had booked Sokyo for her milestone b’day, so I finally got to try the dining here!
Upon entering the Star area housing Sokyo, you almost feel like you’re in a hollywood scene – a sleek foyer and staff that give you celebrity treatment. We started off at the Sokyo lounge while we were waiting for our table – drinks were great, the lounges were really swish.
We had a group of 8, so were seating at a nice round table – small enough so it had a very intimate feeling despite the large group. We had a very animated waiter by the name of Rome (yes, the city Rome he confirmed), who helped us with the drinks and food. He suggested we try a couple of different sake, so we went ahead with his recommendations. In terms of the menu, the vegetarians ordered their own food, but the rest of us went with the customised menu option – 7 odd courses, as recommended by Rome.
What we ate:
- Spicy Edamame – shichimi nikiri soy, shaved katsuobushy ($9): how can you go wrong with edamame?
- Kingfish Miso Ceviche – green chilli, crispy potato, miso ceviche ($18): such a great dish to start with, loved the miso with the kingfish – I wanted more!
- Wagyu 9+ Short Rib Tataki – pickled grapes, chestnut puree, tarragon, chilli oil, tosazu ($29): another great dish, it went so quickly.
- Moreton Bay Bug Tempura – green papaya pomelo salad, sambal mayo, black pepper amazu ($26): the best tempura I have ever had! The batter was just soo light – and the accompanying mayo and amazu were really good with the tempura
- Barramundi Tempura – curry salt, layu, apple aioli ($18): another great tempura, but was difficult to match the moreton bay bug one
- Prawns Robata – chilli, garlic, mizuna, spicy ume kosho ($15): these were decently good, but fell short in comparison to the other dishes
- Lamb Chops – black garlic eggplant puree, Aka miso, Basil ($33): the lamb was really tasty, loved the accompanying miso and basil sauce which added a new dimension to the dish
- DengakuMan – caramelised miso cod, japanese salsa, cucumber salad ($36): another amazing dish – absolutely loved the caramelised miso with the cod!
- Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Nigiri – crispy nigiri, truffle salt, spicy mayo ($20): so good! I’m probably biased though – The Spicy Tuna Roll is my all time favourite sushi roll, so when this was brought out I was stoked.
- Chef’s Dessert Sampler – Chef’s selection of 4 desserts ($26): a great way to finish an epic meal, my favourite was the ‘Goma Street’ – caramelised white chocolate w sesame icecream. We also got the Donatsu, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondant and Chocolate Ganache.
For drinks, we had a mix of cocktails, a couple of varieties of sake and some Josef Chromy Pinot Noir
I gotta say, I was extremely impressed with the meal at Sokyo. Sure, it’s a 1 hatted restaurant and it’s pricey – but I found it really worth it! Almost all the dishes we had were excellent, the drinks were great, ambience really suave – to top it off, it has a great vibe to it! I’m really not a fan of snooty hatted restaurants where you need to sit in pin drop silence and appreciate your meal. And Rome’s great service (and help with the menu!), not to mention his sense of humour, really added that extra bit of fun to our experience here.
Sokyo was a really glam affair – one where you actually had a great time and forgot that you were sitting in a hatted restaurant!
the verdict: 8.5/10 – exceptional Japanese food and a great all round dining experience!
don’t forget to order: the moreton bay bug tempura & spicy tuna crispy rice nigiri