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Sokyo

The popular Sydney Japanese restaurant does elegance extraordinarily well.
By David Lappin
July 01, 2023
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By David Lappin
July 01, 2023
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Elegance is something that's impossible to achieve if someone doesn't own it. It's not something that can be purchased; it just is. A restaurant can buy elegance through pricy interior designers and architects, bizarrely shaped spoons and snappy uniforms — the "ooooooh" factor. The trick is to do it effortlessly.

Difficult in a casino. Yet Sokyo does elegance extraordinarily well. The credit has to go to the floor staff that meets and greets diners and guides them through what is initially a daunting menu of strange creations. The décor subtly pushes the sushi motif of fish scales on the walls, and the bar is what you would expect from a Star child, all matching uniforms and slick haircuts.

Shot of Japanese dish served at Sokyo

Yet the Sokyo chefs have concocted something more substantial, a Japanese smorgasbord of beautiful Frankenstein creations, throwing scallop ravioli together with scampi butter and yuzu foam, for example. Amazingly, the emphasis is on clean lines when the results could have been messy.

The wagyu flank steak with shio koji marinade, wasabi and garlic ponzu could have been, potentially, a prolonged tussle on the plate between different textures and tastes, but it snaps together.

Whisky being poured at Sokyo in Sydney

The Sokyo menu is divided between sashimi, tempura, robata, mains, soups, nigiri and sushi. Where to begin? Ok, the kingfish miso cerviche with green chilli and crispy potato shreds and prawn san choy bow with bean sprouts and butter lettuce to start. They're clean and refreshing, confusing enough to be interesting.

The tempura? The Moreton Bay Bug with spicy mayo, green papaya and pomelo salad. The robata? Probably the king brown mushroom with lime, asparagus and truffle soy. 

Shot of Japanese dish served at Sokyo

For a main, don't let your finger scroll past the dry-aged pork belly with apple wasabi and pork jus, and the aforementioned wagyu.

Sokyo actually offers more than on first appearance. Sydney can do stylish well, but substance is harder won. Here you get both. This is a highly recommended part of the Star's canon, and Sydney's.

Shot of Japanese dish served at Sokyo

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