This elegant Darlinghurst joint serves up fusion Japanese cuisine with omakase-style eats and a bottomless highball brunch.
May 23, 2023
Sydney's ever-growing appreciation of fusion cuisine and experimentation has ushered in the arrival of Moku, a Japanese fusion restaurant and bar on Crown Street. Across two storeys the venue boasts Japanese dishes with a modern twist, creatively crafted cocktails, as well as the city's first-ever bottomless highball brunch offering.
Moku's dining menu is led by celebrated Head Chef Ha Chuen Wai, alongside mixologist Charles Chang, who keeps a watchful eye over the restaurant's drinks menu and designs artisanal cocktails for thirsty guests. With Japanese inspiration at the forefront, it heroes Japanese flavours and cuisine paired with native Australian ingredients.
When arriving at the venue, the first thing you do is take in the intimate dining atmosphere and attractive fit-out of textured brick walls, earthy tones and timber furniture, and the bar on each level where bartenders mix cocktails, bespoke highballs, and pour sake and the best Japanese whisky.
When it comes to the dining experience, each day of the week looks slightly different at Moku. There's a daily dinner menu, and a lunch seating on Fridays and on Saturdays when Moku also does a bottomless highball brunch for $95 per person which gives you 90 minutes of chef-selected dishes and free-flowing highballs.
Head over for lunch and you'll be met with the chirashi lunch. The menu stars the unagi kabayaki, which features eel, kinshi tamago, jellyfish salad, finger lime and sencha dashi, as well as the kaisen chirash — a selection of various seafood including Mt Cook salmon, yellowfin tuna, scallop and ikura. For a sharing option, opt for the wagyu beef carpaccio — for the hibiscus teriyaki sauce — or the scallop aburi.
Settle in for dinner instead and you'll find a variety of plates to choose from. The smaller plates include dishes like Sydney rock oysters, corn tempura, mini seared engawa don and sashimi. Larger plates include the likes of buckwheat okonomiyaki (a savoury Japanese pancake), eggplant and miso dengaku with saltbush furakake and octopus accompanied by chilli miso, wakame vinaigrette and witlof. The dessert selection completes the fusion menu with a choice of ice cream or dark chocolate panna cotta, along with Italian classics with Japanese influences on offer, such as a matcha tiramisu.
For the indecisive or adventurous, you can taste your way through the banquet menu. For $75 per person, you'll be able to sample the venue's best, from the chicken and saltbush tsukune and prawn katsu sandos, through to the torched edamame and the dessert of the day.
The omakase experience headed up by Chef Wai is an intimate culinary journey across a range of premium dishes focusing on fresh seafood. This option is available only on Wednesday and Thursday nights, so be sure to secure your spot in advance.
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