"Simplicity is the key to brilliance" says Bruce Lee. I totally agree with that. Hence why I love Japanese food so much. Even the contemporary versions of Japanese cuisine and its twists still remain simple but amazing. Take Sokyo at The Star for instance. Executive Chef Chase Kojima has put his spin and fused different styles onto his dishes using Japanese cuisine as his base. But the fresh and top notch produce still remain the highlight in every dish. It's one of the best Japanese restaurants I've come across in Sydney.
Now I understand all the amazing talk and reviews behind this One Chef Hat restaurant after experiencing it for myself. The restaurant interior has a very chic design with a cool feature wall that looks like fish scales. There are seating allocations for 2, 4 or more. Better yet, you can sit by the sushi bar and watch sushi chefs prepare fresh sashimi etc.
|Moreton Bay bug tempura|
My mind was blown from the get go with their Moreton Bay bug tempura with green papaya pomelo salad, sambal mayo and amazu ($28). We savoured each bite of this perfectly deep fried crustacean pieces covered in beautiful light crisped airy batter. I enjoyed dipping it on the sambal mayo but the sweet and sour amazu sauce was a perfect match for this dish!
There's also those awesome beef robata ($10 - minimum order 2 pieces) and kurobuta pork belly robata ($8 - minimum order 2 pieces). The beef robata is buttery tender wagyu tri-tip with caramelised eshallots and bbq teriyaki. Sweet notes of the eshallot rings went well with the beef. The Kurobuta pork belly robata was also tender and it came with grilled daikon, sansho and mustard aioli. The daikon's sweet and sharp flavour complimented the rendered fatty juicy pork belly.
Their fresh salmon belly nigiri ($6 per piece) is a well-executed classic. The Tasmanian salmon belly was especially fatty and rich.
The spicy tuna roll with tenkasu and truffle mayo ($21) wasn't so spicy but it was tasty and creamy with nutty notes.
The master Kobe wagyu tenderloin beef with +7 grading ($55) was also outstanding. The tender beef was cooked rare and perfectly paired with silky braised Japanese mushrooms. The katsuobushi not only made this dish look pretty but it gave it an extra umami flavour.
Then desserts came out:
Sokyo's mochi ice cream ($10) consists of two beautiful circular-shaped strawberry ice creams covered in sweet stretchy & doughy yatsuhashi Kyoto mochi sheets.
The donatsu ($15) was up my alley! Fluffy airy round doughnuts filled with lovely pineapple mascarpone filling with a side of creme fraiche ice cream. I never thought of a pineapple and mascarpone combo. Doing it as a filling is genius! The thick berry-type sauce went really well with the light creme fraiche ice cream.
From start to the last dish, Sokyo was outstanding. The service was excellent and I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an amazing Japanese feed on this side of the city.
Ground Level, The Darling at The Star
80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Breakfast - Sunday & Saturday 7am to 10:30am
Dinner - 7 days from 5:30pm