Nestled on busy Crown St within Surry Hills, Tokonoma could easily have been missed if it wasn’t for its sister restaurant Toko next door. As you enter through the dark doorway, you are greeted by curtains that separate the entry from the bar and dining area. The restaurant hostess greets you immediately, and if you think you can come here without a reservation, you’d better think twice! Dinner seating on a Saturday is served at two times – early seating from 6pm to ~9pm, and then later seating from ~9pm onwards. If you are late to your reservation, you have 15mins to run there before they give up your seat!
The ambiance of the restaurant is swanky, dark, and romantic. Kind of like a mixture of Hollywood glam combined with East Coast Uptown snobby-ness. Restaurant tables are simple, similar to those that you get at a lounge/bar. This makes it a little difficult to get close(r) to your date, without making it entirely obvious J
Tokonoma serves Japanese Izakaya (small, tapas-style) cuisine. We had the following items:
· Japanese Green Salad (crisp mizuna, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, light-wafu dressing) $13.20
· Toko Signature Sushi
o Aburi truffle to umeboshi no unagi nigiri (unagi, torched foie gras, umeboshi) $15.80
o Hotate no ponzu to wasabi ae gunkan (chopped scallop, ponzu, wasabi, cucumber) $12.80
· Robato Grill
o Shiitake no hachimitsu fuumi (japanese mushroom skewers, soy honey butter) $13.80
· Sake no aburi yaki (smoked miso king salmon, fresh lime) $20.80
By far the best two dishes were the Unagi and Foie Gras Signature sushi, and also the Miso smoked King salmon. The blend of the Unagi and Foie Gras was smoky and rich…so decadent! The Smoked king salmon was perfectly cooked, so soft and melted in your month. Combined with the miso sauce, it was light yet fulfilling.
Unfortunately I did not take food pictures of the night – the restaurant was so darkly lit that camera flashes would have likely disturbed other diners. However, presentation of each dishes were quite beautifully set.
Tokonoma is gem in Surry Hills that I will surely return to. It’s one of my top 5 restaurants in Sydney and I would come back just for the Unagi & Foie Gras sushi J