490 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel : +61 2 9357 6100
Fax : +61 2 9357 6155
License: Fully Licensed (no BYO)
Suave, fluid, soft – Tokonoma Shochu Bar and Lounge’s interiors are as smooth as its signature house-infused beverages (or “shochu
” to the Japanese savvy), and as trendy as its home on Surry Hill’s funky restaurant-filled Crown Street.
On Crown Street, between Foveaux and Devonshire. Just a seven minute walk from Central Station.
PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
It’s no secret that Sydneysiders love Japanese cuisine – you just have to look at the tons of sushi trains, teppanyaki joints, Izakayas and other Japanese restaurants in town. The latest to join the range, and to introduce something new to Australian palates, is Tokonoma Shochu Bar and Lounge. This funky place sits next door to its glamorous celebrity Japanese restaurant sister, Toko, and was designed to be the “ying” to Toko’s “yang”. Where the established Surry Hills eatery is raw and sharp, architect Matt Darwon and artist Reni Jung have made Tokonoma fluid, soft and smooth. Pale woods, curved surfaces, an 11-metre “water” sculpture, shutters and a curtained entrance give Tokonoma a funky, relaxed vibe. However a large, central bar and an entrance wall boasting large liquid-and-fruit-filled jars politely remind guests that this place has one other significant purpose...
Virtually unheard of in Sydney, shochu is Japan’s other indigenous beverage and one that Tokonoma specialises in. Distilled from a number of raw materials including barley, buckwheat and sugar and infused with various fruit, vegetable, herb and spice combinations, it is a hip and happening drink in the land of the setting sun. And under the knowledgeable guidance of bar manager, Paul Birtwistle, in Tokonoma it is house-infused to offer Sydneysiders (and visitors) a palate-friendly introduction to its charms. It is also an ideal companion to the range of bite-sized dishes on the menu. Straight from the Toko kitchen, these include cult favourites like “spicy edmame” and maguro no miso taru taru (tuna tartar, baby shiso leaves and barley miso dressing). A tasting menu is also available to anyone who settles into Tokonoma’s back booths for the night. And if you don’t take to shochu there is a comprehensive cocktail list, as well as a selection of sake, spirits and wine.