PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Located in the heart of Surry Hills on Crown Street is Toko Restaurant and Bar. The dark and sexy interior, complete with sleek black communal tables and dimmed lighting, is perfect for the equally-suave clientele Toko attracts. This Crown Street restaurant opened in 2007, following the success of the Paddington sushi bar and takeaway of the same name. This is a more upmarket incarnation of its older sister, incorporating a robata grill and cocktail lounge. At the heart of the restaurant is an impressive open kitchen, where guests can be entertained by the sushi and robata chefs as they grill, chop and slice right before you're eyes. That's, of course, if you're not too distracted by a celeb that may stumble through the front doors.
You can't book for dinner, which often means a wait in the bar. But with a list of over 30 different varieties of sake to choose from, several of which are directly imported from Japan, the wait isn't an issue. Don't like sake? Go for a cocktail; our tip, try the rhubarb-infused sake with tequila and passionfruit. The real winner, however, is the menu. Go with a group and sample a range of dishes. The seared wagyu nigiri almost disintegrates on the tongue, as does the sashimi, which tastes as though its just jumped from the sea. The eggplant marinated in sweet miso is a must for aubergine lovers. While the crunchy goodness of soft shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise, will impress the most discerning tempura-eating connoisseurs. Finish the meal with the warm dark chocolate fondant served with vanilla-miso ice cream and Toko may just turn into your favourite restaurant.