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Introducing Sokyo 2.0: Where Ritual Meets Art

October 15, 2021 Dining No Comments
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Famed for its creative take on modern Japanese cuisine, Sokyo has entered a new era, complete with a fresh look, new menu and sensational new brunch experience, celebrating the best of both traditional Japan and modern Sydney.

Undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most beloved Japanese restaurants, Sokyo has stood proudly as a landmark of The Star Sydney for nearly a decade. Now, as venues across the city open their doors for the first time in months, Sokyo is unveiling a new phase of its evolution – one dedicated to making every meal a ceremonial moment.

Shaped and guided by Executive Chef Chase Kojima, Sokyo’s exciting evolution has been designed with a post-pandemic Sydney in mind, with great precision and creativity going into ensuring that the menu, space and service provide Sydneysiders with an unforgettable dining experience.

The result is an experience that offers a delicate balance of art and ritual, an ode to Japanese tradition and ceremony through a modern Australian lens.

“We wanted to keep the soul of the original Sokyo, paying respect to the traditional cooking techniques of Japan, while giving it a burst of fresh energy,” said Kojima.

“Rituals have always been part of the Sokyo ethos, whether that’s me getting up early each morning to pick up the freshest local produce at the fish market, or our wait staff carefully considering the chopstick placement on each table. But a key element of this new era will be to bring the behind the scenes traditional rituals of dish creation to the guest experience as well – something diners have missed over the last few months.”

 Historically dark and moody, the new Sokyo space is softer, more spacious, with intimate lighting and a focus on spotlighting the kitchen. The designers have also collaborated with local calligraphy artist Tomoko Oka to design a modern take on the traditional Japanese art that adorns the walls, menus and tablescapes, and reflects the art and ritual ethos.

Of the collaboration, Oka says, “I was inspired hearing about Chase’s culinary journey – how he has taken traditional Japanese techniques and put his own spin on them to create a new approach. Similarly, by mastering the art of traditional calligraphy, I have been able to break the rules and create something unique, which will hopefully bring feelings of wonder and delight to guests. The piece that you see at the entrance to Sokyo is my interpretation of the refined yet vibrant energy that Chase and his team bring to the kitchen.”

A freshly refined menu complements the new space, featuring beloved Sokyo classics like the ‘Dengakuman Miso Glazed Toothfish with Japanese salsa & pickled cucumber’ and the ‘Kingfish Miso Ceviche – Green chilli, crispy potato, miso ceviche’ alongside an array of dishes that hero Kojima’s signature method of blending unusual textures and tastes such as the ‘Ocean trout tartare with mustard miso, red onion, chives, nori cracker’, ‘Baby corn tempura with spicy corn jam and nori salt’ and ‘Hokkaido scallop ravioli, with scampi butter, wakame, menma & yuzu foam’.

The new Sokyo also boasts dishes that create moments where eating feels like a performance like the ‘Baked potato with umami crème fraiche, chives, cured Iberico ham, & ponzu jelly” assembled tableside, the ‘Ranger’s Valley Scotch Fillet MBS+5 350g with soy, wasabi, & ume kosho’ fresh off the robata grill, and the ‘Tuna Crispy Rice – Spicy tuna tartare, spicy mayo, crispy Hokkaido rice’ plated to reflect the colours of the Japanese flag.

Behzad ‘Behz’ Nvaziri, The Star’s award-winning cocktail connoisseur, has also taken a similarly theatrical approach to Sokyo’s new cocktail menu, adding a touch of tableside magic to the dining experience. From a simple yet elegant take on an Old Fashioned ‘Kyushiki’ made with high-quality Japanese whisky, yuzu syrup and a smoked cloche, to the Sokyo Bubble made with Vodka, Licor 43, passion fruit puree and a bubble of lemongrass smoke, each drink has been carefully created with an artful display of craftsmanship – and the occasional surprise.

For early risers and guests of The Darling, a revamped breakfast menu will be available daily for diners to start their day with bites like the Chilli Crab Omelette, Mushroom Toast and a range of signature matcha and yuzu-infused pastries.

For those looking to celebrate the refresh, Sokyo is also introducing its own twist on Sydney’s iconic Sunday brunch. Featuring unique Tokyo-inspired takes on some of Sydney’s favourite brunch classics like a Yuzulini – a Bellini-style cocktail made with yuzu marmalade and prosecco, a Sake Bloody Mary Bar and a Umeshu Spritz, brunch goers will also be able to enjoy an a la carte menu of Sokyo’s signature breakfast items. To complete the experience, every Sunday from 11:30am-3:00pm, guests can enjoy a tuna carving station, a resident DJ and a calligrapher creating bespoke monogrammed mementos.

Explore the connection of art and ritual at the new Sokyo, now open at The Star Sydney. For more details or to make a booking, head to: https://www.star.com.au/sydney/eat-and-drink/signature-dining/sokyo

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