But back to our lunch, as we arrived we were greeted by a very professional maitre d’ who suggested a couple of places we could sit. We opted for the front window where we could check out local passing traffic – if you get the drift! The Toko menu offers a large choice – classic isakaya dishes, sushi and sashimi and meat and fish from the robata grill. This is fresh well cooked and artfully presented food which exemplifies the Japanese aesthetic.
Although Toko has good choice of sake, we were in the mood for a glass of prosseco. Firstly we ordered a spanner crab salad with wasabi – gorgeous chunks of subtle, white spanner crab in a fresh salad served over chilled ice – the surprise was the sharpness of the wasabi and the perfect counterbalance to the sweetness of the crab. Next came the tofu – cubes of fried spicy silken tofu with a avocado salsa bathed in barley miso – this was a brilliant combination gentle flavour and Japanese artistry. To cap it off, crispy prawn tempura in the finest of batter, served with a exquisite dashi broth.
This was a memorable lunch – some of the best service we’ve seen, particularly as Toko was packed. The team maintained the consistency and quality of food and service that this cool Sydney restaurant is known for. In a time when there’s a lot of departures (and arrivals) in the Surry Hills restaurant scene, it’s refreshing to see a stayer – only getting better.
490 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010
sydneycool rating ♥♥