Toko- Crown Street- cool Sydney restaurant

On this very hot Friday afternoon, we went to have lunch at Toko restaurant in Surry Hills – you would never know the world was still climbing out of recession – this cool Sydney restaurant was running to full steam.  For those who haven’t ventured there yet, I’ll tell you this is a large space and can sit quite a lot of people for lunch or dinner .  So when the restaurant is full, you need staff who know how to make things seem relaxed and attentive which is not an easy task.  Toko did it perfectly.

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.

Toko Restaurant - Surry Hills - cool Sydney restaurant - spanner crab salad with wasabi
Toko Restaurant - Surry Hills - cool Sydney restaurant

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.

Toko Restaurant - Surry Hills - cool Sydney restaurant - prawn tempura
Toko Restaurant - Surry Hills - cool Sydney Japanese restaurant - spicy deep fried tofu

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 ♥♥

Toko Website


Toko on Urbanspoon

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