I have been craving Japanese food for a while, good Japanese food and suggested this place. Sokyo is located at The Star, not inside the Casino but outside. The décor is impressive and has a very relaxed vibe. The menu is vast, divided into several sections including sashimi, sushi, tempura, robata (meat, seafood and vegetables grilled on white charcoal) and essential dishes and of course desserts. All the dishes are relatively small and are designed to be shared.
There were about seven of us, so thought we would each pick two – in hindsight it was probably one or two too many but we were dining with boys who could eat so the more the better.
We started with the Kingfish miso ceviche ($18) – green chili, crispy potato. I absolutely love kingfish and this was such a light and beautiful dish. The green chili was subtle and the crispy potato gave it a really nice crunch and touch.
Another favourite of mine is Ocean trout wasabi salsa ($19) – chili threads, yuzu, pickled wasabi salsa. Again this was a light and delicious dish, the yuzu and pickled wasabi salsa was superb.
C2 couldn’t go past the Kurobuta black pork sashimi ($19) – thinly sliced pork belly, dashi jelly, mache, salty caramel sauce. Cooked thinly sliced pieces of pork belly which was served with yummy salted caramel sauce and dashi jelly – YUM!
The moreton bay bug tempura ($26) – sambal mayo, grapefruit salsa was a hit amongst the diners. Lightly battered, the sambal mayo was deliciously creamy with a hint of spice and the grapefruit salsa a wonderful complement.
I adored the Pumpkin tempura ($10) – poblano, rocoto sauce. Again the batter was light and this was such a wonderful dish that I would have happily eaten the whole thing myself!
Now onto the Robata – Beef ($15) – short rib, caramelized eshallots, bbq teriyaki. I loved the charcoal taste, the beef was tender and succulent.
The Tsukune Chicken ($10) – shallots, pineapple ginger sauce was a hit amongst the diners, it had a great aroma and the flavour was incredible.
I really enjoyed the Kurobuta pork belly ($14) – spicy shirodashi, yuzu kosho – tender pork belly, we originally thought that the white bit was fat but it was in fact radish!
The Dengakuman ($32) – caramelised miso cod, Japanese salsa, celery croutons was very good but I thought the Nobu’s version of miso cod was infinitely better.
I’m not a massive fan of scallops, however, the other diners did enjoy the Hokkaido Scallops ($26) – wasabi shitake pepper sauce. It was cooked to perfection with slightly charred caramelised bits around the edges.
The Jumbo king prawn ($25) – scorched onion, flat white dashi I didn’t try. It had too much froth for my liking – no, I am off prawns for the moment but my fellow diners did say it was wonderful, it was quite plump and moreish.
We were all getting quite full by this stage, well the girls were, but I know some of the boys were still hungry. The Spicy tuna crispy rice ($20) – crispy nigiri, truffle salt, spicy mayo was excellent. Luscious tuna on top of crispy rice was just amazingly good! Probably one of the highlights that evening.
The Japanese Barbeque roll ($19) – karubi short rib, gochijang sauce, white kimchi I thought was nice, nothing special.
I didn’t try the Ocean trout and avocado roll ($18) – crispy onion, creamy ponzu as I was beyond stuffed and wanted to make room for dessert. My fellow diners did say it wasn’t too bad.
Now dessert, I couldn’t finish one on my own so thought would share the Chef’s dessert sampler ($26).
Four different types of dessert, the first being Goma Street – caramelised white chocolate, sesame ice cream. This was an AMAZING dessert, great presentation, the caramelised white chocolate mousse sandwiched between two perfectly pieces of chocolate and served with sesame ice cream – OMG!
The yamazaki caramel macchiato – coffee ice cream, coco nibs, whisky foam was another favourite. You have to eat all the combination together.
The Sokyo ‘mochi ice cream’ – yatsuhashi Kyoto mocha, frozen strawberry milk shake was also tasty. Thin mocha pastry, the strawberry milk shake definitely tasted like strawberry milk shake!
Last but not least of the dessert tasting platter was the dessert of the evening. I can’t remember the exact name but it had pineapple, citrusy and had pop candy which I haven’t had since I was a child!
C2 had the goma street ($12) and absolutely loved it.
T ordered the Donatsu ($13) – pineapple mascarpone filling, crème fraiche ice cream and this looked superb! I didn’t have any of this, but T definitely enjoyed it.
R had the white miso tapioca ($12), something he would never order but loved it.
Food wise, I thought it was good but I do prefer Nobu slightly – thought it was quite similar.
Service was excellent and although the dessert was a little slow to come out we all had a great meal. Great food, great wine and fabulous company – I sure am going to miss you guys!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Level G, The Darling, The Star,
80 Pyrmont Street