If spending the eve at tokonoma shochu bar + lounge we get why. The third and newest venture by the team behind Toko restaurant has just opened its doors and is a haven for Nippon-inspired cocktails.
Never heard of shochu? Here’s where that will change. Distilled from barley, buckwheat, sweet potato and sugar this is Japan’s other indigenous beverage.
If asked Paul Birtwistle, tokonoma Bar Manager, will gladly give you his selection of ‘must-try’ infusions. He’ll start you with Hakka Martini (Shiro shochu with Hendricks gin, cucumber and mint), Gen awa cha (Lychee bubble tea with Genmaicha infused shiro shochu, lemon and lychee jelly) or Negroni Swizzle (Whitley Neill, Antica Formula and Campari infused with pineapple, aged and swizzled with homemade falernum and orange wedges).
Judging by the crowd on opening night, a seat at one of the back booths is high in demand. Flanked by artist Reni Kung’s ‘Water’ installation – an 11 metre long sculpture made entirely of lentils, perspex, resin and metal objects, here’s the spot to feast on bite-size dishes or the popular 11-course tasting menu ($70).
Hai. A lounge destination reserved for lovers of all things Japanese.
tokonoma shochu bar + lounge
490 Crown Street, Surry Hills 2010
t: (02) 9357 6100