Breakfast, the most important meal of the day. A meal that is always much better when cooked for you, a meal that is elevated to a whole new level at SOKYO at the Star. My god I loved breakfasting at this place. SOKYO is Star Casino’s premium Japanese Restaurant, a venue I had wanted to visit for a very long time. I just never assumed my first visit would be for a breakfast! I visited this amazing venue with foodie friends Kurt and Sarah from Around the Clock Foodie and two of their non-foodie friends and it should be pointed out – we paid for this meal.
SOKYO is part of Sydney’s Casino, The Star. It is located in the lobby of the attached Darling Hotel and is considered one of the best Japanese Restaurants in Australia. They have awards up the wazoo with Three Goblets from Gourmet Traveller‘s Wine List and One Chef’s Hat from the Sydney Morning Herald every year for the last five. The Financial Review listed them in the Top 100 Restaurants for 2015 and 2016 and in those same years Gourmet Traveller gave them Two Goblets for Wine List of the Year. As far as food and wine go, you are in good hands!
The venue is simple and elegant with blacks, golds, little splashes of reds and fish scale textures. The look is modern Japanese and the feel is very warm and comfortable with the hanging lamps running the through the middle of the venue a beautiful centrepiece in the design. Sokyo is open seven days for breakfast and dinner; and lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They offer walk-ins for the breakfast from 7 – 1030am daily but if visiting on the weekend I highly recommend making a booking. It was packed to the rafters when we visited and I am grateful they put us around the corner in a more secluded room, the only issue was the service was a little less in the backroom as you are kind of out-of-sight.
One bonus of note – every day but Saturday you get free parking at The Star if you spend $25- or more at any of the restaurants – this is a HUGE saving on cost and hassles when visiting the area.
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As mentioned earlier Sokyo is known as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Australia, I am ashamed I have not yet indulged in the lunch/ dinner menu as everything I hear just raves for this place. From their website:
Designed by Sokyo’s inventive Executive Chef Chase Kojima, the Breakfast by Sokyo menu includes an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary a-la-carte dishes that take inspiration from both Tokyo and Sydney, along with a continental breakfast buffet in Sokyo style.
Typical Japanese people usually have one or more of the followings as a breakfast: Pastries (including toast, pastries, French toast, etc.), coffee & fruits (bananas, apples, oranges, etc.) Pancakes. A bowl of rice and miso soup (sometimes accompanied with broiled fish, egg, natto, salad, pickles, egg rolls, sausages etc). Sokyo gives you all of this plus more and then gives it a little Western twist in the buffet so it appeals to everyone who enters. Adults, children, vegan, heavy carnivores, traditionalists and experimental eaters will all be heavily impressed by the food on offer.
SOKYO BREAKFAST BUFFET:
A dish from the a-la-carte menu, a tea or a coffee and a juice from the buffet is $22.50, full continental buffet and a tea or a coffee is $28, and full continental buffet (including juice) and an a-la-carte dish with tea or a coffee is $38. Of course I went the big one :).
The a-la-carte menu offers authentic Japanese favourites such as Curry Udon (Japanese beef curry soup, pork neck, potato, thick noodles), Traditional ‘Choushoku’ Breakfast (grilled fish of the day, miso soup, steamed Hokkaido Yumepirika rice, nori and Japanese pickles) and a Japanese-style chef’s omelette of the day.
Modern Sokyo creations include the hearty Sumo Breakfast (choice of eggs, grilled bacon, Japanese sausage, sautéed mushroom, edamame, roasted potato, spinach, tomato, avocado, toasted ciabatta), the healthy Bircher-San (quinoa bircher muesli, watermelon, mint, crispy lychee, Greek yoghurt) and the sweet Pancake with Banana purée, Nutella and walnut crumb.
The continental buffet includes traditional Japanese breakfast food, congee and house-baked pastries with a Japanese flavour, including black sesame, green tea and yuzu curd muffins, and more traditional croissants and apple folds.
WHAT WE ORDERED:
We all ordered the full continental breakfast with an a-la-carte dish and coffee/tea. We selected so much off the buffet I cannot list them all. The pastries all looked like a more Western treat as did most of the buffet but it was mostly deceiving as the muffins might have been yuzu curd muffins, the green muffin was a matcha muffin and hidden among these beautiful yet standard looking dishes were amazing delights like congee, black sesame muffins plus yuzu, white chocolate and berry pastries and more. A Japanese highlight of the buffet was the Okayu. The dashi-stock Okayu is a very flavourful rice porridge dish. It is kept warm over a flame in a cast iron pot and has the bonus of seven different condiments to choose from.
For a-la-carte dishes we ate the:
Sokyo Matcha Green Tea Lamington – Toasted coconut, Adzuki red bean paste, yuzu curd, and compressed watermelon
Sokyo Seafood Bowl Glacier 51 toothfish, salmon, octopus, flying fish roe, cucumber, pickled ginger, Hokkaido yumepirika rice, onsen tamago
Traditional “Choushoku” Breakfast – Fish of the Day, miso soup, Onsen tamago, edamame, Hokkaido yumepirika rice, nori, Japanese pickles
Spicy Salmon Udon – White Miso roasted salmon, onsen tomago, crab, wakame, enoki, udon noodles, spicy miso dashi
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Absolutely flawless! For me anyway – I ordered the table favourite and everyone had food envy haha.
The Matcha Lamington was a beautiful creative “breakfast” dessert and the combining of quintessential Australian (OK – really New Zealand) and Japanese falvours was a work of genius but the compressed watermelon was the most technically amazing thing on the plate. The flavour combination was impressive. Sarah ordered this one and her and Kurt shared two different mains. I got a taste and I would order this again but I would want it for dessert.
Kurt ordered the seafood bowl and I did not get to try it – here is what they said:
The Sokyo seafood bowl was not your typical Australian breakfast. A bowl of rice topped with an assortment of fresh seafood and an onsen egg. It started out a little standard and improved ten-fold once it all mixed together and the flavours combined.
Sarah and Kurt’s friends ordered the Traditional “Choushoku” Breakfast, I did not try. It looked a little bento to me and while I am sure it was marvellous it paled in comparison to the other, more dazzling, meals.
ONE OF THE BEST BREAKFASTS OF THE YEAR:
Then there was mine and it is one of the best breakfasts I have eaten this year. Perfectly roasted salmon, an onsen egg (which is my favourite type of egg just beating the poached), crab meat, seaweed, enoki mushrooms and udon noodles. And then me pouring over the best broth of the year. Not too spicy but enough for everyone to make an audible noise at the wonderful flavours. The udon was perfect and the blending of all the ingredients to make a master taste was a culinary work of art. Packed with umami flavours and mild saltiness and balanced with the softness of the udon and mushroom. I want a bowl now – just thinking about it! Speaking of – it would make a perfect dish for any meal, not just breakfast.
One of the best breakfasts of the year with masterful flavours and techniques only possible by a kitchen of this calibre. The buffet may look basic but look closer, the amazing flavours of Japan are hidden in combination with nearly everything on the table. Definitely a meal worthy of early morning travel to The Star. Sokyo is a marvel and I need to get back for dinner ASAP!!
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 1/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
PH: 02 9657 9161
Level G, The Darling The Star/80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
BOOKINGS: Highly Recommend
PRICING: Dinner can get pricey but breakfast, depending on what level you want won’t go over $38-.
Daily: 7 – 1030am
Fri and Sat: 12 – 2pm
Sun to Thurs: 530 – 10pm
Fri and Sat: 530 – 1030pm
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** This Meal was Paid For ***
For more reviews of Sydney CBD Restaurants – check them out HERE