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High-class cocktails and what might be Sydney's best sushi is a hard act to top
It may be a bar and restaurant in the foyer of a hotel, beneath a casino, but you can feel miles away from anywhere drinking at Sokyo Lounge. Kicking back in a silver and gold velvet armchair with a little bowl of spiced nuts and a cocktail on the way is a sure-fire cure to the workday blues, and the promise of bar snacks from a crazy good Japanese kitchen only sweetens the deal.
This is a bar you can trust with the good stuff. They are back to their fighting weight and if you like your Martini a certain way, what arrives at the table will be to your exact specifications. Know what you don’t like in a drink? Floor staff here know the cocktail list back to front and it’s knowledge you can use to ensure that a Sneaky Meek is the drink for you. It is. Bitter Amaro Nonino gets sweet-talked by a lick of Cubaney aged rum and a little muscat before Peychaud’s bitters brings you full circle.
This is a good bar to impress a date with. Service is elegant and unobtrusive, tables are spaced well apart so you won’t have to overhear anyone else’s conversation and the music is kept at a chat-friendly volume.
You sure can get a Coopers here, but it’s a wasted opportunity not to explore the Japanese beer menu that goes well beyond Kirin and Asahi. Keep the theme running with a Japanese single malt, of which they have many.
Chase Kojima, might have started out as a kid in his father’s Japanese restaurant in California, but in Sydney he is the mack daddy of modern Japanese fare and responsible for some of the best sushi in the city. And the bar food comes out of his kitchen.
How about silky rounds of raw scallop dressed in a yuzu juice, whose citric pucker is tempered by a little honey and then brought back to the realm of savoury with miso, capers and a scattering of crunchy onion pieces. Or perhaps skewers of juicy, tender Wagyu tri-tip (from the bottom sirloin) glazed with a teriyaki sauce and clamped around soft, sweet eshallots call to you? They certainly occupy a lot of our waking thoughts.
It’s not the full, sit-down Sokyo experience, but it is an irresistible tease, and looking around there’s not a table in the lounge that has managed to hold out and not order a little something.
Sokyo Lounge never fails to deliver. The drinks, service and food are all ace high, but unlike the casino overhead, here the house doesn’t win, you do.
Time Out Awards
80 Pyrmont St
|Opening hours:||Sun-Wed 4-11pm; Thu, Sat 4pm-midnight, Fri noon-midnight|