Sink into an intimate booth in this lush, organic womb with a view.
The earthy tones and clever wall of lentils art piece inclined me toward a deep brown Rockin’ Expresso Martini ($19) with salted caramel liqueur and espresso rock candy.
With that itch scratched, it was easy to leave myself in the hands of the sake sommelier for an educational exploration of sake matching; the best being the Shirakabegura ($11/60ml) with the robata grilled Scallops with Pickled Apple, and Jalapeno Garlic ($18.80).
The neighbouring kitchen at Toko turns out equally good hot and cold offerings, so create your own degustation alternating between standouts like fluffy pillows of Morton Bay Bug Tempura ($22.80) and...
...sensuous morsels of Scampi Nigiri with Foie Gras and Truffle Oil ($16.80).
Zingy (and pleasantly bite-sized) Wasabi, Kingfish, Ikura and Coriander Maki Rolls ($12.40) help avoid that awkward moment when half your roll lands in the soy bowl.
We also sampled the Edamame ($6.80) speckled with Maldon Sea Salt.
This was a nicely presented bar snack of Salmon Tartare with Wasabi Miso Dressing ($16.40).
Even menu stalwarts like the Duck Breast with Sansho Pepper and Pickled Nashi Pear ($28.80) have benefited from the modern Japanese expertise of new chef Regan Porteus; who cut his teeth with Rainer Becker at the hyper-trendy, internationally famous Zuma.
Sashimi is also a highlight of our meal, with Tuna ($10.20/3 pieces) and Salmon ($9.20/3 pieces) arriving with beautiful on-ice presentation.
The last dish I tried was the Salt Grilled Baby Barramundi with Pickled Onion and Tomato Ponzu ($21.80) - not my favourite, but by this stage I was getting mighty full which might have been why!
Incredibly, Tokonoma’s more stylish dining room avoids sibling Toko’s no-bookings policy, so line up your own secluded alcove today!
490 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9357 6100