Tokonoma Sydney opens at Sydney CBD location

Sydney’s foodies, fashionistas, sportsmen and members of the media gathered at the basement level of 44 Bridge Street Sydney on Tuesday 3 February 2015 to celebrate the official opening of Japanese eatery Tokonoma Sydney, the CBD sister to Toko Sydney.

It has been two and half years in the making for this restaurant that was originally located next door to Toko Sydney in Crown Street Surry Hills to open its doors at this CBD location. This narrow historic space has been transformed to resemble an ancient Japanese structure. The interiors are a result of the artistic collaboration between esteemed architect Matt Darwon and Tokonoma Sydney proprietor Matt Yazbek, The concept, inspired by the ancient Japanese text ‘100 views of Edo’, is distinctly styled composition of sandstone, polished timber and concrete punctuated throughout by stunning murals by Ando Hiroshige.

Tokonoma’s traditionally inspired Japanese menu matches its venue. With a menu inspired by ‘shun’ (the essence of the seasons). “The word ‘shun’ describes the exact moment that a vegetable is at its very best, a fruit at its most succulently sweet, and fish at its most flavourful. In Japan, chefs take great pride in the celebration of shun. It is central to the Japanese culinary world and central to the philosophy of Tokonoma Sydney,” says Group General Manager Paul Birtwistle.

Guests included Sydney Roosters player Mitchell Pearce, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Brett Stewart, Parramatta Eels player Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle Watmough, ABC’s Rake co-writer Peter Duncan, Sydney Confidential reporter Briana Domjen and former Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements and her twin sons: Samuel and Joe.

Kirstie Clements also officially launched the restaurant, “I am honoured to be here as a longtime friend of Toko and now Tokonoma Sydney and to announce this beautiful new space officially opened,” said Ms Clements. “What I love about Tokonoma is the elegance. It is somewhat of a hideaway, so beautifully discrete, and the service and food is unrivalled.”

During the launch party, DJ Tobias Gilbert’s rocking tunes set the tone for the launch. Guests drank Tokonoma Sydney’s signature cocktail, the Rhubarb and Pink Grapefruit Paloma, while feasting on their ‘izakaya’ style menu of tasty morsels of Popcorn Shrimp, Oyster Tosazu, Spicy Tofu. Salmon Tartare, Spicy Tuna Maki, Kingfish Wasabi Maki, Eggplant Miso, and their mouth watering Wagyu Beef Gyoza.

Tokonoma Sydney is an elegant space convenient for corporate lunches and post-work or pre-theatre dinners. It is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations and walk-ins accepted. For reservations please call 02 9251 8185 or email

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