|AKA Collins at Sokyo Bar, The Star / The Darling, Pyrmont|
The thought of blood orange sorbet in a cocktail was irresistable, so the AKA Collins of both Plymouth and sloe gins, lemon juice, soda and said sorbet was the first refreshing cab off the rank.
The boozy hit was hidden under the slight bitterness from the blood orange, while the flourishing candied orange wheel garnish was a fantastical and glossy fruit chip, with even the peel rendered edible.
|Nihon Mai Tai|
The fun part is that, in addition to a tropical pineapple syrup and lime as is fairly typical in a Mai Tai, the cocktail features Japanese Calpico - a Japanese bottled drink made from "high quality non fat milk". It doesn't add too much of a creamy flavour to the cocktail at all and is one of my favourites of the night.
I think it might have been the curious and uncommon combination of lemon and vanilla that piqued my interest, as the cocktail had me thinking lollies, flowers and other sweet things.
|Kingfish miso ceviche, green chilli, crispy potato|
The food at Sokyo, while delicately handled and presented, actually has quite robust flavours so as to stand up to the equally flavourful cocktails, so food and cocktail matching is quite achievable.
We started with a new ceviche style kingfish dish, that sang with citrus notes beneath the thinnest threads of crispy fried potato. I was very tempted to polish off the entire small serve, but my drinking partner unfortunately had her wits about her still.
|Moreton Bay bug sashimi, burnt butter mayo, passionfruit jelly, Vegemite croutons|
|Tuna umami, Choya umeshu, garlic soy umami|
|Baby capsicum relleno, King crab, feta, spicy tuna, yuzu soy sauce|
|Beef short rib, caramelised eschallots, BBQ teriyaki|
|Tsukune chicken, shallots, pineapple ginger sauce|
|Queensland roll - spanner crab, spicy avocado, soy paper|
The Queensland roll, featuring spanner crab from that state, is wrapped in a delicate soy paper rather than nori seaweed, and filled with lots of naturally sweet spanner crab flesh. Avocado comes in a spicy puree form while rice puffs add an unusual aspect of texture to the rolls.
|Spicy tuna crispy rice nigiri, truffle salt, spicy mayo|
|Japanese BBQ roll - Karubi short rib, gochijang sauce, white kimchi|
The softly pink beef just worked so well with the spicy sauce and rice, while the white pickled daikon on the side was a zingy palate cleanser.
There was no room or inclination for dessert on this visit. Thanks to the comfortable stools at the bar, it wasn't an issue to linger over the last of our cocktails, pretending that we hadn't eaten too much. And as for Japan, I think the posh Tokyo bars and their cocktails can wait.
Disclosure: Food, booze and shoes is acquainted with staff at Sokyo and sampled the cocktails as a guest. All food items were paid for separately.