Fo0die dined as a guest of Yokocho and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Opened since November 2017, we arrived at the then 5 month old venue on a Friday evening. Located on level 1 of mid city arcade, the venue is literally located at the top of the escalators (some may remember this location being Red Silks).
As we entered the venue, we turned left into the dining area via some stairs (a ramp is also available) walking past the bar and bar seating on the right.
At the end of the bar, the indoor dining area is located on the left with a range of bar height tables and square tables. The interior has an industrial feel with the exposed concrete ceiling and hanging metal square crates/shelves that display various bottles of alcoholic beverages lit up with LEDs.
Walking straight ahead past the indoor dining area leads you out onto a large outdoor balcony that overlooks Bourke Street (highly recommended on a nice night!). The balcony offers a range of seating, from round tables with stools to bar height tables; all surrounded by the balcony garden beds.
The A3 sized menu offers food found in Japanese small lanes which reflects the name of the venue ‘Yokocho’ (translates literally to ‘alleyways off the main street’). The menu groups the dishes into tapas, fresh tapas (sashimi, nigiri etc), a la carte (pork katsu etc), solo (bento etc), robata (grilled meat) and sweets.
We went with the omakase which has been designed by Toshio Matsudo (a omakase chef from Japan who has served meals to some well known figures; google it if you want to find out who). For the price ($39 per person), we considered this to be quite reasonable for Japanese food
Yokocho’s omakase menu changes daily and is whatever the chef feels like serving that day so these are just examples of the food we ate the day we went. We started off the meal with a mix sashimi plate each which contained thinly sliced salmon, chunky bits of tuna and thinly sliced kingfish. The texture of the sashimi was on the firmer end of the scale. Our next course of fried scallops was one of our favourites, it was golden and crispy.
If you count the number of dishes in the post, you will realise there is more than 6 courses. Apparently the chef felt like chucking the tuna tartare in that night and we are glad they did. While Mr J was not a huge fan of it (we shared this dish), I loved dipping this in a bit of soy sauce (tasted fine by itself too!). The udon was another favourite of the night (we each got one each), but specifically the udon noodles which were slippery and smooth with a sweet broth paired with a crispy prawn tempura. The batter on the prawn wasn’t the light crispy batter we expected from tempura but a more normal batter.
The wagyu bao was probably our least favourite of all the courses (we each got one bao). The wagyu was deep fried until it was dry and crisp which provided a lovely crispy texture to the bao but we couldn’t tell it was wagyu. We shared the final dish, the pork katsu which was crispy and with the egg, some bits were a little soggy but otherwise a very filling dish to share.
No degustation is complete without a sweet dish. We finished off the meal, sharing this mochi and ice cream dish. We were given a choice of ice cream (chocolate, green tea, black sesame) and went with green tea. The ice cream had a good green tea flavour to it while the mochi had a nice chewy texture to it.
Overall a wonderful night out on Yokocho’s beautiful balcony overlooking Bourke Street. And best part was, we didn’t have to stress over what dishes to pick, how many etc.
Dishes that make up this review
- Omakase 6 course degustation ($39 per person) which included:
- Fried scallops
- Tuna tartare (an extra course because the chef felt like it that day)
- Mini tempura udon
- Wagyu bao
- Pork katsu
- Mochi and choice of ice cream (we went green tea)