The rich miso hollandaise and edamame are clever Japanese twists.
Paired with crisp, streaky bacon and a pillowy brioche,
this eggs Benedict is up there with Sydney’s best.
I often wonder about the special ingredient that makes food lovers dine out at restaurants.
Sure, the food is often the biggest part of the equation. And at some of Sydney’s swankiest restaurants, the ambience let alone a place to be seen is often the clincher for the hipsters and trendites. But for those who passionately recreate restaurant quality dishes in their home kitchen, I suspect enticement takes a bit more than a stylish dining room and water views.
From our two previous visits to the signature Japanese restaurant at Sydney’s The Star casino, I discovered that traditional nigiri sushi is just an extra bit finer, its wine and sake pairing a little more exacting than most Japanese restaurants and service a notch more elegant and classy. In short, the special ingredient is its point of difference.
With a kind invitation from Access PR, I am back here with Mysaucepan to check out this Japanese fine-diner’s new breakfast spread.
Executive chef Chase Kojima‘s offering promises something more than just hotel-style scrambled eggs and bacon in bain-maries, toast from a DIY toaster and juices from large glass dispensers.
Breakfast by Sokyo, The Star, Pyrmont
Restaurant manager Alex greets us at our table.
“Would you like some champagne to start your breakfast?” he politely asks with a smile.
A smile comes to Mysaucepan‘s face. “It’s such a beautiful Sunday, we really can’t say no, can we?” she replies.
The signature toasty and nutty aromas of Moet & Chandon champagne are unmistakable.
Served with a fresh strawberry, I am happy to sip this bubbly whether it’s brekky, lunch, dinner, Melbourne Cup or anytime for no good reason.
The usual sushi bar is transformed into a mile-long spread of fresh fruit salads, muffins with Japanese flavours, yuzu Danish pastries, soba noodles with dashi, Japanese style pancakes and Japanese congee.
Prices are extremely friendly – $22.50 f0r an a la carte dish from the regular menu with tea or coffee and a juice.
Full continental buffet and a tea or coffee is $28 while a full continental buffet with an a la carte dish and tea or coffee is $38.
Croissants are given a Japanese twist with grilled salmon, asparagus, radish and roe.
Breakfast juices are served with fresh fruit in sake bottles.
Green tea and black sesame muffins give this breakfast its distinctively Japanese flavour.
It’s a little past 10am on a beautiful Sunday and the restaurant is buzzing with the vibe of diners eager to tuck into this enticing buffet spread.
Rooibos blood orange is a mixture of blood orange puree, orange and lemon juice and rooibos tea. Meaning “red bush”, rooibos is a broom-like species of the legume family of plants native to South Africa known for its health benefits.
Cold juices are thoughtfully served in double wall plastic tumblers that prevent water condensation on the table.
Blood peach is a mixture of lemon juice, blood peach and white tea.
These iced teas are both refreshing and make me feel like my system is being detoxed from the excesses of the weekend.
Freshly baked muffins and pastries take on Japanese twists with green tea, black sesame and yuzu cream.
Alex tells us that pancakes are individually prepared in deep round skillets to make them fluffier inside.
Banana slices, strawberries and maple syrup add sweetness to banana puree, nutella drizzle and crunchy walnut crumbs.
Eggs Benedict come with a rich and thick miso hollandaise and edamame to mark its Japanese influence.
A few strips of streaky bacon are savoury sweet with brushes of maple syrup while a thick and pillowy slice of brioche completes this iconic breakfast favourite.
The poached egg spills its rich gooey yolk with a gentle yield of my knife. Combined with crispy bacon and buttery brioche, this mouthful is still one of my favourite eye-closing moments.
The miso hollandaise is rich, perhaps bordering too dense with its eggy decadence. Yet this Benedict is one I can easily come back for despite such an elaborate buffet spread.
For me, the eggs Benedict in Sydney that set the standard for so many is the one at the Museum of Contemporary Art. During a recent event hosted by Australia’s King of Breakfast Bill Granger, this interpretation served with 63 degree Celsius eggs remains one of the very best in Sydney.
A traditional “Choushoku” breakfast is for those who enjoy the traditions of rice for the first meal of the day.
This meal comes with grilled fish of the day, Hokkaido Yumepirika steamed rice with crisp nori sheets, miso soup, Japanese pickles and a wobbly onsen egg in special soy.
Three slices of grilled salmon is a beautiful accompaniment for such high quality rice that I try to savour this as being a hearty lunch in itself.
The highlight in this dish is the 63 degree Celsius onsen egg that spills its rich orange yolk with a gentle yield of my spoon.
Is there a better way to start your day with the delicacy of this kind of egg?
Alex spoils us with a smoothie.
The Purple is a hearty concoction of blueberry, acai berry, agave and milk.
Though we managed to finish our eggs Benedict, the arrival of a chef’s omelette of the day is quite irresistible to say the least.
Laced with sweet crab meat, thin slices of radish and micro herbs, the omelette is fluffy and creamy inside. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a prolate spheroid of creme fraiche on the side for more indulgence.
What’s a continental breakfast without the array of cold meats and smoked fish?
Sokyo rises up to the tradition of western offerings with a selection of ham, pastrami and smoked salmon for breakfast sandwiches.
Pepe Saya’s cultured butter ensures your sandwich is laced with one of Australia’s very best.
Curry udon is a thick Japanese beef curry soup with slices of pork neck, chunky potato, thick udon noodles, crisp bean curd and garnished with shallots and roasted sesame seeds.
It’s a hearty dish that I might contemplate after a big Saturday night out. The curry flavour is very mild though the stock a little too thick and heavy for my liking.
It’s one big breakfast that I am happy to conclude with a calming pot of Japanese green tea.
The buffet spread for Breakfast by Sokyo can range from delicate eggs Benedict to a hearty breakfast / brunch if you are in the mood to indulge.
The full continental buffet with an a la carte dish and a tea or coffee for $38 is a steal in my opinion provided your appetite is keen. Service is top notch as you would expect from a hotel restaurant. And this buffet got me reminiscing one of the best Japanese buffets I experienced in South East Asia.
Being a casino restaurant in Australia’s premier city, I believe a quality weekend Japanese buffet brunch in the $70 price range that includes fresh sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki wagyu beef with classic Japanese desserts is going to be extremely competitive.
Sokyo, please bring it on because Sydney is ready for it.
So dear readers, which is your favourite breakfast haunt in Sydney?
ChopinandMysaucepan dined as guests of Access PR and Sokyo. Prices are included for readers’ information only. All views and opinions on this blog post are our own at the day of attendance.
Sokyo, The Star
Level G, The Darling
80 Pyrmont street
Pyrmont, New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 9657 9161
Opening hours: Breakfast daily 7am to 10.30am Lunch Friday 12pm to 2.30pm Dinner Monday – Wednesday 5.30 to 9.30pm, Thursday to Saturday 5.30pm to 10.30pm. Closed on Sundays.
Sokyo Bar & Lounge
Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday 4pm to 11pm, Thursday – Saturday 4pm to 12 midnight, Friday 12pm to 12 midnight. Closed on Sundays.
A surcharge of 2% apply to all credit card transactions including when selecting the “credit” option for a debit card.
Groups reservations for 8 diners or more attract a surcharge of $10 per person. This surcharge does not apply to private events and functions.