Traveling to and exploring Tokyo is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because, well… it’s incredible, and curse because, well… it’s incredible.
If you are planning to travel to Tokyo – a word of warning: Your burgeoning book of life will diminish to only two chapters. Pre-Tokyo and post-Tokyo. Pre-Tokyo will be happier times - you didn’t know any better. Post-Tokyo will be a constant state of reminiscing. You’ll be met with confused looks at the dinner table as you refuse to eat with a knife and fork, eyes searching for chopsticks. Meals will become flavourless. Trains will disappoint you beyond disbelief. You’ll hate your toilet.
But hey, it’s all worth it, and luckily, if you’re missing Japan (or you’ve not yet lived your best life by visiting Japan), these Sydney restaurants are servin' up some tasty Tokyo-inpired dishes for Taste of Tokyo - a month-long initiative throughout October celebrating the traditional and innovational nature of Tokyo as not only a city but as a culinary destination. Several restaurants will be featuring both old and new menu items connected to places in Tokyo – whether it be reminiscent of the succulent yakitori from the izakayas of Shimbashi, soba noodles inspired by the restaurants in Tokyo’s sumo capital ‘Ryogoku’, or premium tasting menus that match the luxurious lifestyles of those who live in Harajuku, there’s something for everybody - and trust us, they’re the best antidote to LAT (life after Tokyo). Kanpai!
Rising Sun Workshop, Newtown
Don’t be fooled by the motorcycle workshop, this place not only knows motorcycles, it nails Japanese grub. Famed for its authentic ramen, Rising Sun Workshop offers three types of flavoursome broths: the darkness, the light and the monk. You can also ‘pimp your ramen’ with tasty trimmings like moreish pork belly and extra noodles – a must. Our pick? The Ryogoku. Inspired by a celebrated soba master in Ryogoku, the heart of Japanese sumo wrestling, the Ryogoku dish is fit for, well... a sumo wrestler, and it's as rich in flavour as it is in history.
Yakitori is synonymous with the izakayas of Shimbashi, and Tokyo Bird’s succulent grilled skewers cooked over charcoal will teleport you immediately to the bustling back streets of Tokyo. Searching for a stiff, well-deserved tipple after work? You’re in safe hands at Tokyo Bird. Specialising in Japanese beer, sake, cocktails and whisky, the Tokyo Bird team are fascinating to watch as they whip up a Japanese history lesson in a glass, right in front of you.
Toko, Surry Hills
Using the finest of ingredients and fresh produce, each dish at Toko is prepared with finesse and precision. Striking an alluring mix of casual sophistication, Toko offers a unique Japanese 'izakaya' dining experience, and is serving up a variety of delectable dishes inspired by Tokyo's coveted culture hubs: Harajuku and Shibuya. Don’t deny yourself the chance to try everything. We recommend sharing the tsuchi tasting menu. The flavours will immediately transport you to the bustling and colourful streets of Shibuya – you can’t go wrong!
Riley St Garage, Surry Hills
Okay, technically not a Japanese restaurant, but their Moreton Bay bug tempura with bottarga and ponzu mayo is as Japanese as they come. Ginza, Tokyo’s immaculate shopping and dining district is home to Michelin Star restaurants dishing up seriously tasty tempura – and this Riley St Garage dish could rival Ginza’s best.
Stanton & Co, Rosebery
Japan is obviously the home of sashimi (horse or chicken sashimi, anyone?!), and tons of restaurants try to replicate the freshness and texture of Nihonbashi's best – sadly, to no avail. But Stanton & Co’s kingfish sashimi with smoked garlic and yuzu soy comes pretty damn close.
This October, Webjet are in partnership with Tokyo to celebrate Tokyo's tradition and innovation. Find great flight deals to Tokyo today. Until October 31, Voyagin is offering a 5% discount for all Japan activities with the coupon code tastejapan2018.
Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau. Thank you for supporting the partners who make The Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.