Cho Cho San
Can you be too excited about soft serve? Most likely, yes. But the exception to the rule has to be the green tea soft serve at Cho Cho San in Sydney. Subtle, silky-smooth and wonderfully refreshing, this is a dessert that never fails to stir up a little excitement from its diners. But that’s just the cherry on top; the whole menu at Cho Cho San is full of thrill-inducing dishes. Take its pillowy-soft steamed bao buns, stuffed with perfect, crisp katsu pork. Or the delicious take on “Japanese bolognese”, which sees udon noodles slickly coated in chilli-bean paste and ginger, and studded with pork. Then, of course, there’s the raw bar, populated with juicy slices of everything from yellowfin tuna (served with rich, sticky gochujang) to delicious Petuna Ocean Trout, a fish which has earned the nickname of “Wagyu of the Sea”. But there’s actual Wagyu on the menu here, too, soy-glazed and cooked to perfection.
While the food menu is undoubtedly the first thing that gets a look from its visitors, aside from the sleek Japanese influences and minimalist aesthetic in the George Livissianis-designed interiors, that is, the drinks menu is a thing to be reckoned with and lingered over. From local and Japanese beers and ciders to European bubbles, there’s plenty to tempt. But it’s the cocktails that always seem to draw the eye. Cho Cho San has created some unique spins on your typical cocktails. Here, the Old Fashioned gets a yuzu caramel makeover, thanks to a good glug of yuzu caramel syrup, and an injection of potent, premium Suntory Kakubin whiskey. And its take on a Negroni (which you’ll find under the name “Nippy Rockshop” on the menu) mixes Sake, Tanqueray Gin, Italian red vermouth, Aperol and a good twist of orange together to heady effect.