The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Tokyo Bird, Surry Hills

January 6th, 2015  |  Published in Bars, Latest  |  2 Comments


Just opened: Tokyo Bird in Surry Hills.


Having followed this yakitori bar on Instagram for nearly a year, it’s nice to see that it’s transformed from small-screen pixels and eatery-in-progress to an establishment you can step inside and happily sink a few hours.


It’s still early days (it only opened on Boxing Day, after all), but so far Tokyo Bird offers a small menu of skewers – Bacon Tomato, Shiitake, Cheese Sausage, Eggplant, etc – and the yakitori section surgically extracts any possible parts from a chicken and sticks it all on a grill (Thigh, Wing, Livers, Giblets).


It’s decently priced for Surry Hills ($5-$7 for two serves of skewers), and you can notch up other Japanese accompaniments, too, like Renkon Chips ($5.50) with chilli mayo and a good mound of Potato Salad ($5.50).


Co-owner Jason Ang used to work at Sokyo and was keen to create a yakitori bar that doesn’t forget the actual bar element – in fact, he wanted to balance both parts, and not make it seem like the drinking or dining component was just a support role for the other. So there’s a compact list of Japanese beers, Asian-inspired cocktails, wines and Japanese whisky flights available from Monday to Friday.


What adds to the just-like-Tokyo feel is the laneway it’s hidden in – I’d never ever walked down this side street before, but the surprise sight of a bar all-aglow and buzzing with people in an unremarkable, easy-to-overlook spot is one of the glorious features of Japan. Here it is, in an unexpected patch of Surry Hills.


Tokyo Bird, Shop 2, 226-228 Commonwealth St (entry on Belmore Lane), Surry Hills NSW (02) 8880 0788, Follow Tokyo Bird on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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  1. I used to read your blog back in high school but somehow lost track of it after a few years. For whatever reason I thought of it again and am super pleasantly surprised to see that it’s not only still here but still thriving. I love the way you write! So excited to catch up on three years worth of backlog!

    • Lee Tran Lam says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Wow, what a lovely comment to receive. Thanks so much for reading it back in high school and reconnecting with it after all these years. Thanks so much for your ultra ultra kind ways about my writing, too. It’s such a heartwarming surprise to read such a generous compliment. Hope you make some good discoveries through the archive!

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

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This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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