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.