Just a few blocks from Sydney’s infamous Kings Cross, the well-heeled suburb of Potts Point has long been a haven for sophisticated foodies. Cho Cho San in Macleay Street easily meets the high bar set by its culinary neighbours.
Passing through the sliding brass door, the first impression is one of calm; the interior fit out (by George Livissianis) is monochrome and minimalist: perforated panels frame the white brick walls; pale polished concrete an interesting design twist.
The menu is varied though not extensive and suits our fussy group with several delicious plant-based options (okra tempura, agedashi tofu, eggplant miso stick) and a range of delicate sashimi choices (the hiramasa kingfish is spectacular).
Koji glazed lamb cutlets silence the carnivores who nibble down to the bone. For dessert, try the fun and refreshing soft-serve green tea ice cream cones, or black sesame ice cream mochi.
Alcohol is an important element if the menu is anything to go by – after a restrained one page food offering, there are five pages of drinks to choose from including a substantial sake selection and a long list of whiskies. Our choice of West Australian Riesling feels a tad safe but works perfectly with the meal.
Head Chef Nicholas Wong (Ester, Rockpool, The Apollo) is all about elegant simplicity in his food with a focus on quality ingredients, layers of flavour and exquisite presentation. Service is the right mix of relaxed and professional, though tight seating arrangements make it challenging for staff to manoeuvre between tables.
One downside is the noise level – there’s little in the way of soft furnishings to dull the rising decibels. Anyone hard of hearing will struggle with dinner conversation, but this is the only gripe we could muster.
The bill for four including wine came to $315, which may put Cho Cho San in the special occasion category – but in terms of overall experience, well worth splashing out.
73 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Ph. 9331 6601 Licensed.
Review by Jane O’Connell, 3rd April 2016