Itō Brings Izakaya With A Twist To Surry Hills

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 10 October 2023
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Itō Brings Izakaya With A Twist To Surry Hills

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 10 October 2023

Welcome to the Surry Hills neighbourhood Itō. The team behind Nour & Lilymu have given us another dining experience to covet in the Japanese Izakaya space.

Sydney has received a delightful infusion of Japanese cuisine with the arrival of Itō. This exciting new establishment, brought to you by ESCA Group, has taken over the cherished Cuckoo Callay location in the heart of Surry Hills. Itō proudly joins the group’s restaurant portfolio including Nour in Surry Hills and Lilymu in Parramatta, which are both highly regarded in Sydney’s dining landscape. Itō promises to take guests on an entirely new journey by surprising them with innovative interpretations of traditional Japanese dishes.

Itō can seat 85 guests with their choice between the inviting ground-floor dining area or the elevated upstairs section. 25 alfresco spots have also been integrated into the restaurant’s design, creating the perfect setting for casual streetside dining during the warm summer months.

The celebrated Australian architect, Matt Darwon, has contributed his expertise to craft a warm and inviting space with clean lines, meticulously crafted Tasmanian blackwood furniture, plush leather furnishings, rich Japan-black stained floorboards, and vibrant splashes of colour. This modern aesthetic perfectly complements the elegance of Japanese style and sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

At the helm of Itō’s kitchen is Head Chef Erik Ortolani, whose culinary journey includes previous stints at Cho Cho San and 5 years as the head chef at Sydney’s iconic Nobu location. Erik’s passion for Japanese cooking is evident in his approach, which focuses on fresh seasonal produce, smart cooking techniques, and bold flavours.

Signature dishes include Yellowfin Tuna served on bonito bread with shaved bottarga and Wagyu Mafaldine paired with white shimeji and miso. For those looking to explore a variety of flavours, Itō offers a Classic Banquet for the affordable price of $89, featuring dishes like Edamame, Hiramasa Kingfish, Tako-tori Skewers, Koji Chicken, and Mochi Sorbetto. The Signature Banquet, priced at $129, includes delights such as Charcoal King Prawns, Braised Duck Dumplings, and Hibachi Wagyu.

Itō encapsulates the essence of an Izakaya which translates to ‘stay-drink-place’ in Kanji. It’s designed to be a charming space where diners can lose track of time, savouring drinks and food in good company.

The beverage menu at Itō is equally enticing, offering a selection of Japanese-inspired classic cocktails, quirky wines from Japan and Italy, Aussie classics, and an extensive array of sake. This diverse drink selection ensures a well-rounded dining experience on every visit.

Sydney foodies, get ready to discover a fresh perspective on Japanese cuisine in the heart of Surry Hills. Itō is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm – 2:30pm (last booking) and dinner Sunday to Thursday from 5pm – 9pm (last booking) and Friday and Saturday from 5:30pm – 9:30pm (last booking). Follow Itō on Instagram and book your table here.