Having traveled to Japan twice now, I was recently reminded of its allure at the media launch of a new Tokyo Lunch initiative.

From now until 25 February 2014, Sydneysiders are invited to taste Tokyo at 8 different restaurants, namely, Azuma Restaurant, Blancharu by Yomo, Izakaya Masuya, Japan City Eat Street, Japaz, Ocean Room, Ooh Rice and Sake Restaurant.

Mr Katsuji Tochino, Tourism Representative of the City of Tokyo in Sydney said they hope the initiative will create a buzz around the different types of cuisine available in Tokyo.

“Tokyo is the ultimate foodie destination and for too long Australians have been under the impression that to eat well in Japan’s capital you need to pay top dollar,” Mr Tochino said.

“We have created this promotion to highlight that not only can you experience amazing Japanese food at any price, but that Tokyo has its only specialities that stands it apart from other regions of Japan.”

The launch event was held at Ocean Room and although we were treated to a few additional dishes to the Tokyo Lunch menu, for $36, I think they’re nailed it in terms of quality and quantity.

Chotto collection, Tokyo Lunch, Ocean Room restaurant Sydney
Chotto collection – a taste of Ocean Room’s signature small creations: cold smoked Sydney rock oyster, anchovy and tomato sorbet, yellow fin tuna tartare, crispy king prawn with wasabi aioli and chilled modern ochazuke

Cold smoked Sydney rock oyster, anchovy and tomato sorbet, yellow fin tuna tartare, crispy king prawn and wasabi aioli, chilled modern ochazuke

Essence of Tokyo, Tokyo Lunch promotion at Ocean Room restaurant, Sydney
Essence of Tokyo, a special creation by executive chef Raita Noda for the media launch: this is a selection of produce from the land (wagyu, foie gras and duck) and sea (cured cod, uni, abalone, and salmon roe) combined fresh and sealed in a tin in the kitchen, to reflect the city’s complexity

Collection of classic and modern Tokyo style nigiri sushi, Tokyo Lunch promotion at Ocean Room restaurant, Sydney
Edo-mae sushi, a collection of classic and modern Tokyo style nigiri sushi

Collection of classic and modern Tokyo style nigiri sushi, Tokyo Lunch promotion at Ocean Room restaurant, Sydney
Today’s selection: Tuna, imperador, Spanish mackerel, herring, trout, prawn, conger eel, tamago

Summer ichigo, Ocean Room
Summer ichigo – a sample of a sweet Tokyo summer: strawberry mascarpone with sweetened beetroot, strawberry chips, pop-soda strawberry & minty lemon air

Tokyo Lunch menus

[tabgroup]

[tab title=”1″]Tokyo Skytree pork katsu sandwich ($12) – lunch or dinner
Monja style BBQ pork bun ($12.50) – lunch or dinner

Japaz
165 Wycombe Road, Neutral Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 9904 0688
Web: japaz.com.au
Japaz on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”2″]Tokyo Izakaya set ($18.80) – lunch or dinner
Tekone sushi with marinated tuna, oden, yakitori and karinto manju with fruit

Izakaya Masuya
12 O’Connell Street, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9233 8181
Web: masuyainternational.com.au/en/izakayamasuya
Izakaya Masuya on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”3″]Tokyo sukiyaki set ($45) – lunch
Mini sukiyaki hotpot, sushi, side, raw egg, rice, miso soup and dessert
Tokyo sukiyaki dinner course ($66, from 2 pax) – dinner

Azuma
Level 1, Chifley Plaza
2 Chifley Square, corner of Phillip Street and Hunter Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9222 9960
Web: azuma.com.au
Azuma on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”4″]Tokyo wagyu burger set ($15.90) – lunch or dinner

Japan City Eat Street
Shop 605, Westfield Shopping Centre
1 Anderson Street, Chatswood, NSW
Phone: (02) 8065 3640
Web: japancity.com.au
Japan City Chatswood on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”5″]Tokyo prawn tempura chazuke ($23) or as a set with green tea pudding and coffee ($31) – lunch
Tokyo prawn tempura chazuke course ($42) – dinner
Ocean trout carpaccio, prawn tempura chazuke and green tea pudding

Blancharu by Yomo
Shop 1, 21 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 9360 3555
Web: blancharu.com.au
Blancharu by Yomo on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”6″]Edomae-sushi plate and strawberry dessert ($26) – lunch

Ocean Room
Ground level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West, The Rocks Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9252 9585
Web: oceanroomsydney.com
Ocean Room on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”7″]Tokyo Skytree chicken karaage curry ($10) – lunch

Ooh Rice!?
12b Hunter Connection Food Court
7 – 13 Hunter Street, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9223 9962
Web: facebook.com/ooh.rice
Ooh Rice!? on Urbanspoon
[/tab]

[tab title=”8″]Tokyo teishoku ($33) – lunch or dinner
Grilled miso-marinated fish, chicken karaage, sushi and dessert

Sake Restaurant
12 Argyle Street, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9259 5656
Web: sakerestaurant.com.au
Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon
[/tab][/tabgroup]

For more information about the Tokyo Lunch campaign, go to tokyocp2013.org.au/tokyo-lunch

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.