In the heart of Surry Hills, Sydney, a culinary gem has emerged on Crown Street this week, where tradition meets creativity. Itō, the latest addition from ESCA Group, has breathed new life into a cherished location, formerly home to Cuckoo Callay. With a seating capacity of 85 guests indoors and 25 alfresco seats, Itō invites you to embark on a unique dining experience.
Leading the kitchen at Itō is Head Chef Erik Ortolani, whose passion for Japanese cuisine has taken a creative twist. With previous stints at renowned establishments like Cho Cho San and Nobu, Ortolani has reimagined the Japanese Izakaya concept. His menu boasts inventive dishes that will tantalize your palate. Imagine yellowfin tuna served on bonito bread with shaved bottarga or Wagyu mafaldine paired with white shimeji and miso. Each plate is a masterpiece designed to spark conversation, laughter, and a craving for more.
I’ve always been passionate about Japanese food, and Itō allowed me to combine my Italian heritage with my love for Japanese cooking. We've created a menu that's distinctly Japanese yet infused with fresh seasonal produce and bright flavours. - Chef Erik Ortolani
The name Itō draws its inspiration from the Kanji term for "stay-drink-place," reflecting the essence of traditional Izakayas in Japan. Itō aims to capture this atmosphere, providing a haven where patrons can sip sake, savour delectable dishes, and unwind while overlooking Crown Street. Comfort and class come together seamlessly at Itō, transforming your dining experience into a memorable occasion.
Complementing the exquisite cuisine at Itō is a thoughtfully curated drinks menu. Mark Anderson, Group Bar Manager at ESCA Group, explained, "We wanted to create a drinks menu that complements the food's unique personality and the timeless venue design." The result is a diverse selection of Japanese-inspired classic cocktails, wines from Japan, Italy, and Australia, and an extensive variety of sake. Whether you're an adventurous drinker or a casual sipper, Itō definitely has something for everyone.
Architect Matt Darwon played a pivotal role in transforming Itō into a visual masterpiece. The venue seamlessly connects the indoors and outdoors while ensuring engagement across its two internal levels. Tasmanian Blackwood furniture, leather furnishings, Japan-black stained floorboards, and vibrant splashes of colour come together to modernise the aesthetic and express the unique personality of Itō.
"We're thrilled to bring the community along on Itō's journey, as we strive to be an extension of the neighbourhood's desire to reconnect and socialise, with delicious and exciting food at the centre of every occasion." said Co-Founder and Executive Director at ESCA Group, Ibrahim Moubadder.
Experience the culinary enchantment of Itō, Surry Hills' freshest Japanese Izakaya. Visit itorestaurant.com to secure your table and join us in a toast to tradition and creativity – where every bite and sip is a delightful adventure in flavour and style!
413-415 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, 2010
Wednesday - Sunday
12pm until 2.30pm (last booking)
Sunday - Thursday
5:30pm until 9:00pm (last booking)
Friday - Saturday
5:30pm until 9:30pm (last booking)
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