The #BFFs squeezed into Cho Cho San about as hungry as we could bare so we could sample as much as we could of their re-imagined Japanese cuisine.
It’s the new hip and happening place in Potts Point – a snug village in every way. It can be tough to get a table at any great eatery around here, tougher to find a place to park a car, even tough to get a temporary spot at a bar while you wait for your table to become available.
But that’s the fun of Potts Point. Be prepared to change your plans according to the popularity of the places here. It’s also the good half of one suburb – the flipside of Kings Cross. Potts Point is everything the X is not.
[Apologies to all Kings Xers. I loved the place enough to have 3 addresses there – when it was a celebration of bohemia and controlled crime. It was a place where rich and poor rubbed shoulders over coffee, where artists bitched about being with and without money, where international models and actors treated Victoria St as a catwalk and a casting couch. It was the time before the internet and before the X became Schoolies Week every weekend. I don’t care if this is a cliché but yes ‘those were the days’.] BFF renée
Back to the present – Cho Cho San…
Once we scored seats at the polished slab central table, it reminded me of the fun and interactive dining of Longrain. Elbow room is tight but when you are sitting with old friends and making new friends there’s nothing to complain about.
Belinda – one half of the BFFs and senior snapper at Belinda Rolland Photography – took all these great shots with available light (no flash) and enjoyed the company of the inspiring blonde couple on our right, Barry and Tarryn…
… while I chatted with our brunette buddies – Billy and Fiona.
The kitchen is open, fresh and happening right there in full view. We like the honesty of an exposed kitchen. This kind of transparency invokes a lot of trust and respect for the culinary artists at work.
Sake is a specialty of ChoCho San but as usual, the BFFs kicked off with some signature cocktails.
The one on the right is the Tripitaka – Zubowka vodka, apple ginger cider,nashi pear and kiwi.
And yes – named after the character in the classic TV series Monkey Magic.
It was one of my favourite TV shows growing. That’s Triptaka on the horse:
And for a bit of that famous theme song – hit play and enjoy 🙂
Belinda makes friends easily with great cocktail artists – meet Dan Jones who created divine whistle-whetters.
The one above is Ryeuchi – bullet rye whiskey, umeshu, luxardo, lemon & cherry sour nectar finished with shaved ice.
There she is. Wave, Belinda! Oh, she can’t. Too busy sipping that 2-handed cocktail.
It was during these cocktails, the #BFFs found our first mantra:
Laughing about that distracted us from our hungry bellies for a few moments.
Now for the cuisine.
Everyone around us was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over delicious dishes so much, it made us glance impatiently at our empty plates.
Note the double-ended chopsticks – very smart idea. No thinking required.
Belinda’s beautiful photos tell the story of the dishes without too many words from me.
Well, maybe a few words becasue I can’t help myself…
This highlight dish is Spanner Crab in a lightly wood-fired crusty bun:
Continuing the bun theme – a steamed version of cucumber and duck smoked in jasmine tea:
Impaled Beheaded Prawns.
To finish off – dessert. It looks like a green tea palm tree on a deserted island.
Cho Cho San has a proud pedigree. This new Japanese-inspired dining experience is by the team who created the Greek sensation Apollo.
They are Jonathon Barthelmess on the left taking a photo of Belinda taking a photo of him – and Sam Christie on the right. Head Chef Nicholas Wong (ex-Billy Kwong and Rockpool) is centre stage.
The BBFs rate Cho Cho San 8/10.
I loved it enough to check the diary for my next free night so we can return and try all the other dishes we have yet to enjoy.
Cho Cho San 73 Macleay Street Potts Point
02 9331 6601
Tues-Sun 6pm-late, bookings taken.
Lunch will be served there soon.