Inspired by the Izakaya bars of Japan and with a serious nod to the iconic music of the 80s and 90s, Kid Kyoto is a welcome addition to the Sydney restaurant scene.
As you enter Kid Kyoto through Bridge Lane, there’s a definate 90s-underground club vibe to the restaurant. A neon blue sign tells you to “come as you are,” while the industrial interior pays homage to both the punk and grunge scenes. With a hand-picked soundtrack of classic tunes playing from Nirvana to Portishead, Kid Kyoto is a feast for all your senses.
The menu is divided into different musical sections. For the “Intro” we try the deep-fried deliciousness that is the carrot-aage with native pepper berry and orange kosho, which provides a nice little flavour kick.
Next up, we go “Raw & Unplugged” with the beef tartare ‘teriyaki flavour’, nashi pear and whipped katsuobushi. Spoon the beef onto the sesame leaf and wrap it up before eating. It’s a fresh and flavourful experience.
“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage” as we head to the “Main Stage” with an audio side of Smashing Pumpkins. The Wagyu +4 sirloin with Red Hot Chilli Pepper miso and tsukemono looks tempting, but we choose the Soundgarden-inspired ‘Black Hole Sun’ pork belly with nori jam, apple and pickled radish. It is mouthwateringly delicious in convenient cube sizes. We pair this with a “B-Side” of corn, nori and fish ‘chahan’ fried rice which is so moreish I keep going back for seconds (and thirds).
The diverse drinks menu “Smells Like Mixed Spirits” offers beer, sake, wine, shochu, whisky and tea. I choose the signature Kid Kyo-tini cocktail which mixes Archie Rose ‘Kid Kyoto blend’ gin with Noilly Prat, Junmai Daiginjo saké, fennel and edamame shrub. Served in a pretty glass, it’s strong but I like it. My partner orders the Inn Bloom, a mix of Bloom gin, Shiso saké, grapefruit, yuzu, strawberry and thyme shrub. It is a beautiful pink colour, with a matching delicate floral taste.
If you have room for an “Encore”, then there are some rather tasty dessert options including chocolate fondant with caramelised miso, chocolate crackle, kinako and coconut ice cream; or toasted yuzu meringue tart, green tea and blueberry. I finish my meal with a Tsuru Yuzushu. I sip this sweet and sour drink made from the yuzu fruit grown in Wakayama, as one of my favourite 90s one-hit wonders, Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” comes over the speakers.
It’s the perfect way to finish this Japanese trip back to the 90s, a seamless blend of iconic music and impeccable food.