Launched on January 17, 2024, the renowned Darling Group opened their latest venue Token, a captivating new 150-seat dining spot in South Yarra. Nestled in the bustling Toorak Road culinary scene, Token brings a touch of Asian elegance, drawing inspiration from the classic Japanese Izakaya style to redefine the dining experience with its unique and refined charm.
Token effortlessly transitions from daytime to night time ambiance, offering an eclectic mix of flavors, visuals, and sounds. Its central open bar and kitchen embrace the essence of relaxed dining, making it the perfect spot for early dinners, late-night bites, and shared meals.
The restaurant’s innovative concept is themed around the contrasts of Liquid & Raw and Charred & Flamed. The Liquid & Raw section features a bespoke raw bar where guests can enjoy freshly made sashimi and temaki, complemented by a dynamic cocktail list, beers, wines, and saké that reflect nature’s fluid and light elements. The Charred & Flamed section, originating from the open-fired kitchen, delves into the restaurant’s more intense, textured sensory experiences.
Token showcases a specially crafted Binchotan yakitori grill and a coal-fired oven as its showpieces. These, along with suspended hooks for delicate smoking and glazing, create an engaging visual experience for guests seated around the kitchen. In collaboration with Australian timber furniture firm Mark Tuckey, Token has also integrated bespoke, custom-designed furniture throughout its space.
The menu, meticulously conceived by Darling Group Directors Sam and Nicholas Seoud and Executive Chef Ashly Hicks, is executed with finesse by Head Chef Jun Sun, who brings his expertise from Nobu and Ichi Ni Izakaya. Chef Hicks notes, “Our menu is designed to attract those with a cultural curiosity, offering stunning, fresh Japanese-influenced dishes. At Token, every meal is a journey into a reimagined world, where our culinary prowess is showcased at the raw bar, offering diners a front-row seat to the creation of handmade temaki, raw selections, and caviar service.”
Token’s menu spans a wide range of umami-rich offerings, from raw delicacies and spicy innovations to skewered and chargrilled masterpieces. Signature dishes include Tempura Enoki Mushroom with Kombu Seasoning, Twice-Cooked Pork Belly Chashu Kushiyaki, Mee Noodle “Cacio e Pepe,” Coal-Fired Eggplant with Shiitake Mushroom and Black Garlic, and “Steak Frites” Wagyu with Japanese Pepper Sauce accompanied by Token Fries. These are best enjoyed with the restaurant’s curated cocktails, premium sakes, and select wines.
For an exclusive dining experience, Token’s Portal Private Dining space caters to up to 18 guests, offering an intimate setting perfect for private events and dinners.
Adding to the atmosphere, Token plans to host monthly DJ sessions throughout the Summer, seamlessly transitioning the space from a daytime culinary haven to a sophisticated evening locale.
Situated at 151 Toorak Road, South Yarra, you can make a booking at www.tokenrestaurant.com.au.