The latest opening on Chippendale’s Kensington Street is Japanese eatery, KY-OTO, offering Sydneysiders two separate dining concepts.
Housed in one of Kensington Street’s heritage terrace houses, the restaurant comprises an intimate dining room as well as a more casual external courtyard located in the adjoining Spice Alley – a hawker-style alleyway behind Kensington Street which boasts a range of Asian food offerings.
KY-OTO’s courtyard menu will be more casual than the dining area, serving up bowls of homemade ramen; hot and cold udon; and rice dishes such as salmon teriyaki don and shogayaki don.
The dining room will also serve the full ramen, udon and don menu along with a wider selection of typical Kyoto dishes such as okonomiyaki; takoyaki octopus balls and tempura.
KY-OTO was designed by Australian-German architecture firm, LAVA. LAVA director, Chris Bosse, said the design intent was to create a traditional Kyoto eatery that fused traditional and contemporary elements.
“We combined 100 year old brick walls with contemporary designer bamboo lights, traditional solid timber logs with backlit perspex screens and a heritage 19th century courtyard with digitally printed graffiti,” Bosse said.
The dining room opens into a courtyard decorated with Japanese lanterns and surrounded by live bamboo and Australian-made recycled timber furniture. Murals of geishas created by local street artist, Scott Marsh adorn the walls.
Back inside, the kitchen is framed with a modern interpretation of classical Japanese screens and features contemporary tiles that emulate traditional Japanese brick patterns.
Kensington Street is located on the eastern edge of the $2 billion mixed-use urban village, Central Park, and comprises a mix of heritage-adapted terrace houses with interconnected courtyards, warehouses and rooftops bars.
The transformation of Kensington Street has included restaurant and bar openings such as that of Automata, Silvereye and Jason Atherton’s recently opened Kensington Street Social.