The Star closes Chinese-Japanese restaurant Chuuka in Pyrmont

Chefs Chase Kojima from Sokyo and Victor Liong from Melbourne's Lee Ho Fook led the kitchen at Chuuka.
Chefs Chase Kojima from Sokyo and Victor Liong from Melbourne's Lee Ho Fook led the kitchen at Chuuka. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Chuuka, the waterfront Sydney restaurant with a high-wire culinary pitch that slid into the former home of Pyrmont's Flying Fish, has joined the post-lockdown casualty list.

Bankrolled by The Star, the restaurant offered a mash-up of Japanese and Chinese flavours and techniques. The name Chuuka was a play on Chuka, an early fusion cuisine created when chefs in Japan started interpreting Chinese dishes for the Japanese palate. It enlisted some top-shelf talent, drafting in hatted chef Chase Kojima from Sokyo and Victor Liong (Melbourne's Lee Ho Fook).

"Following a challenging year for the hospitality industry, The Star Sydney has opted to close Chuuka – its first off-property venture," a spokesman for The Star told Good Food.

Tempura yuzu chicken from Chuuka.
Tempura yuzu chicken from Chuuka. Photo: Edwina Pickles

With Flying Fish closing and relocating at the end of 2018, its long-time home in the timber-beamed Jones Bay Wharf was given a luxe refit replete with inked walls by tattoo artist Deepak Munsami before Chuuka moved in.

"For Australian diners who know how good both Japanese and Chinese cuisines can be as singular entities, combining them seems like a compromise of both. But hey, Chuuka is Chuuka, right?" an early Good Food review of the restaurant pondered.

The restaurant's timing was challenging, with its mid-2019 opening giving the team little time to find their feet and audience before the pandemic hit. Kojima will shift his focus to Sokyo, but there's no news on what's next for one of the city's premier waterside restaurant sites.