Finally I made it to Tokeyo with some gals after work. This place came highly recommended and it did not fail to disappoint. In fact it exceeded our expectations. We were warmly welcomed and as we’d arrived earlier than expected, we decided to have a pre-dinner drink.Tokeyo is tucked away nicely in Edward St, the former Vivo Enoteca. It’s been transformed into a slice of Japanese heaven. The walls are adorned with bright, funky graffiti art, exposed brick and neon signs. The private dining room is to die for and ladies will love the pink theme. Loud music is played which we were fine with. You do feel you’re in a nightclub but without the dancing.
They have an amazing drinks lists with Japanese cocktails, beer, sake, wine. I was so tempted to try the plum wine and sake but as I was driving, we all opted for a gorgeous Japanese vodka (Shochu) soda drink. We chose a different one each; peach/blueberry (mine), mango/coconut and original green/grape. They were so delicious and refreshing. Please sir can I have some more! We were advised to be careful of the sake as if you’re not used to it, it can knock you for six.
Their menu is designed for sharing (izakaya-style, which means tapas), based on classic Japanese cuisine. We can have sushi anytime so we ordered some different bites; edamame, black pepper chicken and tuna sashimi. For mains we chose the chicken karaage, okonomiyaki pancake and the prawns. The tuna arrived first and was devoured quickly. It was sensational accompanied with ginger and miso. Then our mains arrived. We were shocked at the portion size but that didn’t stop us from almost eating them all. The pancake was our favourite with prawns and pork belly. The chicken was yummy and the two gi-normous noodle-battered prawns were interesting and not bad. Us gals can eat big but we were getting full, and we forgot about our other starters that hadn’t arrived. So when they did, we were surprised at how much we’d ordered.
We were told the dishes came out at different stages which was fine. The pepper chicken was lovely and served in a banana leaf (I think) surrounded in a lovely red sauce. Our edamame unfortunately were dry and very disappointing. We only ate two and left them. We let our friendly waiter know however instead of taking the constructive feedback (we are professional hospo peeps), he was unfortunately defensive and kept giving lame excuses. He also kept telling us the chef was leaving. Um we didn’t really need to know that. Young man waiter was helpful but a little annoying at times, so perhaps some additional customer training around ‘that fine line’ would help him. Our waitress was lovely and we did enjoy that she regularly kept checking on us, but at the appropriate times.
I showed hubby my pics as was so excited when I got home. Not having been to Japan (yet she says), he said ‘Wow that so looks like Japan’. So having an authentic slice of Japan in Welly is a good thing. We’d go back in a heart beat. I need an occasion to use that gorgeous dining room! I think I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so.