March 8, 2016 / Leave a Comment
From the moment you walk into Toko and spy their gorilla geisha and pop art kitty cat, you know you’re in for a good time. Toko definitely delivers on good food and good vibes.
What we ordered:
SWEET POTATO FRIES – 40
CURED BEEF, TRUFFLE FOAM, POACHED EGG – 85
EGGPLANT MISO – 45
GRILLED AVOCADO, SWEET SOY, LIME – 50
GRILLED DUCK BREAST, AUBERGINE, PICKLED NASHI PEAR – 115
ROBATAYAKI GRILLED SKIRT STEAK 200G – 155
SKEWERED CHICKEN, SPRING ONIONS, SHICHIMI – 45
CRISPY DUCK, FOIE GRAS MAKI ROLL – 65
If you know me you’ll know I’m a sucker for sweet potato fries – having grown up with kumara, why would you bother with potato? Aaanyway, Toko’s version are a bit different to the norm with the Japanese seasoning they add, but overall pretty nice. Not sure it’s a step up from normal kumara fries and aioli, but an interesting variation. I loved their cured beef, truffle foam and poached egg – this dish is so good! Throw truffle oil in anything and I’ll probably like it! Nice to see some classic French ingredients sneaking into the Japanese vibe here to mix things up a little.
A fondness for French cuisine was once again evident in the unique foie gras and crispy duck maki roll – so delicious that I ordered two servings of this on my last visit (it is a little petite with six small pieces making up the plate). The foie gras doesn’t really jump out at you, but the crispy duck is certainly crispy and makes for a delicious bite.
The chicken yakitori is superb and intensely flavoured with layer upon layer of juicy marinated chicken. Speaking of juicy, so too is the robatayaki skirt steak – beautifully cooked. The grilled avocado was a nice accompaniment, though I’m still on the fence as to whether I prefer my avocado cooked or raw at the moment – but it’s a menu item I see popping up more frequently these days.
Being a massive duck fan, we also ordered the grilled duck breast with aubergine and pickled nashi pear, but the duck breast turned out to be smoked, and I personally prefer un-smoked duck. Would have been good to see that noted in the menu description. More of the puree would have been appreciated to balance out the richness of the duck – I probably wouldn’t order this one again.
The eggplant was a strikeout for me, not a pleasant flavour. I like miso, I like eggplant – but despite this combo being on seemingly every Japanese restaurant in town, I just don’t like the two together. An inedible portion of the same dish at Kanpai was the final nail in the coffin for eggplant miso for me – never again! There must be people out there who like this dish give it’s proliferation, so maybe we’ll just notch this one up to my personal taste.
Service on our first visit was great (party of two) and service by the same staff member on our second visit was unpleasant (larger group). Perhaps they were just having a tough day, there certainly was a crowd about.
Definitely enjoyed the offerings at Toko and no doubt I’ll be back again – might have to try out some of their brunch offerings. Go check it out if you are a fan of Japanese cuisine!