When I left Sydney earlier this year, I left behind dozens of amazing restaurants and some I thought I’d never have the opportunity to dine at again. Amongst my favourite Sydney based restaurants, Toko in Surry Hills was unarguably my first preference for delicious Japanese cuisine. A multiple award winning restaurant, Toko Sydney has revolutionised Japanese dining in Australia over the last 7 years, with a concept that offers clientele modern ‘izakaya’ style dining in an impeccably designed setting.
So when I heard that Toko had ventured across the globe and opened in Dubai, I was all over it like a seagull on a piece of chip.
Introducing Toko Dubai!
After seven long excruciating months, I finally had the chance to dine at Toko Dubai and what a memorable experience it was.
Upon pulling up to a little service road along Mohammed Bin Rachid Boulevard, where the luxurious Vida Hotel Downtown stands tall, we handed our keys to valet and rushed inside to escape the humidity and were ready to kickstart a delicious night ahead.
We kick started our night with the mandatory chilli and salted edamame beans, which were steamed to perfection. You can never go wrong with edamame!
1. Tuna tataki, ginger dressing and pickled cucumber – We loved this dish so much, that we ordered a second. The tenderness of the tuna tataki allows it to simply melt in your mouth.
2. Crispy rice, tuna and truffle oil – These were a little heavy, but perfect if you’re after a single starter to satisfy your tastebuds until the main arrives. The truffle oil works magic in this one!
3. Pan fried scallop, sweet pickled apple and jalapeño garlic dressing – Personally, I am not a fan of scallops, so I let my uncle do the rating on this one. The jalapeño garlic dressing had him dancing for a little while, but agreed that it was that spicy kick that capped off the perfectly pan fried scallop.
4. Alaskan crab salad with a yuzu dressing – Such a light and refreshing salad if you’re after something small for your starters. The freshness in the greenery is paired deliciously with the Alaskan crab and yuzu dressing.
5. Salmon tartare, wasabi miso and sweet potato chips – If you’ve been following my reviews for a while now, you’ll notice the common trend in my salmon tartare obsession! Toko’s version took the crown though. Presented impeccably, the chilled salmon tartare was by far my favourite starter of the night.
6. Salmon and tuna sashimi – Just when we through our starters couldn’t get any better, in came the fresh salmon and tuna sashimi. A little thick for my liking, the sashimi was exquisite nonetheless.
7. Cured beef, warm dashi foam, soft poached egg and truffle – With a very strong garlic taste, the cured beef was a little different at first, but after a second attempt the soft poached egg with a kick of truffle pulls you back in for more.
8. Rock shrimp tempura and spicy mayonnaise – The shrimp was fried to perfection. With a hint of spiciness, the mayonnaise accompanies the shrimp perfectly.
9. New style thin sliced sashimi snapper – A light dish before we ordered our main courses, the snapper was a refreshing break after nearly a dozen dishes.
10. Prime tenderloin, miso wafu, radish coated with a rosemary dressing – Being a meat-lover, I couldn’t let a dinner slip without ordering a piece of prime tenderloin. Grilled at medium-rare, the best way to order tenderloin in my opinion, the radish and rosemary provided the greatest combination.
11. Half a grilled lobster with ginger-shallot relish – The lobster was absolutely amazing. I am always a little hesitate when ordering lobster out at dinner, however after the head chef personally recommended the dish, we took his word and my God were we thankful.
12. Saikyo miso marinated black cod – Japanese restaurants here in Dubai continuously battle over whose black cod is the best. I’ve heard many say, the title belongs to either Toko Dubai or Nobu. I’m yet to try Nobu’s version, but Toko Dubai has my vote already.
Monday – Sunday: 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 7:00pm to 2:00am
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