..... Enjoying life, one bite and plane ride at a time

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tokyo Tina

If you read my blog often enough, you will know I do enjoy eating out A LOT. Tokyo Tina was one of the latest places I became obsessed with over Instagram (yes I am very active on it and maybe even slightly addicted). So it gave me the perfect excuse when D asked to eat somewhere new.

Located on Chapel St, Tokyo Tina is the poster child for that hipster restaurant with fusion food, cool decor and filled with people. Oh and yes! There is a "no booking system" unless you come with a full posse. D and I learnt the trick over the years is to show up after 8pm with only 2 people, chances are there will be a seat at the bar (we don't mind) or it's just a short wait. AND yes it did work for us this time as well.

Once seated we had a lovely waitress attend to us straight away to explain how the menu worked and to take our drink order. Melbourne weather (being freezing cold right now), turned me off getting my usual cocktail. We were quite unadventurous and just got water (yes, I know how boring... and wow I am on fire with my attitude today). 

On to the important part, to start we got 2 ceviche. First one was the Kingfish with wasabi and apple in a charcoal cone. The kingfish's freshness was enhanced with the apple. Only complain for me, it was too small, I wanted more!

The other ceviche was the Tasmanian salmon tartare. This was fresh diced salmon with cucumber and nashi served with a crispy skin cracker. Great combination of fresh, crunch and sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

For the salad we got the poached chicken with wombok, edamame and mizuna. This was my favorite dish of the night. The chicken was succulent and refined. Wombok was a good change from the typical salad leaf options. The edamame and mizuna took it to that next level. You need to try it to understand what I'm talking about.

As a side we decided on the spiced edamame. This felt like a bad choice but a good choice. Bad choice because we were very full and it came with the main, good choice because it was freaking tasty and we wanted to clear the the plate but we were full to the brim.

For main, D and I got a ramen each. I went with the Ash ramen which had a tonkotsu base, pork belly, soft boiled egg, seaweed and black tahini (basically grounded black sesame paste). This didn't quite hit the spot for me. I am more accustomed to my ramen broth being rich and thick. This didn't hit the spot and I wasn't liking the ash taste either. The actual noodle was the right softness and the pork belly was good but sadly the broth was a let down.

D got the classic, he has a tendency to judge a ramen with the classic. This was just like the ash ramen with the exception of the black tahini. It had the same issue though, the broth was just not rich and thick enough. Everything else was good but the key joining element, the broth, just didn't hit that spot.

We were going to say no to dessert but we got talking to Kha (2015 Masterchef contestant currently working at Tokyo Tina) and he said we had to try the Tokyo banana, so we took his word for it. It was a very small dessert (lucky it was small, we were very full at this point) consisting of banana mousse and salted caramel parfait in a banana shaped macaron. This was a great finish to the meal, it was just the amount of sweetness I needed and the salted caramel played that nice twist in the flavors.

Overall 16.5/20 Even though the ramen didn't quite hit the spot everything else went great. It left me wanting to go back to try more (and I will). The service was attentive and the creativity on the menu provides a good twist but still with enough familiarity and an array of choice.

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