I love TokyoLima. Since it opened nearly three years ago, I’ve been at least half a dozen times, which is a lot considering the number of new restaurants that open up in this city. But it’s always so good. The dishes are fresh, inventive and just plain tasty. The vibe has that cool, mysterious but comfy feel. It can get a little loud in there – sometimes you have to shout to hear what your tablemates are saying – but that’s a small price to pay.
Executive Chef Arturo Melendez, who has held this post since the restaurant opened, likes to experiment and has just released TokyoLima’s Henko Collection of dishes. Henko is Japanese for “change”, so change up the menu he has! There are a whopping 15 new dishes.
During a recent tasting, we tried nearly all of them. Here are some of my favourites:
La causa ($150): I think this is the tasting portion, so don’t be put off by the size. A bed of cake-like beetroot causa is topped with creamy prawn tartare, rocoto mayo, charred avocado and a plump tempura prawn.
Tiradito de pulpo ($170): the Sicilian octopus slices were incredibly soft and accompanied by a variety of tastes and textures: a strong sweet-and-sour aji panca (red chilli pepper) sauce, salty and tangy capers and creamy avocado.
Akami tiradito ($155): this was one of the most special dishes of the night. Tender slices of maguro (bluefin tuna) are paired with a smooth black sesame citrus sauce, paper-thin sesame crackers and wasabi tobiko (fish roe). It was my first time having tuna with sesame and I was surprised a) by how much I liked it and b) that the flavour of the tuna still stood out against the sesame.
Los Andes ($100): a refreshing wheat dish with crunchy almonds, pops of quinoa, baby green beans and a rocoto citrus dressing.
Tuna and watermelon tartare ($160): so much love for this one. The tuna melted in the mouth, and there was a lot of it. The salty-sweet soy citrus sauce was also lovely.
Beef tataki ($160): when there was one slice left, my side of the table did the “Does anyone want the last slice?” dance, and sadly I didn’t get to claim it. Because this tataki was so good, I want to order a whole plate for myself next time – and I’m not even a big beef person. It was so tender and flavourful. Eat it with just the sauce or with some of the tangy mango salad.
Grilled cod ($290): a beautiful piece of cod with a creamy aji amarillo (yellow chilli pepper) and mint sauce.
TokyoLima continues to impress. It was packed on the Thursday night we visited, and the Henko Collection is sure to draw guests back as well as attract new ones. Congrats to Chef Melendez and the Pirata team on these new dishes!
G/F, Car Po Commercial Building, 18–20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2811 1152, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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