On January 30th, 2011, the fateful night of my 24th Birthday, my boyfriend, my best friend and I all went to London to try out the Japanese restaurant Toku.
As we entered, and commented that we had made a reservation, we were curteously brought to our table and handed the very fine-crafted wooden menus. Left to think for a while, the first thing we were struck by was the immense amount of choice.
Pages and pages of the finest sushi, sashimi, curries, noodles and tempura dishes, along with other Japanese delicacies. We found it quite difficult settling on just one dish, so we each ordered two. One hot meal and one cold one. We also ordered two starters to share between the three of us.
Between the three of us, we ordered:
- Chicken Katsu Curry
- Salmon Sashimi
- Avocado Roll
- King Prawn Tempura
- Beef Gyu Don (with raw egg)
- Beef Udon with Broth
- Salmon and Eel Nigiri
- Assorted Nigiri Plate
I need to talk about these exquisite dishes before I move onto the desserts. My dish was the Beef Udon with broth, which was a fantastically large bowl for the price it was. The noodles were delicious and soft, the beef was tender and had a really good texture, the thin slices drew in the flavour from the broth. I also tried the Beef Gyu Don, which was lovely with the raw egg, a combination that you don't expect to work, but surprisingly does.
The Chicken Katsu Curry had a real bite that only lasted a few seconds, so you got a smooth and luxurious curry and chicken mouthful, plus a hit of spice at the end. Absolutely fantastic.
Then we get onto the sushi and nigiri platters. I really cannot express in words how perfect these were. The avocado was perfectly ripe and soft, just the freshest ingredients were used, and it really shows. The salmon, THE SALMON. I could write a whole post dedicated to the soft, buttery, velvety taste that was the salmon. It tasted like it had literally just jumped out of the sea onto your plate. It melted in your mouth and the flavour lingered there long enough to make you want to pop another one in. Really, really unexpected.
The Eel was another very, very good choice. Eel, when I have eaten it in the past, never having a bad flavour, but often being too dry or too slimy. This eel was brilliant, it, like the salmon, melted when it hit your tongue and was not chewy or unsatisfying in any way. It was perfect. All of the food we ate, even though we were so full, we finished because it was just so delicious. The quality was outstanding.
Then we had a break and chatted for a bit, before ordering dessert. I ordered Green Tea Ice Cream, which was very refreshing and was not overpowering in the least.
This food, this excellent food, really made my birthday something to remember, and we will definitely be all heading back there again.
5 stars for quality.