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Sun 13 Sep 2015 04:07 PM

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Review: Toko’s Marine Day Menu

Japanese restaurant and lounge has created an 11-course set menu offered throughout September

Review: Toko’s Marine Day Menu

Can you say “umi no hi?” That’s Japanese for Marine Day and food-anese for delicious 11-course meal at Toko Dubai. In celebration of the national holiday, the Japanese restaurant and lounge created a set menu offered throughout September. Naturally, we had to try it out. Here’s the verdict in a nutshell:

Let’s talk food first:

Favourite starters

Salmon tartare and Japanese salad. Let’s put it this way: the salmon tartare was so tender and tasty that we could have eaten a ton of it. We liked pairing it with the salad because it was sour and worked well as a contrasting taste.

Favourite mains:

A unique aspect of Toko is that they serve all their raw fish on a bowl of crushed ice. This was particularly pleasing when we were served a huge amount of cold assorted sashimi and maki rolls.

Our next favourite main was the rock shrimp tempura with spicy mayonnaise. It was crunchy enough and not too spicy. In one word: délicieuse.

Last but not least, the grilled avocado and smoked miso salmon were a match made in heaven. Though two different dishes, we combined them to create a delightful - yet healthy - pairing. The creamy avocado complimented the fish and worked as a nice side dish.

Favourite dessert:

Take what we’re about to say very, very, seriously: Toko has the best chocolate fondant in Dubai. And by the time you’re done with it, you will be left yearning for more.

You know how the chocolate in chocolate fondants is usually bitter and tastes like dark-chocolate? This was NOT like that – thank heavens, because we all know dark chocolate is a healthy option, and we don’t like our chocolate healthy, thank you very much.

It was just the right amount of sweet and was also served alongside vanilla and orange ice cream, of which the latter was a nice, sour twist.

Now let’s talk décor and ambience:

Design: 

Toko’s traditional Japanese theme was evident in its wooden floors, dim lights, and low seating. But there were cartoon-like contemporary posters on the wall that gave it a fun and modern twist.

Ambience:

Unlike the posh - and sometimes snobbish - ambience of Zuma and Okku, Toko’s is high end in a classy manner. In the restaurant area, the music was low and easy on the ears, yet slightly louder in the lounge. The tables were not too close together so it provided privacy.

Good for:

We don’t know if it was the dim lights or view of the Japanese-style garden outside that made Toko so romantic. But even on a weekday, the tables were almost all filled with couples. We say it’s the perfect venue for a date, just make sure your date likes seafood!

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