Restaurant Review – Toko

We were more than thrilled to be visiting Toko at Vida Downtown Dubai. Not only do we love the distinctiveness and sophistication of the hotel itself, but dining at Toko has been on the bucket list for a very long time. There is something about the elegant yet chic vibe that Toko exudes. Be it for a night out of drinks or just enjoying the upbeat vibe, Toko has a knack of gaining sheer popularity in the Downtown region. Well as for us being major foodies, there are no prices for guessing why we popped up at Toko. Perfecting the art of phenomenal Japanese cuisine is something very few restaurants possess. At Toko, seems like they’ve mastered it with their bold yet intricate flavors and the attention to detail in almost every dish.
For our tasting session last week, we showed up for the Tuesday special “Night Brunch” held at Toko every Tuesday from 8pm to 2am for 195Dhs per person. The night brunch also known as “Yugure” serves a selection of contemporary Japanese dishes for one to sample.
The brunch started with an assortment of small plates which included;
– Edamame in a spicy tangy sauce that tasted light and addictive.
– Green Curry Prawn Soup which tasted absolutely flavorful and comforting.
– Crispy Peking Duck Salad with Watercress and Herbs. This dish was probably our favorite among all. The duck was tender and had a crispy skin as promised, we also loved how the plum sauce added the perfect sweetness to the salad and highlighted the flavor of the duck.
– Raw Green Papaya Salad with Lime and Coriander. This dish holds a crunchy texture and a tangy sensation by the raw papaya making it taste healthy and scrumptious.
– Chicken Yakitori. These were tender pieces of marinated chicken on a skewer. It looked really simple but the flavor was spot on. We wish we were given ten of these to sample.
– Black Cod and Prawn Fish Cakes with Smoked Red Chilli Relish. The fish cakes were soft and the relish was a perfect compliment to it. However we felt the fish cakes tasted a bit soggy and the balance was a little off.
– Home Style Vegetable Spring Rolls. The spring rolls tasted good due to the crispy outer layer. However we felt it unnecessary and not in line with the rest of the starters offered.
Our starters were out of this world delightful, and to our surprise we weren’t even done yet! After tasting the small bites and salads, we were then presented with a massive and decadent looking Sushi Tray with a selection of some of the most delectable sushi. Our favorites were definitely the salmon and avocado sushi. On the tray was a beautiful display of Salmon Tartar, Snapper Ceviche and Tuna Tacos. Each element on this platter had its own unique flavor of making you go weak in the knees and the entire platter was swiped clean.
The next leg of our Night Brunch was an assortment of Dim Sums. We had a choice of two dim sum dishes per person, and each dish is served in pairs. The choices include seafood and asparagus dumplings, jade dumplings, chicken and mushroom dumplings, prawn har gau and chicken char siew pau – a sweet sticky bun with chicken filling in the middle. Our favorite was the prawn har gau since the prawn was cooked perfectly and the dim sum was extremely juicy.
Finally for our mains, we each had a choice of one dish of “Nikuman Sliders” which is Japanese inspired sliders. Our choices included Braised Beef and pickles, Soft Shell Crab served with wasabi mayonnaise, barbecue duck and cucumber and Japanese Angus Burger. The first set of sliders we opted for was the Soft Shell Crab with Wasabi Mayonnaise. The crab was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. We loved the addition of wasabi in the mayonnaise adding heat to the sliders. We also tried the Japanese Angus sliders which was heavenly, perfectly cooked and lip smacking delicious!
To wrap up our evening for dessert we sweetened our taste buds with a selection of Mochi which is Japanese Icecream. It tasted very unique with a gelatin like outer layer, and the icecream filling inside had a frozen mousse like consistency, which tasted really impressive.
After our dinner, it was safe to say that Toko ticked all the boxes as to what delicious Japanese cuisine should taste like.
Ambience – 3.5/5
Food – 4.5/5
Service – 4/5
Value – 4/5

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