You know what’s kind of surreal when eating at a restaurant offering a specific national cuisine in a country other than your own? It’s how everything out of place somewhat comes together to create a unique gustatory experience! Take for example an eating experience in Tokyo Restaurant, a Japanese restaurant in an Arabic city serving Japanese food with Indian and Filipino waiters to diners of various nationalities… fun!
Tokyo Restaurant in Orouba street looks like a traditional Japanese house set in the concrete jungle of Riyadh. I couldn’t help but do a double take when I first saw it. Once inside, I felt more “Japanese” with the paper walls, kanji, paper lanterns, wooden tables and chairs, teppanyaki grills, and chopsticks. I actually wondered if I had to leave my shoes before entering and sit on low tables to eat. Nope, didn’t have to.
I was excited to see the chefs cook in front of us when I saw the teppanyaki grills. Alas, the grills were put out of commission a long time ago! They are now mere displays. They should have removed them already and redesigned the place to open up for more diners. The restaurant can only accommodate around 6-7 families at a time so during busy hours, there is a rather long wait. However the wait should not dissuade you from eating in Tokyo Restaurant. The food more than makes up for it.
Tokyo Restaurant has been around for years. It’s known as one of the best, if not the best, Japanese restaurant in the city. The menu is extensive and the prices are just right. I am particularly fond of the salmon sashimi. The fish is served fresh and it has this melt-in-your mouth consistency. Yummy! I can finish a platter! Because I am so enamored with the raw salmon, I take little chances on the main meals. They’re just all right. The chicken teriyaki is the first savory dish I ordered in Tokyo because the teriyaki serves as my litmus test for a good Japanese restaurant. And Tokyo passes with flying colors. The chicken has an ample shine; its sweet coating not at all cloying. The bento is stellar in its portion. It has a little bit of everything and those bits just sit right in my tummy. The elements in the box are not too many, not too little. I love the potato karaage! The udon (noodles) has a light broth that has an acquired taste. I did not quite like it, except for the fried tofu that sits atop the noodles and broth. It might just be me though because I’m used to instant cup noodles. I recommend the macha ice cream for dessert. The sweetness of the red bean blends nicely with the slightly bitter taste of the green tea ice cream.
The service crew is friendly and fast. Their knowledge of the offerings is ample. I wish I can see the Japanese chef do the sushi in the family section too.
Okay, so I’m a Filipino being served by Indians (or fellow Filipinos) with Japanese food at a Japanese restaurant in an Arabic city. What’s so out of place in this picture? Nothing. No one. It’s a great gustatory experience that delights me every time. I go back for more!Tokyo,
This post was submitted by ellenaj.