It's only after we're seated that we notice the bottles of liquid lit up from underneath. It's not until after that I realise that these are bottles of Tokonoma's signature house-infused beverages, or “shochu." To be perfectly honest, I didn't realise that Tokonoma Shochu Bar and Lounge is Tokonoma's full name. And the levels of lighting in there are so low, that I couldn't really read the drinks menu to pick up on this. We had a bottle of wine included in the Team Spreets voucher that I had bought for my friend's birthday and we decided to take it easy on the alcohol. But I have heard very good things about the sochu at Tokonoma. I've heard that the gen awa cha (genmaicha-infused shiro shochu, orange flower bubble tea, lychee tea, ($17) in particular, is a must try. It'll have to wait till next time for me.
The staff are extremely competent, the service is efficient and fast and we always have at least 1 item of food on our table at all times. Within minutes of being seated we had two glasses of lovely cold white wine (perfect to combat the scorching temperatures of this week) and warm, salty edamame in front of us.
|gyu niku no tataki seared beef, pickled onions, mizuna, garlic chips|
|watari-gani kara-age crispy soft-shell crab, wasabi mayonnaise|
|assorted selection of nigiri|
I enjoyed each new vessel our meals were plated on, almost as much as the food. The nigiri was fresh and melted in your mouth. The tofu was delicate, yet layered in flavours and the the shreds of dehydrated chilli were a nice subtle touch. The grilled prok melted in your mouth and had a delicious grilled flavour (even though I don't normally order pork).
|tofu with misu paste|
(more photos to come)...
We finished it all off with a palate cleansing misu and some more of our bottle of wine. We thought we were all done, but then the dessert came out. The icecream was served on ice, which was nice touch and the mango in particular was very tasty. The creme brulee had some mystery items at the bottom of it and was unlike any other creme brulee I've had before. This was accompanied with some tropical fruits: strawberry, kiwi fruit, lychee and dragon fruit: yum.
The ambience, food and beverages, service and the design of Tokonoma all combined to make our visit a memorable one. It's contemporary Japanese food (a fusion perhaps) was spot on. We had a great time having a look at all of the bottles of Sochu on the way out, as we re-entered the ridiculously hot summer night.