today was the most hellish monday i have had in a while. i left work late and arrived at the tube to find tube chaos on the piccadilly line due to a person on the tracks. i made a dash for the victoria line only to find out half way down the escalators that it too had been suspended due to a signal failure. since o was working late too i called him and told him to meet me at green park to while time over dinner in the hope that we’d be able to tube home.
o suggested jom makan but i was wanting japanese so suggested that we try toku. toku’s menu is quite extensive and o and i studied it whilst eating wasabi peas so sharp that i had watery eyes. i always like eating sashimi, mostly because i love the taste of it but partly because it is an indication of the freshness of the fish and the skill of the chef. toku gave me the perfect combination of salmon sashimi don – a bowl of rice with sashimi and miso soup on the side. o ordered his usual chicken teriyaki set. i choose the genmai cha (brown rice tea).
the tea had a robust roasted rice flavour. out of curiousity i lifted the lid of the teapot and found brown rice in the filter along with some ground matcha. both our entrees were beautifully presented. the teriyaki had a glossy brown glaze with a bright and colourful salad on the side. the rice had some black sesame sprinkled on it. a gentle stir with chopsticks brought together the cloudy centre and clear edges of the miso soup. my sashimi was a contrast of salmon pink and spring green onion and wasabi.
and it all tasted as good as it looked. the miso was as it should be. not too salty with the hint of umami and the comfort of warm broth. the sashimi don was accompanied by what appeared to be a soy sauce but was actually very mild. together, the sauce with the slightly warm rice and the crunch of spring onion cut through the richness of the salmon. the salmon itself felt like silk in the mouth. o’s teriyaki had that sweet and salty and slightly sticky taste that is customary of it. the sweetness is akin to brown sugar but something more complex. it is a taste that i have always failed to identify.
to finish, we had the daifuku mochi which have a reputation for themselves. apparently, mochi is a traditional japanese sweet made from rice that is pounded and stretched into pastry. the pastry is filled with anko (sweet azuki bean paste). what i love about these tiny ball shaped sweets is the texture – the stretchy, chewy rice pastry contrasting with the smooth mellowness of the bean paste. not to mention the deep maroon filing against the pale slightly cool rice white. daifuku means ‘great luck’ so i am hoping that eating them will bring changing fortunes, although i fear that the only changing fortune with our waistlines.
we would definitely recommend toku and i personally think it is quite reasonably priced too.
16 regent street| london| sw1y 4ph