Level 3, Langham Place, 555 Shanghai St, Mong Kok
Visited 4th December 2009
Friday night and a mate organised dinner for a group of us at Tokoro. I normally avoid restaurants in hotels, but was pretty impressed when we strolled into the third floor of the Langham Place hotel. This robatayaki style Japanese joint is working hard at being hip and the rotating ‘cage’ where we were seated was all rather cool. There seems to be a definite emphasis on quality ingredients with plenty of fresh vegetables and seafood on display around the kitchen counter. They also have a separate bar area for those who simply want to look cool and drink, rather than look cool, drink and eat.
I’m not a massive eater so was hesitant when my mate suggested we go for an extensive set menu, but got talked into as carb-loading for the Macau Marathon. First off was a simple lettuce salad with row and croutons and an appetizer of tasty marinated eggplant sprinkled with bonito flakes. The salmon, tuna and sea bream sashimi that came next was beautifully presented as well as fresh and tasty. Then it was the first robatayaki round; velvety textured, grilled tofu and fish balls. Next stop was miso soup, enriched with tiny claims; it was satisfying stuff. Then it was time for more stuff on sticks; this time Kobe beef and minced chicken, accompanied by grilled corn and asparagus. The simple char grilling allowed the flavour and quality of the ingredients to shine. Tempura time next with a crisp fried oyster, prawn and a couple of sweet potato slices. The food fiesta continued with mushroom topped chawanmushi, a bowl of chewy homemade udon and finally sesame ice-cream to finish an epic eating adventure.
Being saner (or perhaps less susceptible to peer pressure) Joey wasn’t interested in a set, but instead ordered homemade udon and a couple of robatayaki items; a grilled pork chop and sausages. The noodles came with plenty of tender beef, onions, and an egg and were floating in a lovely soup base. The grilled pork chop was decent and the little frankfurter style sausages were tasty, but not remotely Japanese. With the samples she had of my meal she walked away happy.OK, so I’ve listed off a whole parade of dishes above, but what did I think? Was it good? Was it worth it? Would I do it again? Well I certainly enjoyed the food; it was beautifully presented, well prepared and genuinely tasty. However while delicious it’s worth noting that it wasn't particularly innovative or overly interesting. If my meal was worth it is a whole other discussion. The quality of the ingredients was obvious, but was I getting $650 worth of these ingredients? There were only two slices of each type of sashimi, a couple of cubes of Kobe beef, a single prawn and a single oyster. The cool setting and professional service however helped make the experience memorable; so would I do it again? I don’t have a big appetite so can’t really see how gorging myself to excesses is meant to be pleasant. Joey’s food was good and more reasonable at $37 and $47 for the grilled meat and $97 for the tasty udon. I definitely liked Tokoro enough to visit again, but wouldn’t bother shelling out the coin for the multiple fat boy courses.Visit restaurant website.