490 Crown St
What can we say but wow. Toko was amazing. The food, the service, the atmosphere - it all combined so well.
Sir was dining with the Princess and we sat at the robata grill and enjoyed the "show"while we ate amazing food.
We were fortunate to get there earlyish so we were seated straight away.
Our first choice was a serving of endamame - soy beans sprinkled with maldon sea salt. As a lover of maldon sea salt this was always going to start off well! The beans were lovely - soft on the inside and still slightly warmish - but only a hint. The beans popped out of the pods with ease and were an enjoyable nibble until the real food arrived. They cost $6.70.
Next up was our order of pirikara aburizake to avocado maki - consisting of spicy seared salmon, avocado and kazami wasabi. The salmon was so tender and the flavours combined brilliantly. The wasabi gave it a bit of a kick without overpowering everything. Presentation was excellent on a long wooden board with ginger and wasabi as a garnish. This cost $10.80.
We then moved on to the watari-gani no karaage - crispy soft-shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise. Now I have to admit to being a bit of a sucker for soft shell crab and usually order it whenever I see it. Therefore it wasn't any great surprise to order it here - but it was again amazing. The crab was cooked to perfection. light and juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The highlight was also the wasabi mayonnaise - the Princess described it as making the tongue tingle without burning the mouth. The dish was a bargain at $18.20
Our next dish was the wagyu no nigiri consisting of seared wagyu beef nigiri, eschallots and chives. We both agreed that we had never had wagyu that was as tender as this. Wow - it disolved in the mouth. We could have eaten several more of these - but then we would have missed out on other treats. The wagyu nigiri cost $16.20 - which is pricey for nigiri but considering it was wagyu and unbelievably good it was again a bargain.
Talk about meat dissolving in your mouth - this was another example of it. The meat on the pork spare ribs almost disolved before it hit your mouth - it was that tender!The ribs are coated in spicy soy and chilli sauce. They are pre-cut so you can share them easily. Yes you do use your fingers but so what. The meat is amazing and the sauce is just as good. The pork spare ribs cost $19.80.
We then finished with negima yakitori - or skewered chicken, spring onions and shichimi pepper. Again, the meat was amazingly tender. We actually watched them being cooked in front of us - being repeatedly dipped in the marinade and put back on the grill. It was droolably good to watch and just as good to eat. Although we were full by then it was all so good we debated what we would have doubled up on if we could have - and we couldn't agree. We also wouldn't have changed anything from the meal either. The yakitori cost $9.40.
We of course needed some drinks to go with such a nice meal. The 2009 Hollick cabernet sauvignon was probably a bit full for the light dishes but as a predominantly red drinker it was great. It cost $12 per glass.
The Princess couldn't decide at first between a cocktail or bubbles but eventually the inner Princess won out and bubbles prevailed. She chose a Yarra Valley 2008 Chandon vintage brut. It cost $15 per glass.
We both agreed that Toko was one of the best restaurants we had eaten at - the Princess going as far as to say it was in fact her best. Its great food, great service, great surroundings and a wonderful experience. Our amazing meal for two, with quality wine, only cost $108.00. Go there!