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Sushi at Tokyo Restaurant, Alewife

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Sushi at Tokyo Restaurant, Alewife

Tir na nOg | Jun 13, 2003 12:59 AM

We dropped in for dinner last week at the Tokyo Restaurant near Alewife station (307 Fresh Pond Parkway). I’m sure you’ve probably seen it out of the corner of your eye rushing home—you know the one with the big “All you can eat Sushi buffet lunch” sign out front?

Now, normally I wouldn’t have much in the way of high expectations for anything labeled “all you can eat,” particularly sushi. But I’m happy to report that we enjoyed an excellent dinner worthy of a second trip.

First off, belying the rather plain exterior, Tokyo has a very attractive, spacious dining room, with a sushi bar, lounge area (TV) and a fenced off group of tatami platforms, the latter necessitating removing your shoes. Interestingly, the chef/owner’s attractive, kimono-clad wife informed us that Tokyo is the oldest Japanese restaurant in Boston!

Apparently, the place is very crowded at lunch with the local business crowd, but for dinner only 10-15 diners show up on a typical weeknight. So the service was quick and attentive. After a basic salad and the customary miso soup, we tried a plate of “Tokyo style” goyza. Not sure what “Tokyo style” refers to, but they were fried, and I thought particularly flavorful, although they could have used a little blotting to remove the excess oil.

Of course, we had to try a sushi platter, which was 13 different pieces of nigiri (necessitating a fight over who got which favorites!) and a tekka maki roll. Of particular note, the presentation was unusually pretty, with two cute little julienned kani “flowers”, which I’ve never seen before. The nigiri were better than average-sized “one-biters”, and the fish was tasty and fresh.

Now, one reason we decided to have dinner at Tokyo was that I had heard they served Nobu-style miso-marinated salmon, which is my all time favorite food on the planet. Unfortunately, I was misinformed, and they don’t. Instead, we tried a very interesting baked, tofu-stuffed salmon (crispy skin) dish in a thick, almost peanutty, sesame sauce, each piece wrapped in a bamboo leaf. This was a beautiful dish to look at, and delicious to boot.

Finally, for dessert we went with the inevitable, but tried and true bowls of green tea and ginger ice cream and glasses of plum wine.

Price wise, a reasonable $38 (although we received an additional 20% discount because we know the hostess, which I assure you has only slightly influenced this review).

Give it a try…

Cheers,
Kevin

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