MELBOURNE GOURMET GUIDE
Melbourne is a wonderful city for eating out. There’s history, tradition and umpteen luxury hotels with cool international cuisines. Also there’s street food. I am often asked about my favourite places to eat so I am putting together my Gourmet Guide. Being a restaurateur, I know what goes on behind the scenes. In addition to that I eat out a lot and I’m always on the lookout for spaces that serve nutritious food. Consequently, when I do come across eateries like these I love to blog about them.
Tokyo Tina in Melbourne is a casual and intimate dining space which caters for drool-worthy Japanese/Vietnamese fusion food. As a bonus, it’s in a setting that inspires and woos me with its contemporary urban aesthetic and other intriguing pop culture elements from the Far East. For these very reasons it happens to be one of my go-to eateries. Also, because it’s from the group behind Saigon Sally and Hanoi Hannah which has broken away from the luxe stereotype of Japanese restaurants.
No matter where you are seated at this 100-seat restaurant, it’s a visual experience. Notable features are the quirky bistro with its outdoor holding bar, and elevated dining room composed of open plan and booth options. From the moment you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported onto the streets of Japan and Vietnam. Their attention to detail can be seen through their use of table mats as bingo and authentic crockery. With vibrant, colourful wall art from ceiling to floor, this hip café’s playful and happy vibe carries through to the presentation and plating of their food.
Food & Cocktails
Managing to create the right balance between innovation and comfort, each portion is treated like a new canvas, and served like art on a plate. Their ‘Snapper Udon’ alone will make you come back again. Exploding with flavours with each bite, it is light, fragrant, powerful and nothing short of spectacular. And then there is the mouth-watering ‘Chirashi Don’ which is comfort food at its finest. It’s the kind of stuff dreams are made of. Whether it’s their baos, bowls or plates, you’ll be pulling out your camera phone to achieve some serious Instagram #feedgoals. Their signature cocktails are worth giving a shot. Lastly, if you are up for something versatile, then they serve an extensive selection of sake. It perfectly complements their food without overpowering its flavours.
To sum it up…
What appeals the most to me about Tokyo Tina is that this all day dining space is always ready to satisfy just about any of my cravings. Above all, I love the holistic approach to service and food. Finally, from grabbing mid-day meals to a quick snack and getting our modern Japanese food fix, these dishes not only satisfy my eyes but also my soul.