Sat at the food bar around the yakitori grill and teppanyaki hotplates, watching Masterchef Hideharu Shimura brought back memories of the film Jiro Dreams Of Sushi on Sushi Master Jiro Ono. Co-owner Sarasa Shimura has brought out her father from Tokyo where he had been been Head Chef at Michelin Star Tokyo restaurants. Master Shimura is a joy to watch, like a venerable master with years of experience in creating food he loves passionately. There's no Gordon Ramsay histrionics, all is calm and under control.
Co-owners Sarasa Shimura and Mark Smith used to be at Soto in St Mary's Bay. Tokyo Club is an opportunity to bring Yokocho style dining to Auckland. It's laneway dining, reminiscent of the Izakaya and food stalls serving gastronomic delights in the alleys between main streets. Ponsonby Central fitted their vision, there is a laneway at the back where the food outlets are. This is urban dining, Tokyo-style.
Most of the food can be shared. The Agemono comprise lightly fried share-style dishes: Chicken Karaage, Agadasdi Tofu, Cured Bacon & Cream Cheese Spring Rolls. There is Okonomiyaki but it only for lunch. My favourite is the Duck Dumpling Shumai, served with shoyu and Japanese mustard, best eaten hot as soon as it arrives. The warm Chawan-mushi makes an appearance in their well-considered menu. There is a good sake selection, even one called Sarasa, after the co-owner, brewed by sake masters at the Kawatsuru Sake Brewery on Shikoku Island.
You can round up your meal with a choice of 2 ice creams. My choice was the Yuzu Citrus Ice Cream. Or you can have the Green Tea Ice Cream.
4 Brown Street