For well over 10 years now, we’ve had a family tradition of going out to dinner on Friday night. At least 2 of those years were religiously to Tokyo Restaurant, in Karen. It felt like home. Exquisite Japanese and Korean cuisine with a touch of family. Owned and managed by Executive Chef Mr. Y.H. Shin, with decades of experience under his belt, it was always a pleasant experience. We easily became regulars. Free desserts and sake quickly became a thing, and loyalty grew.
One Friday, we pulled up to the restaurant at about 8pm like we normally would (late dinners, I know), and it was closed! They had moved and we hadn’t heard a word about it. Naturally, we felt a little betrayed. I mean, just a week ago (DO NOT burst into song), we had had dinner here, and now they weren’t there. Tokyo had moved to Kolloh Road, Lavington.
Lavington was a little far for us to drive to, so we settled for another restaurant and haven’t been to Tokyo since. Well, until three weeks ago. I told papa that we were going to go and look for Mr. Shin, and so we did. Boy was it one big happy reunion. Everyone could remember us; from the waiters, to Geunhak (Mr. Shin’s son). Check out the vlog to see it all. And of course, we got a treat on the house. 🙂
The new restaurant is nicer, and I am happy that it seems to be doing better than the Karen one. Lavington is still a little far to drive to every Friday, but I reckon we’ll be going back soon.
Probably my favourite part of it all. Majority of the seating is outside in the garden with a beautiful canopy of trees overhead, and no artificial lighting. It’s all candlelight, with a few fairy lights on the trees. It is so romantic, with smooth jazz playing in the background. There is some indoor seating, with lots of natural light as the walls are open, if that makes sense.
Tokyo is a Japanese restaurant. So be ready for all things tempura, teriyaki and even a teppanyaki experience. Red snapper, sushi and all-round seafood goodness. They have a good vegetarian menu; 10 brownie points Tokyo!
Food & Drinks:
- There’s a complimentary salad drizzled with peanut sauce to start off your meal.
- We ordered some deep fried squid starter (not sure what the name is on the menu), which was oceanic paradise.
- I would normally have sushi but decided to switch it up and have the sizzling prawns. They come served with rice and lovely stirfried vegetables. I had at least 10 prince (I think) prawns on my plate and struggled to finish. Flavour-wise, the prawns were sweet and juicy, infused with the juices from the vegetables. SLURP! Papa had chicken teriyaki served with rice.
- I had the house white wine which was a vintage 2005 (can’t remember the farm); a blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. It was so good. I’m used to restaurants serving crap house wine, but this one was good. Papa had a red, not sure which.
- They have a decent wines list and the drinks menu has everything from mango juice to sake.
The waitstaff are very attentive and the service is quick and smooth. You are guaranteed to have Mr. Shin himself stop by your table at least once, which really makes one feel cared for.
Also, we got a treat from Mr. Shin- seared akami -which is basically tuna nigiri seared with a blow torch. Akami is the reddest and most lean cut of tuna aka ‘normal’ tuna.
I sense that the prices might have gone up slightly, but still comparable to most Nairobi restaurants. We had 1 starter, 2 main courses and I think 4 (or 5) glasses of wine between the two of us and the bill came to just over Ksh7000. You can pay by cash or card.
Thanks so much for reading. Watch the vlog!
LOVE AND LOVE