Through the torrential rain and downpour we pushed open the door to Tokyo Japanese restaurant. A sushi restaurant in Cluj Napoca.
The host/waitress greeted us with a warm smile, dressed in traditional kimono Japanese dress, and promptly took us to a table for two.
We sat next to the sushi bar, which is always my favorite spot in a sushi restaurant as I like to see my food prepared with the skill and patience needed for such a fine art of being a sushi chef; there’s just something so magical about it, and kinda sexy.
The music was very traditional also with its chimes of relaxation, and the waitress arrived with a menu both in Romanian and English for us, and took our drink order with a smile and friendly chat; what a difference from the service we’d received earlier that day at Enigma (You can read my review here https://ahangrywife.com/2018/05/20/enigma-in-all-its-steampunk-glory-cluj-napoca-romania/)
. I already loved this place.
Asahi was our drink of choice; a beer company founded in Osaka Japan back in 1889, which prides itself on being Japan’s number 1 beer. A simply beautiful lager fit for most occasions in my humble opinion.
Together my husband and I both ordered the Salmon sushi plate for 95 lei each.
The plate consisted of 4 pieces of salmon sashimi, 4 pieces of salmon nigiri, 8 pieces of a salmon Philadelphia roll, vegetable tempura, salmon and vegetable teriyaki, miso soup, and a side salad. Can you believe it? All of that food for just $24 or £18. I was blown away, and extremely excited for what was to come.
The hostess never left the room, but was also out of the way, patiently waiting incase we needed anything at all. She was so quiet you hardly knew she was even there as she became almost part of the furniture standing at the back of the room minding her own business; now that was service.
Our food arrived shortly after, and I was fascinated to see the chefs take such pride in their work as they moved each piece of sashimi and sushi around with tweezers making sure it was in the correct place and looked beautifully presentable for the customer.
I really can’t explain this plate without showing you the picture first, so here it is.
Beautiful, right? A real amusement park of joy for the eyes. I was in sushi heaven. The first thing I tried was the sashimi and oh boy was it fresh; the salmon literally melted in my mouth in all its buttery glory, and my husband and I found ourselves nodding in approval, knowing exactly what each others thoughts were but needing not to utter a single word to get the information across.
Absolutely fantastic; the chefs had even put a small layer of wasabi between the rice and fish on the nigiri – very traditional I learnt in Japan, but a method I don’t see quite as much as I thought I would elsewhere in the world.
Every single piece of sushi I put into my mouth was followed with bulging eyes and nods of excitement and joy – in unison with my husbands matching delight – as my plate slowly started to disappear and enter my grumbling stomach. Thank you sushi gods for this fine delicious treat!
I quickly moved onto the teriyaki and was once again blown away at a dish I didn’t think could possibly continue getting better, but yet here I was nodding again like a little noddy dog ornament in the back of the car on a pothole filled road; if I didn’t calm it down I’m sure I’d strain my neck.
The teriyaki was fabulous – bursting with flavor, and the salmon and vegetables had clearly been cooked on a grill and charred slightly to add even more layer and texture to the dish.
Next up I tried the miso soup, realizing I probably should have started with that, but forgiving myself and diving straight in anyway. Another win! The broth was exceptional, and I could taste the love and devotion that had gone into the process of making this soupy dream.
The tempura was my least favorite as I did not like the batter they had used. It wasn’t bad in any way, but just not to my palette as I felt it was heavy and chewy even with the fish sauce dip. I’ll take one flop out of the whole plate as it really was not a big deal. I almost couldn’t even finish the food I already had, so to leave the tempura and the mini side salad was ok by me.
I was absolutely full to explosion and I had zero regrets; if I had been wearing button down jeans I’d maybe have been uncomfortable right now with my waist expansion, but thank the lord for jeggings and their elastic band!
What a fabulous meal.
The restaurant itself really did not look like anything at all from the outside, and definitely not anything as spectacular as what it actually was; deceiving to say the least. It just goes to show that it’s not the appearance that counts, it’s what’s inside that truly does matter. Even the toilets were decked out with floss, toothpicks, mints and fresh cloths to wash your hands and face. Not a single thought or need was overlooked at this beautiful establishment that is Tokyo Japanese restaurant.
When I arrived here in Cluj Napoca I had no idea that I’d have some of the best sushi I’ve had in months right here in this Romanian city; what a pleasant surprise.
With one more Asahi to end the meal, which left me feeling even more full and wishing we’d gone for sake, we ended the night and walked home hand in hand; looking forward to the next few days and what this new adventure had to offer. As we left the restaurant the chefs shouted in unison those famous Japanese thank you words of ‘arigato gozaimasu’. We politely said the same back and nodded a goodbye as we stepped out into the night.
Until next time,