July 26, 2014 Jounieh Keserwan Lebanon Middle East

Tokyo: Your Window to Where in Japan Exactly?

Phone Number: +961 9 838839

Address: 1st floor, Rached Center, Jounieh highway, Keserwan, Lebanon

Website: http://tokyolebanon.com

Price Range: 50-90 $


Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 3/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 18/30

Architecture / Interior: 5/10

Food presentation: 7/10

Service: 5/10

Value for money: Soon

Tokyo is one of the latest Japanese restaurants to open in town. I have been meaning to try this new place located on the first floor of one of Sahel Alma's commercial centers, but something refrained me to do so, until a friend of mind agreed to join me for the experience. 
To go to the restaurant you have to access the building, take the elevator; follow the corridor before reaching the restaurant. Tokyo's decor is a blend of wood, beige and burgundy colors. The space looks more suitable to be a shop than a restaurant.

Under the low ceiling, you will find dark wooden square tables surrounded by beige and violet leather chairs. A sushi bar, positioned on the left side, is where the rolls are prepared. Lanterns pending from the ceiling, over the ten high stools, add some light to the place. This same bar is divided into two sections separated by the LCD TV. We decided to sit next to the glass facade, with an overview of the busy highway underneath. We sat and waited. The first impression was not one of the best to tell you the truth. The loud music playing in the background was a guaranteed recipe for a headache. I asked for it to be turned of the minute we sat down. Two waitresses, who obviously don't know the meaning of a smile nor hospitality, show lack of professionalism. Taking the order, the waitress didn't seem to know the details of the menu. For example, I asked if they had some salmon skin maki, the waitress said they don't have... until I found it myself on the menu...

The menu:
  • Soups
  • Starters
  • Salads
  • Sashimi
  • Sushi
  • Gunkan
  • Tokyo special maki
  • Temaki
  • Futo Maki
  • Tokyo special dragons
  • Tempura maki
  • Crispy ura maki
  • Sesame ura maki
  • Hoso maki
  • Tokyo sets
  • Noodles
  • Rice
  • Tepeniaki and teriyaki
  • Desserts
Despite the fact that we were alone, we had to wait for more the 25 minutes to be served.
We ordered:
  • Tokyo Crunchy Heat comes with a spoon - a premiere for me in a Japanese restaurant. Cubes of salmon with crunchy bits mixed in a mayonnaise sauce on Lollo Rossa lettuce. To end every bite, a hint of spiciness is felt. In my opinion, the salmon cubes should be bigger and served with chopsticks. They should use less mayonnaise as well, but overall the taste is good.
  • Marinated Flamed Trio Salad. A Salad? What is the "salad" about these three portions of fish, served warm, burnt on the sides and covered with sauce?  I believe this is more of a main dish. But the fish should be cooked less and served with less green onions. The two lemon slices used to decorate the plate makes it look like a fish dish served in a Lebanese fish restaurants. The only good thing about this plate is the tasty marination.
  • Rainbow Dragon: On a rectangular plate you will find eight colorful maki pieces with salmon, white fish, shrimps and tuna. Inside are breaded fried shrimps and avocado. I liked the texture and the moist effect the avocado that equilibrates the mix. A strong spicy feel ends the experience in style. This was one of the best things we had, despite the ugly decoration of the plate.
Tokyo_Japanese_Restaurant_Jounieh36 I've asked for the "salmon skin" temaki. I received a grilled salmon temaki covered with bitter black teriyaki sauce that's not tasty and surely not appetizing. This temaki is a big no. I only had a single bite and stopped immediately. Tokyo_Japanese_Restaurant_Jounieh48
  • The pieces are fine, fresh, colorful and generous and most importantly they don't use those ugly green leaves for decoration. The salmon skin maki is a huge no, the sauce is bitter and the filling is too hard to chew. Seaweed roll is interesting and fresh. I like the rice that's not too chewy. The pieces are fine for a "casual Japanese" diner. The mango wraps are juicy.
Tokyo_Japanese_Restaurant_Jounieh46 Their slogan states: "Your Window to Japan" ... I somehow doubt that...
I was not impressed with the experience encountered at this restaurant, which should be classified as a Japanese casual diner. The service was average, the ambiance was dull, the rolls are like other casual diners around... Nothing to justify the $70 per person paid. We had no alcohol and no dessert.
The minuses:
  • Ashtrays with cigarette support? Why? Isn't smoking forbidden inside?
  • This is not a nightclub but a restaurant. Get another music playlist
  • No large San Pellegrino bottles! Why is that?
  • When plates are sent back to the kitchen half full and untouched, the least you would expect is that someone asks you why... considering the manager was on duty that day
  • The prices are way to expensive for what was served
I didn't feel anything extraordinary that would make me want to come back.





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