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Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Newly opened TokyoLima in Central – Japanese-Peruvian fusion distils best of both food cultures

Nikkei cuisine delivers creative, colourful dishes with texture and robust flavours

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 3:11pm

The restaurant group behind the popular Italian bar and restaurant Pirata in Wan Chai has embraced a Japanese-Peruvian theme with their latest opening, TokyoLima.

Better signage would help locate the restaurant, which is above a car park even though the address would lead you to believe it’s on the ground floor. Once inside, we were transported to a somewhat exotic place, with dim lighting and rickety sofa seating that is too high for the table.

Bar review: TokyoLima, Central – a selection of sakes in a laid-back atmosphere

Our server introduced the restaurant as an izakaya that serves sharing plates in the Nikkei style, or a combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. Sounds intriguing? And for the most part it is.

The evening we visited was the first day following the soft opening period and several items on the menu were stamped “out of stock”. We were told the menu was still being reworked.

We started with la ostra (HK$160), a trio of Daniel Sorlut fresh oysters on the half shell seasoned with ponzu and wasabi, tigre de leche (tiger’s milk) and green sprouts that set the creative tone for the evening and whetted the appetite.

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The bivalves were followed by salmon tiradito (HK$160), a salmon ceviche using the acidity from passion fruit tigre de leche. It has a sharp acidic taste, but we liked the combination of textures, which includes ikura (salmon roe), avocado and crisp fen si noodles.

Another likeable dish was the Nikkei-style soba salad (HK$90), or S.S., a colourful mix of avocado, cherry tomatoes, sprouts and seaweed tempura over a bed of buckwheat noodles. Light and refreshing, this would be a fine lunch for one.

Our main event was the lobster acevichada (HK$340), a whole grilled lobster flavoured with chilli butter. Sliced lengthwise, it looked appetising on the large platter, but it would have helped if the kitchen had either completely extracted all the lobster meat or given us implements to do so. The lobster was slightly overcooked, as the meat had almost lost its bouncy texture, but a squeeze of lime perked up the taste.

We had room for a few more bites and ordered “sticks”: skewers of meats or vegetables. We enjoyed picanha (HK$150), cubes of tender beef rump that came with an edamame purée and pickled cucumber, while the grilled octopus (HK$150) was very salty, due to the black olive tapenade and capers.

TokyoLima, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2811 1152