For lunch today, I wasn't really sure where to eat. After all, there are not many restaurants nearby that I haven't tried already. While driving down Scott Road, I noticed that the new Japanese restaurant residing at the old location of Pico Bello had opened for business. I quickly pulled into the parking lot to give it a shot. Yah I know, Japanese food for the second straight day. Honestly, I can eat Japanese food every day if I had to. Thank goodness there are a lot of them. Of course, there are a lot of Japanese restaurants; yet not necessarily Japanese-run. Well, I can confidently say that Tokyo Sushi Express is Chinese-operated. With that being said, I will say what I've been preaching all along: it doesn't matter who makes it, as long as it tastes good.
So other than the addition of a sushi bar and Asian-theme lighting, the restaurant looks almost as it did before. I was the first to arrive for lunch and was greeted warmly by the staff. I think that one of the servers is actually Japanese since she didn't understand a word of what the other staff were talking about in Cantonese. I did and it's interesting to eavestrop on their conversations. Apparently, they are still working out their kinks being so new. I was tempted to order a combination lunch; but I decided to do a-la-carte to try more of their sushi. For me, cooked food like Teriyakis and Yakisobas are not necessarily the best indication of good Japanese food.
I started with Salmon & Tuna Sashimi and they came in really large slices. It's not the best sashimi I've ever had; but honestly, it wasn't too bad. Fish was not mushy and it tasted alright. Next up was 4 pieces of Nigiri which included Unagi, Inari, Toro and Chopped Scallop & Tobiko. Interesting that these looked a bit small since there was very little rice. Not really an issue for me because I don't like too much rice with my nigiri anyways. It was more or less decent for its location. The sushi rice itself exhibited an acceptable texture where it was slightly chewy and a bit sweet. Not much in the way of vinegar and it was a tad on the dry side. I also decided to try out the Phoenix Roll which consisted of imitation crab, scallop, tamago and cucumber encased in a soy wrap. The roll looked nice and was pleasant enough to eat; however, it could've been rolled a bit more tightly. I had to gingerly dip each piece into the soy/wasabi mixture so it wouldn't fall apart.
As if this wasn't enough, I decided to try out the Takoyaki as well. While I was waiting for it, I heard them yelling (and they were doing their best Cantonese "yelling") about where the takoyaki was. That made me a bit nervous because that would indicate premade takoyaki which would ultimately be deep-fried, not pan grilled in a mold. When it arrived, it looked the part, maybe a bit more bonito would've helped with the presentation. They weren't bad per se; but the inside was not as fluffy as I would've liked being a tad doughy. But it did taste alright. And that probably sums up my meal, it was acceptable. Nothing great while nothing bad. It's okay given that there are not many Japanese dining options nearby. Pricewise, I thought it was pretty reasonable and the service (for me at least) was extremely attentive.
- Attentive service
- Food is alright
- Lacks a bit of authenticity (if that matters to you)