Hong Kong lost a fantastic restaurant in Chicha, the swanky Peruvian restaurant that served their famous platter of ceviche and authentic Pisco sours. The Pirata Group, that has also brought us la Pirata and the Optimist (review on foodbaby) have wowed us so far with their offerings and lucky for us, have brought the chef from Chicha, Peruvian Chef Arturo Melendez to reintroduce Nikkei food to us Hongkies.
Tip: Tokyo Lima sits on Lyndhurst Terrace on the first floor (although the address says the ground floor) of a building with no clear signage that a restaurant sits inside. Look out for a parking lot and you will know you are there.
The concept is almost an Izakaya style setting with late night drinks (on weekdays they close at 3am) and tapas style plates all for sharing. The mood lighting is spot on with the focus being on the table to give an almost ‘candlelit’ feel. The ambience is also perfectly set with some rhythm and blues, soul and funk music playing in the background. We were so impressed, we asked for their Spotify playlist which is actually licensed to the restaurant only!
Having been for both brunch and dinner, I can tell you that the concepts are the same but of course the brunch menu gives you a much more generous offering- if you think you will go hungry, guess again! They will even ask you if you are not full enough to let them know and they can bring more sharing plates. Foodbaby indeed!
Like all the Pirata Group restaurants, Tokyo Lima offers the brunch set for 398 HKD + 180 HKD for free flow drinks with no service charge included. All the plates are for sharing but you can have your main dish to yourself.
First up were our ‘sharing plates’ of fried chicken, soba noodles, beef tacos and a mixed salad. As we were 6 people we got 3 dishes of each (one dish to share between 2 people!).
The Ki Mo chi fried chicken was deliciously crispy, had a good balance of meat to batter and went well with the ‘spicy’ alioli served on the side.
The soba noodles and salad were the lighter of the starters and had enough going on to keep them interesting and flavourful.
The beef tacos went down well with everyone, although I got one comment from a friend that the beef wasn’t seasoned enough.
Next up was the ceviche ‘bar’ which is a bit misleading as everything is brought to the table instead of there being a ‘bar’. Again one dish is shared between 2 people. The leche de tigre ceviche with seabass is an apparent aphrodisiac and hangover cure, perfect for brunch and very refreshing! Our Hamachi and tuna ceviche was simpler but the fresh ingredients speak for themselves! By this point however our stomachs were expanding!
Luckily for us there was a pause in between the starters and the main course. Then along came the Yakitori chicken, steak and black cod. The chicken and cod got a big thumbs up from us, however they missed one beef main and as everyone had asked for medium- well there should have been some consistency. Unfortunately, my friend’s beef looked very undercooked. It was an obvious mistake on their part and such a shame as the rest of the meal was spot on.
Lastly, came the ambiguous dessert platter which turned out to be mango, coconut and raspberry sorbet and 2 servings of banana split with caramel and cinnamon ice cream. We almost finished these which is a testament to how good the desserts were (my favourites being the mango and coconut sorbets).
For my dinner outing, we ordered the maki avocado rolls with a dousing of rocoto chilli mayo to give it an extra kick, the tuna tartare came with plenty of wasabi to clear your nostrils and the tacu tacu which is a rice and vegetable dish made with leftovers was actually a very comforting and satisfying dish which really surprised us given how plain it sounds.
With its lounge atmosphere and fantastically fresh and vibrant food, I can see why this restaurant is very popular and full whenever I have been. I hope the quality remains consistent and it could become my go to dining spot. Another winner from the Pirata Group and a very happy Foodbaby!
G/F, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace
Ph: 852 2811 1152