Since its opening in 2014, Tokyo Japanese restaurant has created quite a stir in the Nairobi dining scene and the nascent restaurant community. Normally when a new restaurant opens in Nairobi, people flock to it, but after a short time they move on to the next big thing. This restaurant, however, has continued to maintain its popularity and the consistent high quality of its food. This is no doubt thanks to Phillip Shin, the head chef and owner, who is a licensed Japanese chef in Kenya.
Tucked into the Lavington district in Nairobi, Tokyo is located in a very serene spot, with lush gardens which make a great backdrop for a hearty lunch with friends and family. However, after having visited several times, I think the evening is the best time to go. The tables are always neatly arranged and the lights create a mood that’s perfect for a romantic dinner. My first time visiting the restaurant was during a wine pairing dinner. The table setting was impeccable and we sampled an array of sushi and wine. It was one of those cold Nairobi nights where the rain heartlessly poured, but it felt great to walk away from the chaos outside into this haven.
The menu includes both Japanese and Korean sushi and non-sushi items, including specialties such as avocado salad, prawn tempura and agedashi tofu (vegetarian). The sushi is delicious and they have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options — I recommend the sushi platter, which consists of a Philadelphia roll and tuna. It’s also wise to try one of their signature cocktails, which are sure to start the night on an exciting note. Their wine list is also very comprehensive, and features wine from all over the world.
Tip: Try one of Tokyo’s Japanese whiskies — they have created quite a furore globally, and are excellent here.