Friday, January 22, 2010

January 18, 2010: Toki Japanese Restaurant

Edit 28/12/11: Toki has now closed and there's a dumpling restaurant in its place.

What with living and working in the neighbourhood, I must have walked by Toki dozens of times without paying it any attention. Then That Jess Ho posted a picture of their 'Lucky 7' and I paid attention. I stopped by Toki for a Friday night dinner with a couple of friends and found the vego options pleasant, if not inspiring - mostly I was just disappointed not to see the Lucky 7 on the menu.

It's actually a permanent fixture on their lunch menu, so this week I craftily steered a group of colleagues there at midday. There are also a few noodle soups that look veg-friendly and I casually cast my eye over them, pretending I wasn't just here - and dragging my co-workers here - for a taste of the Lucky 7. I nonchalantly placed my order, and waited and tried to contain my anticipation as everyone else was served and my hunger grew and eventually, finally, my Lucky 7 turned up.

For $13 you receive "an assortment of at least seven different items, such as daily salads, poached vegetables, sushi rolls, noodle and vegetable tempura and deep fried tofu with miso sauce". I was disappointed that the tempura was stone cold, but ultimately those starchy discs were probably my favourite part of the meal. Other highlights included the seaweed salad, dressed with sesame oil and seeds, the lotus root salad, the miso-topped tofu, and the fresh orange-flavoured dressing on the cabbage. It's a lot of food, but most of it is light and bright and not bloating at all.

Toki's worth a shot for dinner if you're hungry in Carlton, but I think the vego lunch options might be where their best value lies.

Address: 88 Grattan St, Carlton
Ph: 9347 9748
Price: veg lunches $10.50-$13


  1. I've wanted to try lotus root for quite some time now, but I honestly have no idea what it tastes like. Can you think of anything it's akin to, for the benefit of such a lotus-newbie as myself? :P (I do adore seaweed salad, though. Can never resist ordering it!)

  2. Toki was always my refuge from the crap Italian places in Lygon St when I found myself hungry after a movie. Never had the Lucky 7 though, must make a daytime pilgrimage.

    Talking of old favs in the neighbourhood, have rather taken a new shine to Trotters in the last couple of years. Reasonable prices, decent vego options (I like their burger), good cafe food.

  3. I am so jealous! You Melbournians have all the good restaurants. That looks like one tasty lunch.

  4. Hannah, I think this lotus root was gently marinated or pickled so the vege itself didn't have a strong flavour. The texture is probably like a carrot, though a bit more fibrous. It seems mild and likable; definitely worth a try when you get a chance!

    AOF - we haven't been to Trotters in a long time, though we've visited multiple times in the past. I've always been pleased with the price and the number of vego options, and should go back.

    Hi BrisVegan! We are blessed with many good vego restaurants here, but I'd trade a few of them for Brisbane's Kuan Yin. :-)