Traditional Tokyo

Tokyo Cafe was owner Jarry Ho’s first big success, followed by his tapas-style sensation, Shinjuku Station. On a recent visit, Ho mentioned that he is in the early stages of bringing an authentic Chinese restaurant to town perhaps by the end of the year.

| by Courtney Dabney | photography by Jason Kindig |
Upon entry of the restaurant, diners are greeted by paper lanterns, shoji screens and an enticing sushi bar. Seating is scattered throughout with exposed wooden trusses overhead in the first room followed by vaulted and painted ceilings in the window-lined dining room just beyond.

The menu is traditional Japanese fare with a few updated twists. Chef Kevin Martinez always executes them neatly, like the Hama Chili ($13). This is an attractive appetizer of freshly sliced yellowtail folded around shiso leaves and decorated with thin slices of jalapeño and a dot of Sriracha sauce for added flavor. An order of Stir Fried Edamame ($5) also has a little spice. The tender soybeans are tossed in soy sauce and spices, with a lovely char that makes for an addictive snack.

You cannot go wrong with the interesting sushi and sashimi menu. The Dan Dan Roll ($13) is an eye-catching presentation drizzled with chili mayo. A combination of crab, cream cheese, smoked salmon and mango is topped with four assorted sashimi. I felt that the mayo and cream cheese overpowered the other flavors, but it was certainly fresh and filling. Another specialty roll I tried for the first time was the Lobster Roll ($13) filled with tempura lobster, cream cheese, avocado and scallions, wrapped in pale soy paper. It was accompanied by a rich lobster bisque sauce that reinforced the headliner.

I always love the authentic Yakisoba ($9-$11.50, depending on the meat you choose). It is typical street food found all over Tokyo, and this version is perfectly seasoned and prepared to transport you. For dessert try the Fried Banana with Green Tea and Red Bean Ice Creams ($7). They wrap bananas in wonton wrappers and deep-fry them. Both house-made ice creams are creamy and delicious, plenty for sharing.

location: 5121 Pershing Ave.
Fort Worth, 76107
for info call: 817.737.8568
price range: $$
hours: Mon. - Thu. 11:00a.m. - 9p.m.; Fri. 11a.m.-10p.m.; Sat. noon - 10p.m.; Closed Sundays
what we like: The traditional Japanese menu items with updated twists.
what we don't: One of our rolls was overpowered by the  mayo and cream cheese.
our recommendation: Try the authentic Yakisoba.