When we were driving to Amsterdam, we read that this restaurant was 'bad' on a sushi-dining website, although most of the recent reviews where quite positive. We decided that the mark 'bad' must have been about accuracy of the website involved, rather than describing the restaurant and we wanted to check it out for ourselves.
After entering we were quickly guided to a table through the very deep and spacy, but still cosy room. We were mainly interested in the two available all-you-can-eat formulas. The cheaper one gives a very good basic choice, but the slightly more expensive full option version includes sashimi and more exclusive food. You can only pick one formula per table, but that was no issue at all, as we all noticed some favourites in the extended formula.
The house rules were easy to remember: as long as you don't order more than you can teat, there are no limitations in the number of rounds, nor is there a limitation in the number of items you can pick per round. It was the first time that we encountered this method and it worked absolutely perfect. The only setback was that you have only 90 minutes to order and 120 minutes to finish your meal. That's too sharp. We don't like being forced to hurry up. We Belgians we love to eat in a relaxed way, not just 'feed' ourselves as fast as we can. This is one of the 2 disadvantages urging me to rate very good in stead of excellent.
The kitchen is fast, the staff friendly and well trained to look for next rounds. If you order a large round, part of the food is brought to the table already while the kitchen continues to finish the list. That is perfect, as you can start right away. They forgot to bring us ginger and wasabi, but I must say, I didn't really miss it, as the things we ordered tasted good without too much additions. When leaving, we noticed that all other tables did have some, so this must have slipped their mind when we entered. The plates were light and had a plastic feeling, but it didn't bother me at all.
The sushi was... excellent. Good portions, not too big, fresh... some creative flavours. I really would like to visit again. The backside of the menu card contains other food like salads, sweet potatoes, meat and other warm food, etc.... The descriptions of the food may be a bit too rudimentary (sauce used not always specified...).
Except from having to check our watch all the time, everything went fine... until we ordered dessert. I do not understand how a kitchen staff *so good* in preparing the sushi, can be so incompetent in preparing a simple dessert as a pancake with ice cream. It came to the table on a plastic 'childrens plate', accompanied by a metal spoon that folds just by looking or pointing at it, and it was COLD. COLD is OK for the ice cream, but not for the pancake. Also, I don't eat pancake with a folding spoon. I actually have never ever seen ice cream being served on a COLD fluffy pancake. So, dessert was a bit of a mild shock after the excellent main course. But let's not exaggerate this... it's a detail.
As long as you just take the ice cream and stay away from the pancake, I can really recommend a visit. When I would visit Amsterdam again, they'll most probably see us back at the Tokyo Café, although I INSIST that they give Belgian tourists the time they really need to enjoy their dinner. Let's say: 2 hours of ordering and 3 hours in total to make room for the next shift.
Also interesting to know: they have a lunch-formula, which is even better value for money... so if you're really hungry around noon... do not hesitate.
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