Since 2015, Tokyo Tina has been a staple of Windsor, the contemporary diner has been serving up some interesting Japanese-influenced street food in the region. What was once an old bong shop on Chapel Street is now a go-to Melbourne eatery by master minds Simon Blacher, Paul Nguyen and Nic Coulter of the Commune Group (Hanoi Hannah, New Quarter, Firebird, Moonhouse). With a menu full of flavoursome dishes that will provide a lasting imprint, there’s no doubt as to why Tokyo Tina has become such a beloved destination.
The fit-out of Tokyo Tina evokes a feeling of being transported right into a crumbling building behind a pachinko parlour in Shinjuku or down an alleyway somewhere in Shibuya. The walls are covered in inky Tokyo illustrations and magnetised Samurai-style Japanese knives, as well as sake bottles hidden in various nooks and crannies. Grab a seat outside and enjoy the bustle of Chapel Street, inside at a standard vibey table, or up along the counter overlooking the vintage bar.
The star of the show is of course the modern sharing-style menu, offering a wide range of classic Japanese faves as well as a heap of vegan options as well. Proceeding dishes include snacks like spiced edamame and a fresh tuna Sashimi Nori crisp with wasabi creme, accompany them with a house-crafted cocktail, such as Tina’s supurittsu which is a Yuzu-Midori number, or the Uji Highball for a whisky-green tea moment.
The prawn katsu roll full of yuzu mayo is always a go, or get crafty with some DIY pork belly Bao where you can load up as much teriyaki and Kewpie as your heart desires. The sticky eggplant is a must, which makes a perfect party with the mushroom Bibimpap seasoned rice and the hibachi-grilled striploin loaded in miso butter. Give your meal a final bang with a traditional Dorayaki (aka, Japanese pancake) filled with chocolate cream, koji caramel and roasted peanuts.
If you’re looking for some extra fun, you’re definitely at the right place. Test your friends to a bingo game with Tina’s Bingo Academy, hosted every Saturday over two lunch sessions. Chose four dishes from the bingo lunch menu (Karaage chicken, yes please) for $55 per person, or make it bottomless for $79 per person.
There’s also a complete private dining space above with luxe 1970s feel that comfortably fits up to 28 of your nearest and dearest and a dedicated Karaoke room where you can belt out classics over a compulsory menu for $72 per person.
Image credit: Tokyo Tina (supplied)