Tookaiya is a Japanese restaurant in Keilor Road Essendon. It is serviceable by trams (zone 1). It is mainly open for dinner and run by Chinese. A few years ago it was run by Japanese. Now that it is run by Chinese some of the food quality has deteriorated.
They have dinner banquets as well as other things such as sushi and sashimi and main courses. They also have ice cream.
Friend D and I both went there on Friday night and it was really packed. The people here were caucasians, although there were a few Asians (but I'd say not many). There was a birthday party in progress.
The restaurant was clean out the front (and some of the decorations looked cute though), but at the back was a different story. At the back where the toilets are it is very messy (full of boxes and stuff). The service was quite good though ( it was efficient and friendly), but there were a few hits and misses with the food.
Friend D and I both had the $33 banquet;
It consisted of:
1) Miso soup- a tad too salty but it was alright. It was mainly from a packet. A bit more tofu would be nice as well as kelp.
2) Sushi- the fish was fresh, but the rest not so. They used Australian rice instead of short grain. Where was the ginger or the pickles by the way? Every other table got them. And why oh why do they charge $5 for ginger when we can put a tiny bit on our plates for free? RIDICULOUS I say!!!
3) Agedashi tofu- this was good. The tofu cubes were soft, but just right. The sauce a tad bit too salty.
4) Gyoza- these were good.
5) Tempura- these were great, but the serving could have been bigger. The prawns were not so fresh.
6) Spring rolls- they were yum
7) Yakisoba- The noodles didn't taste like soba and the sauce was a bit too sweet. A sauce that is a little less sweet, might be better.
8) Beef teriyaki and salad- I didn't get the flavouring of the mayo. Here this was a little off putting for me. The salad was not fresh. It looked like it was in the fridge from two days ago. Beef was too chewy and the sauce again was a little too sweet for me. What did they use for the sauce? Oh let me guess Kecap manis???
9) Coconut ice cream- this was the highlight of the meal. It was just like Japanese ice cream.
10) Tea- My guess is Genmacha. It was not too strong but good. And the waiter filled the pot up quickly when asked.
I probably wouldn't come back here unless a friend really really asked me too. And what happened to the real Japanese waitress ( or maiko) from a few years ago? Sadly, this restaurant's food quality is going down the drain.