Searching for a late night bite to eat last Friday, and with a particular craving for Japanese food, we happily came across Taku after finding out that Gyotaku had already closed their kitchen for the night – I was happy to taku what I could get at that point. I had eaten dinner here before and it was not particularly memorable. Last year however, it had been a big regret that I missed the special menu by local celebrity chef Christian Yang, so in we went.
Taku makes an effort to stands out from other Japanese restaurants in two ways, however I’m not entirely convinced with them. They make their own tofu each day, and have a nice selection of chilled, steamed and fried (agedashi-style) dishes based on this humble ingredient. I was excited to try it and although agedashi tofu rocks my world, I thought a chilled option would really let the taste of the tofu shine. It ended in unfortunate disappointment, as I found the texture of the tofu too grainy to be called silken, and with a ever so slight whiff of un-freshness. Now, I am no tofu expert, but I certainly have had much better elsewhere.
At Taku, you aren’t provided with little dishes in which to pour your individual serving of soy sauce. Here, you paint your sushi! There is a communal pot and brush on each table – whilst an original idea, I’m not sure whether the people before me were as careful not to get a fish roe or two on the brush before sticking it back in that pot. To be fair, I did see them take all the pots away at the end of service to be emptied. Still, its a tad unhygienic isn’t it, not to mention a bit of a waste? I still ended up asking for a little dish and pouring it anyway…
And now, for the food!
The true highlight of our meal, and the one thing that would keep me going back for more, is Taku’s Seafood Onsen Egg – it is truly a magnificent dish. This is not just a pretty face – not only does it look amazing, it’s packed with a sweet-salty flavour of the sauce, the firm freshness of the raw scallop, the silkiness of the uni, the POP of the salmon roe, and the crunch of the scallions made this (literally) one of the best Japanese dishes I’ve ever tasted. Why have I never ordered onsen egg before??