After a bit of a surge of new restaurant openings in Bunbury there were still a couple I hadn’t gotten to and after hearing lots of good things about Tokyo Jacks it was high on my list when the next opportunity arose. A dinner out with good friends was the perfect opportunity to stuff my face with gyoza’s!
Tokyo Jacks is on the main street in Bunbury in an unassuming looking building from the street. Simple, clean and modern design, not an overly large space but warm and inviting. They pride themselves on using fresh local produce serving a mix of modern fusion and traditional style dishes in share plate style. By looking at the menu I was expecting good things as the prices certainly indicate high quality ingredients, this is not your normal Japanese restaurant.
We decided to order a few dishes to share and sadly there were already quite a few things they had sold out of. This can be frustrating when you have your heart set on something but at the same time I appreciate the freshness of the produce as they don’t keep excess stock on hand. The venue definitely has that authentic feel with all the staff being Japanese and although there were a few moments during the evening where language barriers got in the way, the food certainly made up for it.
First up, the chicken karaage, the chicken was perfectly crunchy on the outside with juicy meat inside, super moorish and delicious. Then came the gyoza with truffle oil ponzu. Gyoza is definitely one of my favourite things and I could have eaten the plate of these all to myself. With a nice pan seared crisp edge, simple flavours but super tasty with the addition of the truffle oil ponzu, the only problem was, I had to share. They also came with a kind of slaw or salad, which added a great freshness too. The kurobuta pork belly croquettes were next and were my least favourite dish, not that much too them really for the price and just a bit boring. Cooked well and crispy but not enough pork belly flavour.
Our last dishes were the mixed vegetable tempura and the miso pork belly. The tempura, served in a basket and displayed beautifully, was eye catching when it arrived. A lovely light tempura batter giving a great crunch and some tasty options with asparagus, enoki mushrooms, pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and more. No one could turn down eating vegetables prepared like this. Last but not least, the pork belly. This was divine, my pick of the night. The miso gave it a sensational amount of caramelisation and sweetness and the pork was melt in your mouth. There was a perfect balance of meat and fat and it was full of flavour. We realised later we had actually ordered another dish which never arrived but had just been missed at the time of ordering, which was probably a good thing as we were pretty full.
Full or not I was still keen for dessert (of course) and with one other person wanting to fill their sweets compartment we ordered two to share. We ordered the creme brûlée trio and affogato parfait (the parfait was also missed but I was definitely reminding them of this one as it sounded interesting and I was intrigued). The creme brûlée trio was the surprise of the night. I’ve had so many not great ones (even at places you wouldn’t expect) so I wasn’t expecting too much from a Japanese restaurant but boy were they good. The right consistency of custard and totally crackable but not too thick sugar top. The flavours were, vanilla with a couple of raspberries, green tea and miso caramel. You could see all the seeds from the vanilla bean and I was impressed. Subtle flavours but all yummy, I think the miso caramel was my favourite.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with the affogato parfait but I think we were all impressed when it arrived. Served in a glass, covered with chocolate and ice cream, topped with tempered chocolate and the added theatre of pouring on the chocolate sauce until it melted through. This was a chocolate lovers heaven, the parfait seemed more like a mousse to me but was deliciously rich and decadent without being too sweet. There was also some surprises along the way, like the touch of salt on the tempered chocolate, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable end to the meal. Definitely a stand out dessert.
In the end with sharing and the quality of the meals it wasn’t too badly priced when you compare it with everywhere else these days but it definitely falls in the higher range. The food was of high quality and delicious and quite a big step up from your average Japanese. The service was really friendly and lovely and I can forgive them the couple of communication misunderstandings as we all left incredibly well fed. I would definitely recommend Tokyo Jacks for a date night or dinner out with friends. A great addition to the Bunbury dining scene.