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RESTAURANT REVIEW: BRUNCH AT TOKIMEITĒ, MAYFAIR

Sundays are for brunch – if you’re tired of Eggs Benedict or avocado toast, try something different with Tokimeite’s new brunch menu… expect flavourful Wagnyu beef, seafood and bottomless sparkling sake

Words: Ivy Bridges

Japanese cuisine isn’t what typically comes to mind when you think of brunch, but Tokimeite’s authentic Japanese wa-shoku cuisine changes that – think a robata-style menu of slow-grilled meats cooked over hot charcoal. 

Arriving at Tokimeite, nestled into the retail district of Mayfair, I was seated in an open kitchen area with cosy corner booths, surrounded by counter seating which lent itself to the casual atmosphere of the first floor. The three floors offered varying levels of privacy depending on the occasion of your visit. The first floor was perfect for casual brunch vibes.

The first floor is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch

The first floor is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch

The menu consists of sharing plates and my guest and I ordered ten to share. With no set tasting menu, we were able to pick and choose the dishes that appealed most to us. My guest’s favourite dish was the baby squid. She was lost in the flavours of it; light and perfectly prepared with potatoes and pink peppercorns, all slow-cooked in a garlic aijllo sauce. The tuna, wasabi and shichimi hand roll boasted a hint of spiciness in the first bite, later juxtaposed with a sprig of mint leaf, which created an interesting but enticing flavour. 

But the real stand-out of the meal was the Wagyu Beef dishes. Presented beautifully with flowers and a stone tray, it was almost too appealing to the eye to eat, but devour I did as soon as I tasted the beef; it was so tender that it seemed to dissolve in my mouth. The teriyaki pan-fried quail was a close favourite, with the rich flavour of the bird balanced by the sweetness of the Bramley apple.

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Tokimeite offers both hot and cold vegetarian dishes, yet both fell short of my expectations. The char-grilled Japanese sweet potato was rather dry, leaving me gulping down my water, and it was only slightly redeemed by its caramel soy sauce. I also ordered the wasabi potato with edamame and walnuts.  The sweet nuttiness of the walnuts combined with the bitterness of the wasabi was unexpected, but the dish definitely wasn’t my favourite. If you’re not a veggie, I’d stick with the wagyu. 

The service was attentive and friendly, with food coming out quickly, but with ample time for conversation and savouring. Our server kept a watchful eye on our table; never once was my sake flute empty, or my water glass dry. The sparkling sake – an exciting alternative to Prosecco – was light and refreshing, bursting with fruity flavour that complimented the robust meat dishes.  

The Tokimeite brunch menu is available every Sunday from 12pm-4pm.

THE KNOWLEDGE

Cost
Small plates ranging from £5 to £24 each, bottomless sparkling sake £35

Good for…
A luxe brunch with your closest friends 

What to eat…
You cannot go wrong with the Wagyu beef dishes or baby squid 

What to know…
Ask the staff for their favourite food and sake pairings 

23 Conduit Street, Mayfair W1S 2XS; 020 3826 4411; tokimeite.com

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