For an all-out Japanese extravaganza, Tjing Tjing Torii, Tjing Tjing Momiji, Momiji Lounge and the ever-cool Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar tick all the boxes – and then some.
When it swung open its spangly new doors in July 2018 (after a much anticipated and beautifully conceived refurb), Tjing Tjing immediately turned heads – not least because of its fantastic, Shinjuku-inspired decor, but also for the four unique and vastly different experiences it offers curious diners.
Coming up with the concept of a four-in-one emporium was a joint effort by owner Ilze Koekemoer, head chef Christi Semczyszyn and pastry chef Adri Morel, whose mutual passion for Japan has led them to travel to that country regularly to see, smell, taste, touch and absorb as much of the local culture as they possibly can.
“We wanted to create a little slice of Japan,” enthuses Adri, “so that the moment you walk in you feel transported.”
And, they’ve certainly achieved their aim – the three-level building is an utterly inspired and inspiring space with intriguing details that reveal themselves throughout your meal.
Flavour-popping food and on-point decor aside, we fell for the indie-electronica playlist, which is (pun intended) off the charts! Fresh yet familiar, it’s like nothing you’ve heard before. In fact, if utterly hummable cutting-edge beats are your thing, you’ll find yourself Shazaming every song (as we did)!
Tjing Tjing Torii open for brunch, lunch + dinner
You’ll find this brightly coloured street-food joint at street level, where the electrifying, impossible-to-ignore decor reflects the palate-popping menu. Each and every one of the dishes we tried was bursting with exciting flavours and textures.
Decor-wise, the interiors are vibrant and cool, encapsulating the youthful energy of Harajuku• and the neon lights of Shinjuku• with its famous bustling yokocho• and their cosy bars and small eateries.
Tjing Tjing Torii is open from 10am for brunch until late, and diners can expect temaki, bento boxes, sando boxes, gyoza, yakitori, ramen and rice bowls, and classic Japanese confections (such as mochi, taiyaki and fluffy soufflé pancakes) with a Tjing Tjing twist. And, as usual, the service is warm, knowledgeable and helpful.
Please note Tjing Tjing Torii is run on a first-come first-served basis, so arrive early, or put your name down on a list before venturing upstairs for a cocktail.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – late
Tjing Tjing Momiji: Next-level haute cuisine
On the first floor, you’ll find the beautifully understated Tjing Tjing Momiji restaurant Its kaiseki menu (multi-course Japanese haute cuisine) offers diners a more sophisticated dining experience. Expect meticulously prepared and exquisitely presented dishes, celebrating seasonal and local ingredients harvested from Tjing Tjing’s two innercity gardens. The kaiseki menu comes with a recommended wine-and sake-pairing – or you can choose your tipple of choice from an extensive drinks list.
Please note Tjing Tjing Momiji does not take walk-ins, so booking in advance is recommended
Opening times Thursday – Saturday, 6.30pm – late
Book Through DinePlan
Hushed Tones at Momiji Lounge
For a soigné cocktail experience befitting Tokyo, shimmy across to this intimate lounge where you can order a variety of speciality spirits, folklore-inspired cocktails, Japanese whisky, premium sake and top-drawer wines. Adjacent to Momiji restaurant, the interiors of the Momiji Lounge are dimly lit, hushed and intimate, with sunken booths and a low-slung sofa perfect for private celebrations, special occasions, or pre-dinner drinks.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – late
Straight to the top at Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
It’s one of the coolest haunts in the CBD to watch the world below go by, voted one of the best new bars worldwide by Condé Nast Traveler in 2012. Serving some of the coolest cocktails in the city, and certainly the hottest electro-indie beats, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is a renovated attic that’s beautifully decked out with a wall of black-and-white Japanese photographs and a shrine-inspired red bar, which spills out onto the airy terrace.
And if you’re feeling peckish, order the okonomiyaki fries – you won’t be disappointed! All that’s left to say is: “Kanpai!” (Cheers!)
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – late
Phrases to learn before you go
• Harajuku – a fashion hub in Tokyo
• Shinjuku – an area in Tokyo characterised by skyscrapers, TV screens and flashing lights
• Yokocho – narrow alleyway