It used to be one of our favourite haunts for special-occasion, flavour-popping Asian dinners, so when owner Ilze Koekemoer emailed us in March to say that Tjing Tjing Torii – as well as its genteel vego-vegetarian sister, Dear Me and its heaving brother, the Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar – were closing, we were shocked, shaken and stirred.
Don’t fret, she reassured us. “We are starting some exciting renovations, and plan to open a new three-level Tjing Tjing experience in July 2018.”
Preparing for the new venture meant that Ilze, head chef Christi Semczyszyn and pastry chef Adri Morel needed lorry loads of inspiration – which came in the form of a 10-day stint to Tokyo, during which the trio tasted, checked out and visited everything they possibly could.
“We wanted to created a little slice of Japan,” enthuses Adri, “so that the moment you walk in you feel transported.”
They’ve certainly achieved their aim – the new three-level space is an utterly inspired and inspiring space with intriguing details that reveal themselves throughout the meal.
And the indie-electronica playlist is off the charts, too! It’s fresh yet familiar, but we can guarantee you’ve never heard anything like it anywhere. In fact, instead of spending our evening Instagramming the food and interiors, we were too busy Shazaming every song!
Tjing Tjing Torii Open For Brunch
While the former Torii was an after-dark haunt on the first floor, its new laidback iteration is at street level – rather appropriate for a street-food joint. And, like its predecessor, its designed-to-share dishes are bursting with exciting flavours and textures. It’s open from 10am for brunch until late, and diners can expect tamago, bento boxes, sando boxes, gyoza, yakitori, ramen and classic Japanese confections, with a Tjing Tjing twist.
Decor-wise, the interiors are electrifying, encapsulating the youthful energy of Harajuku• and the neon lights of Shinjuku• with its famous bustling yokocho• and their cosy bars.
And, as usual, the service is warm, knowledgeable and helpful.
Tjing Tjing Momiji: Next Level Haute Cuisine
On the first floor, you’ll find the beautifully understated Tjing Tjing Momiji restaurant – which opens officially on 27 September. Its kaiseki menu (multi-course Japanese haute cuisine) offers diners a more sophisticated dining experience. Expect meticulously prepared and exquisitely presented dishes, made using seasonal, local ingredients in a clean, uncomplicated way. The typical 10- to 12-course tasting menu comes with a recommended wine and saki pairing.
Reservations Only at the Momiji Lounge
For a soigné cocktail experience befitting Tokyo, shimmy across to this intimate lounge where you can order a variety of speciality spirits, cocktails, Japanese whisky, premium sake and top-drawer wines. While similar to the adjacent restaurant, the interiors of the Momiji Lounge are more hushed and exclusive, ideal for private celebrations, after-work sundowners and pre-dinner drinks.
Straight to the top at Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
It’s always been one of our favourite spots to watch the world below go by, so we are chuffed that the award-winning Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar continues to serve up some of the coolest cocktails and the city’s hottest electro-indie beats. Enquire about the all-new selection of packaged otsumami (snacks).
All that’s left to say is : “Kanpai!” (Cheers!)
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – late
Harajuku – a fashion hub in Tokyo
Shinjuku – an area in Tokyo characterised by skyscrapers, TV screens and flashing lights
Yokocho – narrow alleyway