There’s no shortage of restaurants (or crowded pubs for that matter) in Dublin city centre, especially around the historic and touristy riverside neighbourhood of Temple Bar. It’s cobbled streets are always packed with boozy out-of-towners enjoying the hedonistic vibe. However it’s not always the most relaxing place to dine out, and the prices can be rather eye-watering.
Eatokyo Talbot Street opened in June 2019 and is the second member of the Eatokyo family in Dublin. Owner Jie He spent three years in Tokyo honing his skills in the art of Japanese cuisine, and it is clear a lot of passion goes into the dishes here.
Jie is supported by Head Chef Alex Pang and sushi chef Lin, as well as the restaurant’s charming Manager, Jack, who first came to Dublin to study at university.
The restaurant interior is neat and cheerful, with Japanese lanterns lining the entrance and large pictures of Tokyo street scenes on the walls. As we sat down we were offered a warming cup of Jasmine tea, a welcome comfort from the nippy cold outside.
Along with the à la carte menu there is a lunchtime special served Monday to Friday, where you can choose a bento box, sushi platter or Rainbow roll, all for €12.50 or less.
The Rainbow roll is Eatokyo’s most popular dish: a winning combo of prawn tempura topped with salmon, tuna, avocado and spicy mayo. I ordered this as a starter and was jubilant at both the taste and presentation of the dish. Even the salad resembled a decorative garden and looked almost too pretty to eat. It was also much larger than I expected – enough on its own for a light lunch.
My partner opted for the more daring eel avocado sushi roll, and judging by the smile on his face, he enjoyed it. I had a taste myself and thought it was very fresh and complemented perfectly by the spicy punch of wasabi.
The à la carte menu is vast, with a huge variety of Japanese street food including sushi, sashimi, maki, grilled meat, noodles, wok fried rice, ramen and classic nibbles as well as gyoza (Asian dumplings) and spring rolls. Admittedly it took me a while to pick what to eat as there were so many delicious things to salivate over.
In the end we shared the house yaki soba (stir fried noodles with chicken, beef, prawns and veg) with a side of duck spring rolls and vegetable yasai gyoza (vegetable dumplings). I also enjoyed a glass of plum wine with my meal.
All three of these dishes looked fairly unassuming at first glance, but they tasted fantastic. The duck spring rolls were paler than I was expecting, but were in fact exceedingly crisp. The yaki soba was fresh and flavoursome, with a pleasing zing from the pickled ginger.
Verdict: with so many restaurants to pick from in Dublin, it can be daunting to know where to start. If you like Japanese food, save yourself the angst and head to Eatokyo, where the food is fantastic, prices reasonable and atmosphere friendly and welcoming.
When: Eatokyo Talbot Street is open from midday to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and midday to 11pm Friday to Saturday.
How much: Dishes at Eatokyo Talbot Street start from €3.99 for a starter, €11.99 for a main and €3.90 for sushi.
Getting there: Walk along Talbot Street heading towards Amiens Street and you’ll see the sign for Eatokyo on your left.
For more information visit: https://www.eatokyo.ie/eatokyo-talbot-street-1
Disclaimer: this article was sponsored by Eatokyo Talbot Street