Come try a spoonful of heaven found in Torikaya ramen
If you pair an expert chef in love with Japanese cuisine and a restaurateur who has run some of the best sushi places in town - you get Torikaya. Even the name combines the two since chef Vid Nikolić runs Tori Street Food, and Davor Bienenfeld owns Izakaya.
Torikaya space is minimalist, with a red brick wall, a leather couch-like seating on one wall, and tables and chairs allowing for rapid seating changes for about 25 people inside and another 40 on a terrace with a view of the Ban Jelačić square.
We got seated without reservation, and the staff was polite and professional. The entire experience was pleasurable.
What is served
Torikaya's menu includes exciting appetizers such as the popular chicken or pork gyoza, marinated spicy tuna, and enoki mushrooms in a smoked hamburger. There are two noodle dishes on offer, a vegan version with tofu, tangy tahini sauce, pak choi, shiitake mushrooms, peanuts, spring onions and chili, and a meat version with steak strips, chili paste, green beans, teriyaki-oyster sauce, spring onions, and cashews.
The most important part is the ramen. Torikaya serves four kinds: Tantanmen, Miso Chicken, Tempura Shrimp, and Vege ramen. Tantanmen is a classic made with pork stock, wheat noodles, and pork with egg, marinated bamboo, pak choi, goma tare, scallions, garlic oil, nori seaweed, and enoki mushrooms. Tempura Shrimp ramen is based on dashi stock, ramen noodles, tempura shrimp, marinated bamboo, egg, pak choi, nori seaweed, enoki mushrooms, and naruto.
Desserts are done by Robert Hromalić, and there are inspired 4 cocktails by Marin Karinja on the otherwise basic drinks list.
What our chefs had
The gyoza was done well. The dough was as chewy as it should be, and the filling hot, juicy and well-seasoned. Our chefs ate baked gyoza with chicken and pork served with edamame as an appetizer.
Next, we tried their spicy tuna cubes, marinated with chili and soy sauce and topped with goma wakame and spring onions. This dish is a symphony of flavor and texture, the rubbery, crunchy seaweed salad, on top of a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth tuna, with a touch of chili hotness and soy sweetness and savor.
Tantan slices with fried tofu in spicy tahini sauce are a vegan delight noodle dish, satisfyingly rich and spicy.
Tantanmen ramen with pork stock, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, egg, imperial meat, wheat noodles, pak choi, and seaweed were rich in flavor, with different toppings working well with the underlining note of the stock.
As a closing note, we had the tasty ice cream mochi, three mochi balls filled with mango, coconut, and matcha green tea ice cream.