You may have read Lori Fredrich’s story last week on the new restaurant Tochi, which opened last week in Shorewood with Chef Gregg Des Rosier at the helm. Tochi, formerly Anaba Tea Room, specializes in ramen.
A group of girlfriends and I couldn’t wait to try out this new dining spot, so the four of us made plans to grab dinner there during the first week of operation. And I’m really glad we didn’t wait!
From the moment we descended the stairs to Tochi (which is downstairs from The Garden Room) the lusty smell of bacon was thick in the air. The place was filled to the brim with customers enjoying their steaming bowls of ramen.
While we waited for our table, which took maybe 15 minutes, we grabbed a seat at the sleek bar – which seats around 10 – and enjoyed some drinks. The drink menu included a large variety of wine, beer, saketinis, sake bombs and sake. The restaurant also continues to offer an extensive tea list – which was appealing since it was freezing outside – but I opted to warm up with a glass of red wine instead.
After we were seated in the new zen-like space, we began our meal with a couple starters. The pork steam buns ($5.95), which featured a curried slaw, were delicious. And the shishitos ($5.95) were a pleasant surprise. Most of us had never tried shishito peppers before, but these were delicious – slightly charred and tossed in fish sauce, pork fat and sesame. You had me at the pork fat, but I really loved the slight hotness of these peppers, too.
With eight different ramens to choose from, we were able to try and share about half of them, along with a bowl of congee. TOCHI ramen ($11.95), which is a pork-based broth with Singapore noodles, came with pork belly, Welsh onions and a spicy miso deviled egg. The broth was delicious, and the bowl came packed with plenty of noodles and toppings.
One of us ordered the mushroom and smoked tofu ramen ($9.95), which had a bourbon barrel fermented soy sauce shoyu-style broth. The flavor of the sauce itself was fantastic, but we all agreed the overpowering flavor of the smoke in the tofu was a bit much and would love another texture on the tofu dish.
The other two main dishes we ordered were of the mazeman type, which is more of a brothless noodle dish. The Wisconsin grass-fed beef mazeman ($11.95) was delicious, with pickled shitake mushrooms, a fried egg and smoked bone marrow butter. But, we also tried the bacon apple and cilantro lime goat cheese mazeman ($8.95), which was by far the crowd favorite. We added a poached egg to this one for $1 and it added another layer to this already fantastic melding of flavors.
I mentioned we tried the congee, which is a type of porridge popular in Asian cultures. The pork belly congee ($7.95) had green onions, egg, cilantro lime paste and a chili oil. I was torn on this dish, as I found the porridge comforting, but some of the flavors in the dish didn’t appeal. That said, the pork salted up the congee perfectly for me, and I’m likely to order this again when I’m craving a dish with that Malt-O-Meal feel.
Dessert? Well, first off, 99.9 percent of the time I MUST have some. Thankfully, my friends fully support this habit. We shared both of the desserts on the menu last night, which included black walnut cheesecake with a salted miso whip cream and burnt miso butterscotch bread pudding. Both were gone within minutes, and surely will be ordered again. Neither of the desserts seemed overtly Asian in nature, but both had touches of the culture.
The verdict? We’ll be back to Tochi again soon, especially since we’ve already found a number of favorites on the menu. For four of us, with multiple alcoholic beverages including a bottle of wine, the bill came to $37 per person before tip. Considering the amount of food and drink we consumed, Tochi cost less than I thought it would, which is always a pleasant surprise. See you soon, Tochi.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Carolynn Buser
Published July 24, 2015
An opportunity to ride with the Breitling Jet Tour? What a ride it was!
Published July 21, 2015
A report that a lion was roaming in a Milwaukee neighbor has so far been found to be untrue. Yet, lions lurk all around greater Milwaukee.
Published July 8, 2015
An intimate show by singer-songerwriters at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. Tuesday night provided moments of hope.
Published July 7, 2015
Just when we thought the Milwaukee summer couldn't get any better, here comes "Slide the City!"
Published July 4, 2015
Ed Sheeran played his heart out to a sold-out Marcus Amphitheater tonight.
Published July 1, 2015
Milwaukeeans band together in hard times - and this Reddit thread is an example of how we do so.
Published June 28, 2015
Stevie Wonder - one of the kings of Motown - played hit after hit to a nearly full Marcus Amphitheater last night.
Published June 26, 2015
We typically highlight the great shows, acts, food and more at Summerfest. Here are some the #peopleofsummerfest that make the experience of the Big Gig all the better. All photos by Vallen Alexander Gillett.
Published June 25, 2015
The world's largest music festival kicked off yesterday - and right it in our own backyard. It's our time to shine, Milwaukee. So, don't be these nine people this year. Please.
Published June 16, 2015
The great Milwaukee summer is here and we have the festival tickets to prove it.