I think I might have found my new favourite Italian place. I don’t really play favourites, but we were so impressed with Toki Italian Inspired that we came back for a second visit shortly after (shortly after) even if it meant an hours drive.
It’s named ‘Italian Inspired’ as it’s not run by Italians (some customers can get offended over thees finer details it seems). But regardless, it’s a delicious menu featuring many of your Italian classics, with some Asian influences which really make it standout.
You can tell it’s not your typical run of the mill Italian even from the starters. The salt & pepper calamari are a incredibly crispy, a result of being double crumbed in a light, panko crust.
Equally crisp is the crumbed outer of the mushroom arancini. They’re sizeable balls of creamy risotto, studded with mushroom, an immediate favourite.
There’s a slight Asian influence in the Crazy Wings, twice cooked wings in a sticky, spicy sauce.
Garlic prawns are also a winner, fresh and juicy. Mop up the flavoursome sauce with the accompanying garlic bread, and it’s almost a complete meal in itself!
But if you’re here at Toki, you’ll want to try their pastas. Afterall, it’s what most of their menu is made up of!
There’s no shortage of choice, with a vast selection of red, pink and white pastas as well as some olive oil and white wine based ones. Choose your sauce, choose your pasta and you’ve created your meal.
The new polpette is your pasta and meatballs, but taken to the next level with mushroom and porcini powder for additional flavour. We’re loving the tasty meatballs, and the creamy pink sauce that is a mix of tomato and cream.
The boscaiola is also a somewhat traditional offering, but it’s executed exceptionally well. It’s a simple combination that works well for the flavours of the creamy white sauce, bacon and mushroom to shine.
But it’s not just the classics on offer here.
We’re naturally drawn to the sound of the 63 degree egg in the Tartufo. Though the yolk isn’t runny as we’d expect it’s a delectable mix of creamy sauce with truffle and mushroom that we’d order again. Gnocchi is light and soft, and well worth the $3 premium over the pasta.
Similar to the Tartufo is the Funghi o 63, with the delicious truffle and mushroom combo again featuring the 63 degree egg but this time in a white wine sauce with a touch of cream.
But if there’s one pasta you can’t leave without ordering, it’s the New Toki.
Not that I ever really leave a restaurant without ordering the menu item with the restaurant’s name anyway but this is seriously so good I will drive across town to have this again and again.
It’s Toki’s star dish, a fusion of Thai and Italian flavours with the Coriander, Lime, Chilli Pesto. And it’s an incredible mix of flavours, the herby pesto, sweet zesty tang and chilli kick all working to create what is easily our favourite dish of the night. The New Toki comes with a generous serve of seafood in the form of clams, prawns and calamari, but if seafood is not so much your thing, we’re told you can get the sauce with other additions.
Gelato & Sorbet ($12, 3 Scoops)
Of course can’t leave without dessert. There’s a good selection of gelato and sorbets, including the chocolate, hazelnut, mango and strawberry that we tried, thoughtfully served with housemade biscotti.
Or for a caffeine hit, get the affogato, a vanilla gelato with shot of espresso. Always a winner.
The housemade tiramisu is our favourite, luscious layers of marscapone between coffee soaked savioradi biscuits.
Also enjoyable is the white chocolate panna cotta, which is smooth and silky, served with balsamic infused strawberries.