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Tochi offers taste of delicious Japanese cuisine

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For 10 years, the lower level of Shorewood’s Garden Room garden shop was home to the Anaba Tea Room, until it reopened as the trendy Japanese restaurant Tochi in January. With every ending, there is a new beginning. The Anaba Tea Room says goodbye, and Tochi says hello, or rather, “konnichiwa.”

Located on Capitol Drive, Tochi is a little far from campus — about a 45-minute bus ride. However, don’t let the ride be an excuse to miss out delicious Japanese cuisine. Instead, make it a night out by exploring Milwaukee as well as the ramen-based dishes at Tochi.

With the Zen-like atmosphere, great service and food that makes your taste buds dance, dining at Tochi is well worth the wait.

Upon arrival, the hustle and bustle of the city transforms to a calming atmosphere. While entering the trendy restaurant, the aroma from the kitchen invites you in. The walls are covered with iconic trinkets that reference Japanese pop culture and assorted teas. Exotic-looking plants and vines wrap around the pillars, and in the corners stand large rustic lamps, providing a comforting glow to the low lit room.

Photo via Facebook

Photo via Facebook

At the table, both chopsticks and forks are offered to customers, depending on your skill with Oriental utensils. The service and hospitality of Tochi also added to the friendly environment.

Based on my server’s advice, I ordered the Tochi Ramen, a meal to introduce new-comers to the ramen style. The noodles resembled the common ramen noodles found in the grocery store, but what sets miso ramen apart was the pork-based savory broth with a miso-deviled egg on the side.

The bacon apple and goat cheese mazeman is recommended for those who want a spicy kick. The chorizo-seasoned noodles are sure to please any palate. The Wisconsin Ramen is made for those who like the best of both worlds. The dish combines the traditional Japanese ramen with ingredients native to Wisconsin like brat sausage, beer caramelized onion, relish and a sauerkraut mustard broth.

Not only do the meals leave pleased tummies, but they will make your wallet happy as well.

Meals are between $7.95 and $11.95 with the bowls filled to the brim. Appetizers are also reasonably priced, ranging from $3.95 to $5.95.

For those who loved the Anaba Tea Room, don’t worry, your favorite drinks are not going anywhere. In addition to the ramen inspired dishes, Tochi also sells an array of teas like the ones sold under the building’s previous name.

Tochi is the perfect restaurant for the Japanese food lovers and newbies alike. With its amiable service, calming environment and mouth-watering ramen, Tochi provides the ideal environment to seek out a culinary adventure.

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