Published on Cyprus Kaleidoscope website
Tokio Restaurant Bar is the unique place, where the finest flavors from the Japanese cuisine combine with authentic Japanese culinary tradition of the highest standards of premium quality service. Tokio Restaurant Bar has brilliantly reinvented the scene of quality Japanese cuisine in Cyprus and is regarded as one of the premier Japanese restaurants in Limassol.
The Chef of the restaurant Stephanos Chrysantou, shared his experiences, philosophy and ways he uses to make the visit of each guest an unforgettable experience. Stephanos started to work at the age of 15 and gradually managed to master the secrets of high excellence cuisine, which he successfully implemented at the Tokio Restaurant Bar. After graduating from Nicosia Hotel and Catering Institute, Stephanos went to the USA and studied at French Culinary Institute in New York. Since 1993, Stephanos has acquired vast experience of working in high end restaurants all over Cyprus, including Intercontinental Hotel 5*, Four Seasons 5*, Hotel Yiorki 5*, Le Meridien 5*, Coral Beach Hotel 5 *.
1.Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Name the 5 best ingredients of your cuisine?
Stephanos Chrysantou: Togarashi (Japanese 5 spice, smoked – bbq unagi (freshwater eel), Yuzu juice , Blue fin tuna, sea urchin.
2. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Did you discover any new trends in your culinary techniques this season?
Stephanos Chrysantou: I always try to find new trends, because if you have no passion to develop, you won’t be a good Chef. In the sushi section, we have introduced a new roll; it contains salmon skin, a marinated salmon salad mixed together with a special sauce. We also created a new dish containing prawns and lemon grass.
3. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Which aspects, from your point of view, influence the success of the restaurant?
Stephanos Chrysantou: Passion, passion and even more passion. Passion is the driving force, which allows you to do everything. When you spend a lot of time in the restaurant, you have to love you work, otherwise you shall fail to succeed. In addition, the team is very important: people are very important. If you recall the words of Steve Jobs: “When you employ people, listen to them”. You employ not just the staff, but also the team. In addition, you have to love people and you need to have passion to develop.
4. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Which dishes would you highly recommend for visitors to try at Tokio Restaurant Bar?
Stephanos Chrysantou: It’s a very difficult questions; it almost feels as if you are a father and have to choose between one of your children. Personally, I usually “scan” the customer, ask him 3 questions and after that I feel more in a position to recommend him something. For example, if you prefer meat, I can offer wagyu beef fillet with sumiji mushrooms and lotus root, cooked on a mini Japanese BBQ grill with Japanese hoba leaf scent. For fish, I would recommend for a starter marinated salmon and new style sea bass that can be followed with lobster.
5. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: What do you pay a lot of attention to, while preparing your dishes?
Stephanos Chrysantou: I pay a lot of attention to the specific customer; I go up to the guests and try to understand what they would like to order. Whilst I am preparing the dish, I think about the guest and his/her wishes. We can even prepare dishes, which are custom made. I create the dish for a certain guest. In addition, we have to pay a lot of attention to the freshness of the products.
6. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Which is the most popular dish in your restaurant according to the comments received by your guests?
Stephanos Chrysanthou: Volcano Roll, Takoyaki ( a dish that takes is name from the word ‘’tako’’ which means octopus in Japanese, a crepe mixture stuffed with octopus cooked in a Cast iron skillet )
7. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Do you have someone in Cyprus or in the world, whose opinion you value?
Stephanos Chrysantou: Yes, there are two people, whose advice is very valuable for me. One is my Japanese Chef and the other one is Rob Shipman, the former Head Chef of Nobu restaurant London, who is now the Executive Chef of the Japanese restaurant in Morocco.
8. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Which non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks do you prefer personally?
Stephanos Chrysantou: I love fresh lemonade a lot. Generally citrus, especially pomelo as it’s very healthy. Among alcoholic drinks, I like beer, but not the typical one; I like Hougarden and other kinds of Belgium beers. And of course, wines are on the top of my list of favorites! It should however, be wisely combined with food.
9. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: Which dish would you find difficult to turn down?
Stephanos Chrysantou: I love seafood very much. I would say tuna belly ‘’o toro’’ prepared in so many ways or simply sashimi style.
10. Cyprus Kaleidoscope: What popular person or famous celebrity star would you like to invite to your restaurant?
Stephanos Chrysantou: Michel Roux, the owner of La Gavroche restaurant in France. He is a very famous personality, but very “landed” and it would be very interesting for me to know his opinion.
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