Whew! Finally done with all of my Florida food posts. If you haven’t seen any of them, just scroll further down the page to get caught up in the narrative that is my life as a gourmand. Today’s entry on Mastication Monologues checks off another foodie milestone for me. It’s not something as crazy as when I ate a live octopus or scorpions, but it is an iconic fusion meal that has popped up on menus in areas of the USA with significant Asian populations like Chicagoland in this case. My adventure begins with getting in touch with my friend Carolyn who suggested Tokio Pub, and after looking over the menu online, I knew it was for me when I saw the dish in question.
So we met up in Schaumburg and were quickly seated at the height of dinner which I appreciated.
Our waitress was a laugh and a half with her saucy personality which contributed to our dining experience. We ordered drinks first, and I got a pint of Fixed Gear Ale ($6). It was an slightly murky but amber colored brew that had a definite bite with woody notes and a hoppy finish. As for the food, the menu goes from various sushi offerings to ramen soups to the mysterious sounding hot rock dishes. That final option left me somewhat intrigued, but Carolyn explained that you can cook your own food at your table utilizing piping hot pieces of stone. While this interactive dining experience was tempting, I saw another limited per diem item: the ramen burger. I’ve been seeing this novelty dish shoot to the top of every foodie’s list, and I’ve even seen recipes in magazines as to how to properly prepare this fusion item. So after a bit of anticipation, I finally was face to face with destiny. As I picked it up, I felt the golden, slippery layers between my fingers and quickly took my first bite. It was a texture fiesta as I crunched through the outer noodles to the more giving secondary ramen layer which was quickly overtaken by a juicy beef patty, average greens, and a soy molasses that made it a divine treat to eat the meat. Within five minutes, I had destroyed this piece of art and quickly turned my sights on the cucumber salad. It was an understated compliment to the savory burger. Not only were the cucumbers fresh and crispy, but the brine had a semi-sweet tang that cut through the greasy noodle taste. Although the burger was slightly hefty, I knew I had to try their fried coconut bao (dumpling in Mandarin) dessert ($5). The presentation alone made me quite fidgety while taking the picture. It was like my own super-fattening version of Treasure Island. The golden-brown dumpling treasure chest opened up to spill out coconut cream onto the caramel sand while the scoop of slowly melting ice cream was like a majestic mountain eroding to once again return to the sea, i.e. my stomach. It was a fitting end to a rich dinner.
So if you’re looking for Asian fusion food with great service and moderately expensive prices in Schaumburg, check out Tokio Pub.