Newton residents can now get a taste of Tokyo, as the Japanese restaurant going into the old Beck's Burgers location (at the corner of Kansas and SE 14th) officially opened for business last week.
The opening of the Newton location marks the restaurant's first foray into Kansas territory, as the chain started with locations around Oklahoma — and manager Carmen Zeng noted it has plans to continue expanding northeast into Missouri as well.
"When I first went into town, there were no Japanese restaurants in town," owner Lee Zhang said of setting up for business in Newton.
Looking to bring that cuisine (also being offered at the recently opened Fuji Japanese Bistro) to the area, Tokyo offers Japanese staples from the hibachi grill and sushi bar — including specialties like the Newton Roll (with shrimp tempura, cucumber and mango wrapped with soybean seaweed inside, and eel, avocado, eel sauce and wasabi sauce on the outside) and Kansas Roll (with fried lobster, cucumber and fried oyster inside, and crab meat, avocado, different fish roe, wasabi mayo and eel sauce on the outside).
Other menu items include dishes like Yaki Udon (Japanese noodles) chicken teriyaki and pork katsu (a fried pork cutlet made with Japanese panko breadcrumbs), with several lunch and dinner specials offered. Zeng noted the restaurant also plans to offer alcoholic beverages in the near future.
Currently, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Zeng has worked in previous Tokyo locations and has been in the food service industry for 10 years, while Zhang has 12 years in the restaurant business, and both noted customers in Oklahoma have been very receptive to the concept, both in terms of the food and customer service.
In Newton, Zhang is hoping for a similar response to help get the restaurant established.
"We hope they can try our restaurant and we hope they like it," Zhang said, "and then we can stay there for business."
For a full menu and more information, visit the restaurant's website at www.tokyonewtonks.com.