Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse and a Well-Defined Identity

All restaurants can benefit from a quality identity appearance. There, I said it. Quality branding can only help a restaurant (or business) to attract customers. Sure, some places are very successful because of their reputation, their history, or their food without having a decent branding. But adding a quality appearance to the mix will only help them attract customers. The Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse clearly understood this from my opinion. To differentiate themselves from the other Asian cuisine restaurants in Sioux City, they applied themselves to creating a quality look to the appearance of both the outside of the restaurant and the inside. This look helps to raise expectations of quality from customers and the Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse backs it up with a great eating experience and delicious food.

Exterior of Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse

Exterior of Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse

I had never been to the Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse before this May Term class. Most of my reasoning is that Asian cuisine doesn’t interest me as much as other food choices.  I will admit, though, their branding and appearance from the outside of the restaurant always intrigued me. It looked like a quality, and interesting restaurant and I was bound to go there eventually just because of that. They clearly understand that to get customers into the restaurant, they need to have a quality appearance from the outside in order to show that they have good food to back it up.

Approaching the restaurant, anyone can easily see their sign and restaurant from the road. You can also quickly understand that it is an Asian restaurant without ever entering the parking lot, which will help them attract new customers. They have a good location, too. They are just off a well-traveled road and are very visible from a distance. Their signage is readable and identifiable leading to a quick understanding of what they are. It just looks like a fun place to eat.

IMG_0104 IMG_0106Entering the restaurant, they continued that themed appearance throughout the experience. Sitting at tables surrounding the grill area adds to the experience of eating here. The chef was entertaining and friendly, as were the rest of the staff. The plates and napkins were presented nicely at everyone’s sitting area. The menus were well done – easily the best menus we had seen so far during this class. They were in leather-bound book form and looked professional and made with quality in mind. Their logo is embossed in gold on the cover adding to the professional look. The layout of the text was well done and easy to navigate. Items were organized and listed out, adding to the readability. The counters were made of a granite-looking material and everything, including the grill, was spotless clean. The overall appearance of everything just added to the professional and quality appearance of the restaurant. At this point, anyone eating there would be under the impression that this restaurant and its employees and owners took their job seriously and only wanted to give the best experience to their customers.


Shrimp and Swordfish Combination with Rice and Veggies

I ordered a lunch combination of swordfish and shrimp, with vegetables and rice. Other items on the menu included lobster, chicken, steak, mahi mahi, calamari, and more. They had plenty of unique things to order from the menu, ensuring that there was something for everyone. The chef brought out the food and started cooking up the rice and vegetables on the grill. He was very entertaining, talking with us and chopping up the food in interesting ways. He started out by giving us all our rice before moving onto the meat and vegetables. The rice was seasoned with a garlic butter, which added to the flavor of the rice in a great way. The rice was so tasty, that I needed to remind myself a few times to hold off on eating it all before I got the rest of my meal. After a bit, we were served the rest of our meal. Everything tasted very good with a Asian flavor to all the food items. The shrimp was delicious. It was fresh and seasoned nicely and blended very well with the rice and vegetables. The swordfish was good too, though I probably wouldn’t order it again. It reminded me a bit of pork, but with the classic “fishy” flavor. Again, it was good and flavorful, I just think there were better things on the menu, but it was fun to say I ordered swordfish for lunch.

IMG_0114My overall impressions of the Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse were very good. It was an enjoyable experience, both from the designer side and the food lover side of me. The identity and appearance of the restaurant was very good and applied to the quality and tastiness of the food the served. I would absolutely return here to enjoy the experience all over again.