Tokyo Den first opened in 1995-96 at SPID and Staples Street, next to Chuck-E-Cheese in Corpus Christi.  The restaurant was known for its sushi bar, Japanese-style sliding doors for private seating, and the living koi fish pond at the entrance.  This photo was taken on December 8, 1998.

25 years ago Tokyo Den, a Japanese restaurant in the SPID and Staples Street shopping mall, opened its doors in Corpus Christi.

For years it was one of the few restaurants in the area that offered authentic sushi and a unique atmosphere, including a living koi fish pond, hibachi grill seating, and Japanese-style seating and sliding doors.

It was a unique foodie destination for both locals and tourists. In 2007 the restaurant finally closed its doors.

Now, 14 years later, Tokyo Den is back in the same mall where it started.

Owner and chef Richard (Taejin) Kim reopened the restaurant on Staples Street in mid-December with his sister and former owner Jung Ro as managing director.

Partner Ting Thong Savanh said while the sushi restaurant may have the same name as the former restaurant, Kim’s Bistro offers a new look and take on Japanese-Korean fusion cuisine.

Tokyo Den, a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant, opens in Staples near SPID on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  The restaurant offers takeout orders as well as seating.

“Chef Kim is a master sushi chef and has been in the business for over 25 years. People who know sushi know that it offers high quality food,” said Savanh.

Some of the dishes on Tokyo Den’s menu include classic and specialty sushi rolls, yakisoba noodles, chicken and pork katsu, donburi and noodles, fried rice, and teriyaki entrees.

But the dish that should be on every foodie’s radar is the Lunch Bento Box, which offers a choice of chicken, beef or salmon teriyaki, shrimp tempura and beef bulgogi for the main course, a selection of sushi rolls , Salad, soup and crab rangoons.

Tokyo Den, a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant, opens in Staples near SPID on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  The restaurant offers takeout orders as well as seating.

“It’s just my opinion, but I think we have some of the best shrimp tempura in town,” said Savanh.

Savanh said while there are many Asian restaurants in the Corpus Christi area today, he believes the “eclectic look” of Tokyo Den offers a fresh break from traditional Japanese-style restaurants.

“The mood here, we’re trying to change that,” he said. “From the food to the way we look and even the music we play inside is different from any other restaurant. Our vibe is their own, and I believe our history in the city helps us stand out from everyone else.”

Tokyo Den, a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant, opens in Staples near SPID on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  The restaurant offers takeout orders as well as seating.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Savanh said Tokyo Den was offering a socially distant dine-in service, enforcing face mask covers, and encouraging guests to use the hand sanitizing station at the entrance before sitting.

For those who still don’t want to eat, the part owner said guests can call for takeout orders.

“We’ll be moving to guest grocery delivery apps in the near future, but until then, we advise everyone to check our Facebook page for more updates,” said Savanh.

WHEN YOU GO

What: Tokyo Den

Where: 5118 S Staples St. (next to Chuck E. Cheese)

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays from 5pm to 11pm; Sundays from 5pm to 10pm

For more information, visit Tokyo Den on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Tokyo-Den-101341658455779/ or call 361-257-1692 to place an on-the-go order.

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Meagan Falcon covers entertainment, activities, and breaking news. Support our subscription options and specials at Caller.com/subscribe for more coverage