Monday, April 30, 2007

Bark: Tokyo Diner

Regular readers will know that I'm rather fond of my food, particularly oriental food; so when I arranged to go into London yesterday to do a little shopping and meet some friends for lunch, I tasked my friend Chris to find us a good Japanese restaurant, as I'd not had any genuinely decent sushi since I went to Seattle last autumn. Since Chris is essentially a walking edition of Time Out, one of his many contacts had recommended him the Tokyo Diner, so we dutifully trotted over to the edge of Chinatown next to Leicester Square to check it out.

Having lived in Japan for a couple of years, Chris is somewhat of an authority on Japanese food, and he said that the place was authentic of the "diner" style restaurants you get in Japan - good, simple food and all the free green tea you can drink. And the best part? No tips. It's apparently never been a part of Japanese culture to take gratuities; they pretty much refuse to take them, giving any money left by stubborn customers to charity instead.

I had a chicken katsudon with a tamarind-based sauce, which was absolutely delicious. I also was compelled to try their superb Salad Futomaki (which were in fact more like california rolls). It wasn't quite on a par with the sushi restaurant the PR guys took us to on the Supreme Commander trip, but Seattle does have a reputation for incredibly good Japanese food. I know that I'd take a trip back to Seattle just to go to that restaurant again... but this diner will be quite an adequate substitute in the meantime, and I can highly recommend it if you like your restaurants on the cozy side.

It was reasonably priced as well - a decent sized lunch plus drinks for less than £15 a head. Very impressive considering the quality of the food and that we were in the middle of London. Next time I think I'll go for one of their intriguing looking bento boxes. Dammit, after writing about this I'm all hungry again...
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