For a couple of weeks, Jon had been telling me we should go to Ten Ten Tei. He works near Covent Garden and apparently Ten Ten Tei has become a lunch fave of his. By way of background, I should explain that Jon isn’t the world’s biggest fan of sushi, mostly because he often feels hungry soon afterwards. But lingering post-meal hunger isn’t an issue at Ten Ten Tei, which offers a lot of food for the money.
Take, for example, my order of the “tempura set dinner,” which at £19 was easily one of the most expensive items on the menu. The prawn tempura was pretty tasty – sweet prawn; crispy, greaseless panko-crusted exterior. The veg tempura, a lot less impressive, with a somewhat-soggy flour batter-based crust. But check out all the food that accompanied my tempura:
A bowl of tuna and salmon sashimi, which tasted firm and fresh, and while not the silkiest, most flavorful sashimi I’ve ever had, it was better than what I get for lunch at Itsu by a mile.
Agedashi tofu. Another accompaniment to my tempura dinner. Crispy outside; creamy, soft inside. Satisfying stuff.
Chicken teriyaki. Also came with my tempura dinner. Moist, dark meat with a light, simple teriyaki sauce (no gloppy, over-sugary grossness in sight, thank goodness). Oh, and I can’t forget the miso soup. Also part of my set dinner.
Really, Jon could’ve shared just my dinner alone, but instead, Jon ordered himself two main courses: first, a salmon-sashimi-and-roe bowl for £10 (pictured at top). Simple, fresh and satsifying. I hadn’t eaten so much salmon roe since our trip to Russia last year, and I’d missed the way the roe bursts in your mouth with saltiness and creaminess. How great to have a bowl of the stuff.
And then Jon also ordered himself a prawn tempura udon soup, which was, of course, enormous. And at just £6, a meal itself.
Ten Ten Tei isn’t the best sushi of your life, but I think it ranks up there for the title of “best value sushi” of your life. Our tab for a ton of food and a few beers came to £20 a person. We could easily have left with an even more modest bill if we hadn’t over-ordered.
Everything we tried at Ten Ten Tei tasted fresh; the service was helpful; and holy cow, the portions were generous. If you find yourself in Soho looking for good-value sushi, this is the place for you.
Ten Ten Tei, 56 Brewer Street, W1R 3PJ; 020 7287 1738; closest tube station: Piccadilly Circus