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Posts Tagged ‘sushi in London’

Yashin sushi restaurant, High Street Kensington

Like many food lovers, I regularly crave high-quality sushi.  Sadly, though, I’m often disappointed by the hyped-up spots in London.  For example, in 2010, Sushi of Shiori sounded like the second coming.  But when I finally snagged a counter seat there, I was disappointed.  Never again will I allow my expectations to rise like that, I vowed.  I’ll stay content with my perfectly good, friendly, local sushi joint, Sa Sa.

But then Yashin appeared.  I saw this glowing review by London Eater, and this one by Tamarind & Thyme, and my vow didn’t stand a chance.  Blow torch sushi.  Have you heard of it?

Jon and I had an 8 pm booking last weekend, and sadly, although there were open seats upstairs at and near the sushi bar, we were told we could only sit downstairs.  Oh well.  The downstairs is wood-panelled, small and kind of quiet.  You’re close to the bathroom and coat check, though, in case those are pluses for you.

sake taster "Set C" (£8.20)

Sake tasters are available at reasonable prices.  My takeaway:  test tubes are weird to drink out of.

prawn tempura roll (£6.80_

Yes, I know I’m visiting a restaurant staffed by skilled itamae.  But I still want a prawn tempura roll.  Yashin takes pride in flavoring its rice and sushi so that you *don’t need or want to drown it in soy sauce*.  This first taste of what the kitchen could do lived up to that promise.  The prawns were sweet and still slightly warm, and the rolls were packed with peppery and citrus-yuzu flavor.  No need for mayo, much less soy sauce.

soft shell crab salad (£8.40)

I haven’t had a soft-shell crab this juicy  and fresh in *years*.  The crispy mizuna greens and accompanying rice wine vinaigrette were a perfect foil.

8-piece omasake (£30)

And then the main attraction – omakase.  Jon and I had foolishly eaten a late-day snack, so we played it safe with Yashin’s smallest omakase option:  the eight-piece.

Much has been written about Yashin’s omakase, so I’ll just note generally:

1.  The blow-torch thing is genius.  It adds a wonderful charred, smoky flavor to silken raw fish.  Let me emphasize: the fish does not get ruined/cooked.  It’s just flavored.

2.  The different seasonings pair well with the various fish.  Salmon with some ponzu-and-wasabi kick, for example.  Delicately-sweetened eel.  The guys doing the flavor pairings are spot on.

Overall, I loved our food.   Definitely worth the pricetag.  We paid £94 for two people, and that’s without drinking much.

Downsides:  the downstairs room is kind of depressing, and the service, while seemingly well-intentioned, was not the best.  We were in and out in under 40 minutes, partly because our sushi arrived quickly, and mostly because the second we took our last bite of sushi, a woman cleared our plates and then nobody asked us if we wanted anything else.  In fairness to Yashin, we really didn’t want anything else that night, but blowing almost £100 for a 40-minute meal just feels really weird.  As if you just stopped in for a quick bite to eat in the neighborhood, yes?

Yet clearly Yashin aspires to be more of a destination restaurant, so turning a table in less than an hour just seems wrong.  i know this is going to sound petty and slightly weird, but it would have been nice of Yashin had spaced the food out a little more and made us feel like we were welcome to linger over a coffee or tea.

So.  Fresh, creative, delish sushi.  Decent decor and buzz if you’re upstairs.  Polite-but-too-fast service.

I’ll be back for the food, and next time, maybe I’ll line up a movie or show after dinner.

Yashin Sushi, 1A Argyll Rd, W8 7DB; 0207 938 1536; closest Tube station:  High Street Kensington
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Sushi of Shiori near Euston Station

Jon, our friend J and I arrived at Sushi of Shiori last week with high expectations.  London Eater, who eats a lot of sushi, loved it so much he visited three times over a two-month period; Hollow Legs, never one to hold back if she dislikes a place, raved about her £50 omakase (chef’s choice) dinner there.  And of course, pros, too, are fans.

We’d called ahead to ask for an omakase dinner for £40 a person.  I was expecting mind-blowingly-fresh fish and a relaxed evening catching up with J, but when we left Sushi of Shiori two hours after we’d first arrived, I felt like both my expectations were half-met.

Sitting at the 3-person counter facing the chef, (who’s ex-Umu, if you hadn’t heard), the three of us found it mildly awkward carrying on a conversation.  One of the differences between Sushi of Shiori and other sushi counters is that there’s nothing separating you from the sushi chef.  It didn’t help that for the first 30 minutes or so, we were the only diners in the restaurant (there are five other seats, which isn’t much, but having even just two other people around can help the atmosphere).  

crabmeat and baby courgette

A mouthful of delicate, sweet crabmeat was a good start.

miso soup with fried flowers

Fragrant, umami-rich miso soup was possibly the best version I’ve ever tried.  The chef’s wife, a one-woman front-of-house, told us the rice-krispy-looking garnish were deep-fried flowers.  They added nice texture, but the soup would have been excellent even without them.

sea bass

The sea bass sashimi was beautifully fanned out, peacock style, with each “feather” dotted with sticky plum sauce.   We dipped each delicate slice of sashimi in a small bowl of ponzu sauce, which did its citrus refreshing thing.  All very good, but the fish seemed to rely heavily on the sauces for flavor.

sashimi platter

Highlights of the sashimi platter were the scallop and the prawn, both wonderfully sweet.  Low point was the not-so-fatty tuna, which had been seared to the point of becoming a lukewarm cube of flavorless protein.

nigiri and maki platter

Rice-based nigiri and maki are usually my favorites at sushi restaurants.  On the plus side, the rice was slightly warm, not too sticky, and a good balance of sweet and tart.  The downside was that none of the fish was memorable.

Wagyu beef nigiri

The seared beef nigiri was very nice, topped with spring onion and a  ponzu jelly.

green tea ice cream

And for dessert, the green tea ice cream with a crispy, nutty biscuit would’ve been a perfect end to our dinner sans mealy chestnut.

At around 9 pm, a wave of people arrived at the restaurant to order takeaway, which made me think Sushi of Shiori would be a *brilliant* place to order takeaway sushi.   But for a transcendent sushi restaurant experience?  Not so much.  Maybe £40 a person wasn’t enough to experience fireworks, but I left Sushi of Shiori disappointed.  High expectations are a bitch.

Sushi of Shiori, 144 Drummond Street, NW1 2PA; 020 7388 9962

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TenShi in Islington

I’ve lived in Angel Islington for close to five years now, and I love this ‘hood.  The many food-shopping options and shopping options, generally, make me happy.  As does running along the Regent’s Canal and being able to walk to work.

What holds Islington back from Best Neighborhood Ever status, I think, is its high percentage of mediocre restaurants.  So whenever I hear about a new place in the ‘hood with good reviews, I show up with high hopes, and honestly, I’m usually disappointed.  The latest example of this cycle of disappointment:  TenShi sushi, which opened earlier this year and has gotten recommended a number of times by TimeOut for being good value.

prawn tempura roll

I didn’t order anything very unusual, and yet it was all sub-par.  The prawns in my prawn tempura roll were flavourless, and instead of including crunchy cucumber slices with just the right dab of sweet mayo and wasabi, the rolls were flavored only with soy sauce. In fact, everything at TenShi that I tried tasted of soy sauce:  agedashi tofu, udon noodle soup.

yaki soba

Yaki soba, again, tasted mostly of soy sauce with a dollop of grease mixed in.   Whoever worked the kitchen that night was a lover of soy sauce, for sure, and I kept thinking of that scene in the Joy Luck Club where the clueless dinner guest destroys his food by dousing it in soy sauce.

Service was attentive and fast, and the prices were low (four mains and two shared starters totaled £60).  But if I’m craving sushi and want to stay in the ‘hood, I’ll  stick with Sa Sa Sushi (which is closed on Sunday evenings – hence why I was at TenShi on a Sunday evening).  So without further ado . . . .
Tenshi on Urbanspoon

Sa Sa Sushi

I’ve meant to do a blog post about Sa Sa Sushi for ages.  It’s one of those places where I eat very often and take for granted, and I feel very protective towards the kind and welcoming people who work there, so I suppose a part of me didn’t want to subject them to potentially-unfriendly scrutiny.  But you know, after eating the fish here at least three times a month for a couple of years, I owe them a shout out, no?

assorted nigiri and rolls at Sa Sa Sushi

Jon and I don’t vary our orders much here.  It’s our prerogative to avoid exploring the menu when it’s just a quick bite out in the neighborhood.   Which is all to say, I vouch for the rolls and the nigiri and have no opinion either way on Sa Sa Sushi’s other dishes.   Prawn tempura roll, of course, is one of my favorites, as are the crunchy-and-spicy [insert any fish here] rolls.  I like, for example, that when you order a spicy tuna roll, you don’t end up with a mayonnaise-chili-mash of last-week’s tuna.  Instead, the roll includes a hefty piece of identifiably-fresh tuna that is delicately spiced with chili.

udon noodle soup at Sa Sa Sushi

Jon’s an udon noodle lover, so he gets this a lot.  I’ve had a taste of his a few times, and it’s good, but when I show up at Sa Sa, I’m there for the fish.

Service at Sa Sa can be slow, but most times the slow-ness is due to the care with which the sushi chefs are making each roll and piece of nigiri (I’ve watched them while sitting at the sushi counter up front).

The restaurant’s decor is bright and inoffensive, if a bit charmless, and prices are reasonable (£4-6 a roll), so the tab usually comes to £20 a person if you’re sticking only with the sushi options (which you should).

I’m not claiming the place is a destination restaurant, but I confidently assert that Sa Sa is one of the best places to eat in Islington and miles better than what I’ve tried at TenShi.

Sa Sa Sushi, 422 St. John Street, EC1V 4NJ, 020 7837 1155; closest tube station:  Angel (exit the station and make a left, away from Upper Street and towards City Road).
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exterior of Tomoe sushi restaurant in London

Almost a year ago, I read Krista’s rave review of Tomoe sushi and thought “hmm, it’s cheap, fresh, handy when near Oxford Street *and* it’s named Tomoe [just like my fave sushi place in NY].” There was *no question* I was going to rush over.

So. I’ve been to Tomoe five or six times over the past few months, and the thing I liked every time was that it was, in fact, cheap, fresh, and handy when near Oxford Street. No fireworks from the food. But good, honest value: no matter how much I order at Tomoe, my tab always seems to come out around £15.

Well, this evening when I dropped by, Tomoe’s sushi just knocked my socks off. The fish’s freshness was off the charts. I was so impressed! All those other visits I’ve paid were good, but today was great. When I mentioned how especially good the sushi was today, our server looked at me like I was on crack. Maybe they just got a super-good fish delivery today? Maybe the packed house (thanks to a very large party of Japanese men) meant the sushi was made especially a la minute? I wish I could figure out why today was suddenly shoulders-above all my previous visits, because I really couldn’t get enough of the fish.

I started with miso soup, as always, and drinking it down created a spot of warm comfort in these cold, dark nights. It’s good, but the food that followed was without question the highlight.

chirashi sushi at Tomoe

chirashi sushi at Tomoe

My friend ordered the chirashi sushi (aka bowl of assorted sushi toppings on rice), and look at the care that went into putting it together. It was so pretty! And £8 for this large bowl of goodness.

salmon nigiri at Tomoe

salmon nigiri at Tomoe

Salmon nigiri (£1.70 a piece) was melt-in-your mouth rich. Fresh and light tasting. Beautifully sliced and bedded on still-slightly-warm sushi rice, with an excellent balance of sweet, sour and spicy (from the wasabi). I started with just two pieces and just had to have more and more.

shrimp tempura maki at Tomoe

shrimp tempura maki at Tomoe

Maki was good as always, but played second fiddle to the raw fish. That said, I’m partial to the shrimp tempura roll (when am I not, honestly?) as well as to the unagi-avocado roll. Most rolls are £5 an order, and three orders is very filling, even if you’re a big eater comme moi.

The bill never arrives itemized, but I always end up with an average tab of £15 for seemingly-endless amounts of sushi and green tea. Service is unfailingly polite and sincere seeming. For example, today, our server apologized in advance when we sat down, because she worried that the crowds of diners this evening would mean the sushi chef would be slower than normal fulfilling our order.

The decor is drab, but endearingly un-slick. Go. Bring friends. And tell me what made today so much better than all my earlier visits.

Tomoe Sushi, 62 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2PB; 0207 486 2004; closest tube stations: Bond Street or Oxford Circus
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Sake No Hana interior from Jan Moir

Because I’m a fan of Alan Yau’s restaurants, particularly Hakkasan (yes, I know he sold off control of Hakkasan and Yauatcha recently, but to me, they’ll always be his restos), I’ve been meaning to get to Sake No Hana since it opened a few months ago. Part of the reason I held off, though, is because professional reviews have shared an underlying message of “I am going to say nice-ish things about the food without having to say I really didn’t enjoy the place.” Or maybe that’s just me, projecting. [It seems I’ve just given away the ending to the otherwise-high-suspense, gripping medium known as the restaurant review.]

On the other hand, my friend Jane enjoyed her experience there a few weeks ago, as did my friend Shamini, and another food blogger who ate there twice in a month. So. I went this weekend for dinner.

Grilled blue king crab with ponzu sauce at Sake No Hana

Jon and I didn’t get to sit at one of the fab-looking tatami-mat tables because there aren’t any that seat two. We ended up way in the back of the dining room, by the kitchen and the escalator that takes you out of the resto. In case it wasn’t bad enough that we were in Siberia missing out on tatami mat fun, I overheard both the couple to my left and the one to my right ask their servers why the restaurant didn’t serve house fried rice. Weird. I wonder: do people go to Japanese restaurants looking for fried rice? [Jon, ever the cultural translator, explained that “house fried rice” is what non-Chinese people call fried rice without soy sauce. Fascinating.]

Anyhow, it seems the menu has been updated since all the first reviews of Sake No Hana came out. It’s still organized by cooking technique (grilled, fried, braised, etc.), but in English, not Japanese. So in that way, I thought the menu was pretty easy to navigate. Slightly frustrating, though, was how unpredictable portion sizes were and how one of our servers’ guidance was so off:

Jon and I had thought the braised pork ribs sounded delish, but our server told us it was intended to serve four people and suggested we try the grilled blue king crab with ponzu sauce (photo above), instead. We hesitated – because we sure love braised pork – but she won us over by adding “the crab is really delicious.”

Well, the enormous crab claws were still smoking when they arrived, and the ponzu sauce was poured on at the table, causing much sizzle, steam and general drama. It’s just too bad the crab meat was kind of tough and the ponzu brought about only a slightly sour taste on the crab. £28 badly spent.

And how extra disappointing that it seemed the servers were pushing the king crab all night! (We bumped into acquaintances on our way out who mentioned their server’s very strong rec of the dish).

tempura prawns and courgette blossoms at Sake No Hana

Our prawn tempura and courgette blossom tempura were super oily and a tad soggy, which surprised me because I’d expected the virtuoso grease-free frying at Hakkasan to just find its way to Sake No Hana.

The fatty tuna nigiri we ordered was OK (disappointingly not melt-in-your-mouth); our braised aubergine was interesting, but threw me off because it was served cold and whole. I didn’t enjoy the cold, slimy feel of it, much as I liked the aubergine’s smoky, salty-sweet flavor. Miso sea bass was good, but ever since the rise of Nobu miso cod, when have you ever seen that dish go wrong? At £18 for a smaller-than-appetizer portion, I don’t think I’d get it again at SNH.

So what did I like about Sake No Hana?

I liked the high ceilings, the sleek, black escalators. The carafes of tap water in ergonomic and stylish crystal pitchers. Servers were all polite and generally helpful. Sakes by the carafe were fun to try and pair with food. A lot of the carafes cost £15-£20 and yielded three or four sake glasses. Plain old sesame udon noodles and agedashi tofu were simple but delicious and beautiful. (I’m glad we threw these last two dishes in, and we ordered them only after we’d eaten everything else and realized we were still hungry).

Our tab for two carafes of sake and all the food I just described (the grilled crab, tempuras, nigiri, braised aubergine, miso sea bass, agedashi tofu and udon noodles) came to £125.

I might go back with a party of four or six to sit in the resto’s snazzy room on a tatami mat, but otherwise, there are a lot of other places I’d go (especially for Japanese food and at these prices) before I revisit Sake No Hana.

Sake No Hana, 23 St James’s St, SW1A 1HA, 020 7925 8988.  Closest tube:  Green Park

Photo at top courtesy of Jan Moir Are You Ready to Order.

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dining room at Sushi Say Restaurant, Willesden Green, London

Last weekend was rainy, but Sushi Say was all the comfort I needed. It’s a small, narrow restaurant with a sushi counter up front and a dining room with about a dozen tables in the back. The owners are a husband-and-wife team, and best I could tell, the husband is the sushi chef at the counter, and the wife is the gracious maitre d’ and pinch server. They set a great example, because everyone working at Sushi Say was helpful, patient (at explaining the lengthy menu) and welcoming. (more…)

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Hare and Tortoise sushi, Kensington, London

I miss my friends Cathy and Bobby, who moved away a few weeks ago to Hong Kong. In tribute to them (and to feed my ever-present sushi cravings), I recently ate at the Hare & Tortoise restaurant in Kensington, which is where we’d eat together after hanging out at their flat on Kensington High Street.

I have no idea why it’s called the Hare & Tortoise. The first time I went, I worried that any restaurant with the word “tortoise” in its name did not bode well, but that’s me seeing the glass half empty, because I conveniently ignored the “hare” bit. And in fact, service has always been efficient, though not particularly helpful or friendly. That description of H&T’s service could apply to decor and food, too: it’s all good enough, but not outstanding. The appeal is that the place is reliable and good value by London standards.

My favorite dishes there are the agedashi tofu (£3.20) and shrimp tempura rolls (£6). They’re always freshly fried, come in a nice portion size, and most importantly, they’re modestly priced. I often get assorted nigiri and maki, too, but generally, unless the fish is sublimely fresh, I’m interested more in the “cooked” foods.

Hare & Tortoise is pan-Asian, so I surprise myself by liking it. I normally prefer restaurants that specialize in one cuisine (figuring you should just do one thing well instead of lots things poorly), but you know, the curry laksa (£5.95) at the restaurant also rocks my world. It’s hot and spicy, but also comfortingly creamy and sweet. Malaysia in a bowl.

In this dark, rainy weather, I take refuge in eating fried goodies, decent maki, and savoury soups at Hare & Tortoise. Visit it the next time you need a getaway from the chain hell of High Street Ken or are visiting Olympia.

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Chihuly sculpture V&A Great Hall

Every month, on the last Friday of the month, the Victoria & Albert museum is open until 10 pm and hosts live music and some type of themed event.

When Jon and I first moved to London, our corporate flat was a block from the South Kensington tube station, and I had a lot of free time on my hands. So, no surprise that I dropped by the (free) V&A museum pretty often. But since we’ve moved to Islington, I’ve been back to the V&A maybe twice at most, which is too bad because the V&A is uniquely eclectic in today’s world of highly-specialized major museums. It’s a jumble in there, united only by a theme of “design.”

Kimonos and medieval triptychs just down the hall from Italian Renaissance sculptures. That sort of thing.

Well, this past Friday, Jon and I decided to check out July’s “Friday Late” theme named “The 2007 Village Fete,” which took place outdoors in the V&A’s gorgeous John Madejski Garden. The idea is to enjoy some mild summer weather with a happy crowd while playing “village fair games” with a twist.

V&A Late Friday queue

First, we waited on an enormous ticket line for over an hour. We’d thought about giving up, but like the sheep we are, we reasoned that if the line was this long, it must be good. I amused myself by taking photos of people standing on line.

Much as I love the V&A Great Hall with its super-pretty-super-phallic Chihuly sculpture (photo at top), I was unamused by the hapless ticket people at the main desk. Five people at the desk and they can’t manage to figure out an efficient system to process ticket sales.

Once in the Garden, we were disappointed (though not surprised) that it started to rain. Too bad, because some of the games looked like fun. There was, for example, the “Inflate a Mate” stall, where you drew a picture of your friend on a balloon and then inflated it with helium. Or the British party staple, the tombola.So we gamely tried to have fun (after all, we’d waited on that huge line to get in, right?), but the rain and cold were too much. Plus, we were hungry. But where to eat in South Kensington that’s not a big chain or expensive-and-crappy?

Kulu Kulu conveyor belt South Kensington

Cue the Kulu Kulu conveyor belt sushi place near the South Ken station.Usually, for our conveyor-belt sushi fix, Jon and I end up at Itsu or Yo! Sushi, and even at those places, we never walk out without spending £40 together. But it turns out Kulu Kulu is really cheap. All the dishes passing by on the conveyor belt are priced between £1.80 and £3, which I contrast with Itsu or Yo!’s prices that can hit £6 per plate.

salmon avocado roll at Kulu Kulu South Kensington

There isn’t much variety offered, and the sushi chef can barely be bothered to tightly roll and slice the maki, but for honkin’ huge and fresh pieces of salmon, tuna and agedashi tofu, you can’t pay more than £3 per dish you pull off the conveyor belt.

So even though the dining room at Kulu Kulu’s South Kensington location is small and dated, the green tea is free, and we left with tummies full and just £30 poorer. Not bad.

I have to note that the threesome sitting to our right appeared to be a budget-conscious group of high-schoolers who repeatedly asked the servers how much each dish on the conveyor belt was. Of course, this being the UK, this same group didn’t think twice about ordering several bottles of wine despite avoiding any £3 dish like the plague. I thought that was entertaining, and I was glad we left before their drinking really got under way.

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Lapel PoppyThis past Saturday was the 11th day of the 11th month, and at the 11th hour, the UK observed a two-minute moment of silence in honor of Remembrance Day.

While living in the U.S., I am pretty sure I have made my share of Veteran’s Day jokes (usually along the lines of its stature as a holiday for which you don’t get the day off from work, and therefore, it follows that it’s unimportant). But one of the big differences between living in Europe and in the U.S. is how real and recent the world wars are in the UK.

For example, judging from its interior, the Victoria & Albert museum is a fully-modernized, attractive museum, but the building’s exterior has been purposely left sooty and riddled with big and small holes – reminders of bombings and gunfire during the Blitz.

In general, people in the UK seem to truly remember (and want to remember) the world wars, probably because being attacked by the Germans was a harsh reality for so long.  I’m very impressed by how the simple act of donating money to veterans (and in exchange receiving a cheap lapel poppy pin), forces everyone to remember the human cost and sacrifice of war.  Everywhere I look – on the sidewalks, on the tube – I see people wearing these red poppies on their lapels. It’s nice to think that despite everyday preoccupations, people take time to remember.

As proof of how quickly a person moves on from thoughtful moments, though, Jon and I went with Cathy and Bobby to Noel Coward Theatresee Avenue Q on Saturday, which just opened in London at the Noel Coward Theatre.  The show was just over two hours long, and the theatre was cozy and ornate, which seemed an odd setting for a somewhat-edgy, dirty musical about 20-something college grads (including one earnest young fellow named Princeton) moving to the boonies of Brooklyn and going through the painful transition into “real life.”

At first, it took me a while to catch on to the fact that the humans directing the puppets were not characters themselves, but rather were extensions of the puppet characters. But the lyrics, singing and acting were so clever and funny that at some point, I stopped focusing on the human actors and instead I transferred the facial expressions of the human puppeteers onto the puppets.

I especially enjoyed how creative and ironic the show was. For example, songs about serious “adult” topics were accompanied by Sesame-Street-cheery melodies.

However much I enjoyed the show, I did wonder if many of the jokes were too American-specific for anyone else to enjoy. For example, one character, who is Japanese, sings about how offensive she thinks the word “oriental” is (“Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”), and here in the UK, oriental is the mainstream, accepted word for what we call “Asian” in the US. (In the UK, “Asian” means someone from the Indian subcontinent).

Then there’s Gary Coleman as a character in the show – a pretty funny touch, but I doubt Diff’rent Strokes was a big thing here in the UK.  I guess I’m just curious how much the UK audience enjoys Avenue Q’s very American sense of humor. Luckily, everyone laughs at puppets performing sex acts. I was glad we went.

After the show, we had dinner at the Japan Centre, which has a Japanese restaurant on the ground floor, a Japanese bookstore on the top floor, and a Japanese grocery store on the basement floor. The shrimp tempura futo maki was fresh, but otherwise, it was just shrimp tempura and lettuce (of all things). So the maki satisfied my craving for tempura maki, but otherwise I’ve had much better elsewhere (such as at the Japan Centre-affiliated Yoshino).

The agedashi tofu, which we’d never had before, gets a shout out for being lightly fried with a crisp texture, and Cathy’s spicy ramen could have been good had it not been so salty. The ramen was fresh and al dente, though, so we’ll have to go back and try a different fresh ramen.

Jon’s udon soup was a little paltry, but he seemed satisfied. Our total tab came to £60 for three people, which is a lot for eating at a cafeteria-style restaurant, but hey, London is pricey. We will cope.

After dinner, we walked towards Green Park and had drinks at Fakhreldine (85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB). It’s a Lebanese restaurant with a dimly-lit, attractively-sleek interior filled with lots of cozy banquettes and tables for gathering your friends together and chatting. We didn’t stay long, but I liked that it was a pretty place to sit and hang out.

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