Actually this is the only Japanese restaurant in London that I’ve re-visit during my stay in London. Most of Japanese restaurants in London for me have the same kind of taste, atmosphere, and menu. For example, they always have the same nice and easy chicken katsu curry, crunch and salty salmon skin roll, fresh sashimi, kinds of ramen, and so on. There’s no point of visiting again, it’s all too predictable for me.
But, what’s so special about this restaurant?
Actually, it is one of the few Japanese restaurant where you can find 6 rolls of fat sushi under 5 pounds. Also, it is also one of those rare restaurant where they won’t take tips from you (yes : read below ‘JAPANESE STYLE : WE DO NOT TAKE TIPS). Cool!
For budget conscious people who dont settle for less, this is the right place for you (us). When you’re hungry, you can even ask a larger portion of rice (they call it ‘OMORI ‘), and the top up for this is free of charge! Yippi!
On the other side, all this student-friendly elements boiled down to the explanation on why are they having a fussy Japanese guy at the till. The guy told us to wait for an hour just to get in, and when 20 minutes later we are already in front of the line, he told us not to come in, and just to stay outside in the cold…
Even afterwards when the diner already looked a bit empty, he still wont let us in. My friend was impatient and asked him why are we being kept to wait when there were empty seats. He said that he want to prepare a large table downstairs for our party of six. We said that it’s okay and we can just separate the table and the bill (this is words from empty stomach, – yes, food before friends). Suprisingly he said that it’s “not okay” for him (and I thought it’s going to be – our decision?)
So, it was quite a hassle to get in, but sometimes no tipping means no great service as well.
Anyways, the food was worth the wait. We ordered salmon avocado roll (6.8 pounds),
which happens to have more salmon and avocado than the rice, and which is good. Also we ordered a spicy California roll (5 pounds), which also is much much better than your cheap-but-slutty YO-SUSHI!
I ordered myself the agedashi tofu (5.5 pounds), which is just perfectly salty, crunchy, and soft.
Also I share the regular chicken karage (6.3 pounds) with my cousin, because the portion is just enough for two skinny Asians like us (ehm) and the taste were also safely good.
A friend order the zaru soba dish (7.3 pounds). But it was just not enough salt, not enough soy sauce, and not enough sugar.. and in short it’s damn plain (or is that how soba should taste like? – Not recommending the soba in this place).
Finally, Tokyo Diner is above all worth to wait because of it’s value for money, and the gracious portion. I smiled happily to the fussy guy at the till when I only paid around 10 pounds for a three course meal (and I still get a penny for the change!).
He didn’t smile back.
Name : Tokyo Diner
Type : Japanese
Opening Times :Mon – Sun, 12.00 – 00.00
Address : 2 Newport Place, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7JJ England
(get off at Leicester Square tube station, just across the place so called ‘award winning gay bar’)
London Honest Food Review