Amid the boisterous bars of Soho and the abundant buffets of Chinatown which decorate their windows in a similar way to Lady Gaga’s way of decorating her nether regions lies a hidden gem of a restaurant.
Situated in Chinatown, on the junction between Newport Place and Lisle Street , Tokyo Diner is, by far, my favourite Japanese restaurant; one which I love going to all year long. In the winter, comforting katsu curries and heart-warming saké (strong rice wine served warm) always end up luring us in. On the other hand, Sushi, sashimi and refreshing sweet plum wine make the perfect light meal during the hotter months. The free Jasmine tea and £1 miso soup only add to the perks of eating at Tokyo Diner.
If, like me, you enjoy salmon, the flavours of their Salmon Don and their Salmon Teriyaki box are simply irresistible. Extra portions of rice are free at Tokyo Diner, although I doubt you will need it since I have always come out of Tokyo Diner feeling content.
Blinded by the city lights and the frenzy of Soho restaurants, Tokyo Diner certainly would not have caught my eye had I not been taken there by my boyfriend. Its rudimentary décor makes it an inconspicuous sushi-haven in the middle of Soho. However, the frequent Asian clientèle speaks for itself and, more than once, we’ve had had to wait in order to get a table.
If anything, the rustic set-up contributes to the authentic Japanese service. Pleasant but demure, the waiters are here to assist without ever imposing. True to the Japanese culture, the staff does not accept tips and the food is made even more irreproachable by its advocacy to sustainability: They serve responsibly sourced fish and opt for a tuna-free menu.
Reasonably priced along with an emphasis on quality and diversity, I simply cannot recommend Tokyo Diner enough!