Restaurant Toku was my lunchtime haunt for many a month and the place where I would eat set menus until my hangover went away. It couldn’t be more Japanese as it lives on the ground floor of The Japan Centre right by Piccadilly Circus. I invariably find myself drifting back here when I am hungry and in the area (or Sakura by Oxford Circus for Shabu Shabu).
I went there with Jen for lunch after having seen Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy and taking her to Laduree for her first experience of macaroons. I think Jen’s review of Toku would be, “I want more macaroons”. I have some sympathy with her.
The food is good, filling Japanese fare. I think the sashimi/ sushi is probably the best they do as they are one of the few places in London where you can buy sashimi grade fish. However, as winter comes along it is all about warm broths and when we visited, ramen. Now ramen is one of those holy dishes. It is the kind of dish people get obsessed by and travel across a city (or continent) to get a proper fix of. I have had great ramen in two places, in Japan at the town of Nikko just outside of Tokyo (boring I know) and at Ippudo in NY. I almost preferred Ippudo, the pork stock is the liquid equivalent of the joy of a bacon sandwich on a miserable morning.
My ramen at the Japan Centre was “good”. No more, no less. With all of the rice and gyoza it is very filling. I miss Ippudo and Japan though.
- Price – £15ish with a nice Japanese beer
- Address – 16 Regent St, London, SW1Y 4PH