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Tokiya Japanese restaurant Clapham Junction London
Dec 22nd, 2009 by Olivier

Japanese restaurant sushi bar Tokiya
74 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1EH

Tokiya

Tokiya is one of my favourite restaurants in London. The food has always been excellent, its atmoshere is relaxed and it is truly an authentic Japanese restaurant: the chef has over 30 years of experience as a Sushi chef and he was trained in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

We ordered the agedashi tofu (deep fried tofu with tempura sauce – £3.80),  the Prawn tempura roll (5 pieces of deep fried prawn tempura with mayonnaise – £5.00), the nabeyaki udon (white udon noodle with deep fried tempura on pot – £12.00) and the Tokiya special dinner box (assorted sushi, sashimi,spinach sesame,salmon teriyaki,chicken katsu, dobin mushi – £28).

Agedashi tofu

Agedashi tofu

Prawn tempura roll

Prawn tempura roll

The agedashi tofu was its usual high standard, with a lightly crispy outside and firm inner. The prawn tempura roll was also excellent. Tokiya is one of the few Japanese restaurants in London that cooks the prawn tempura fresh in order to make your sushi – nothing is pre-prepared here!  The end result is wonderfully fresh and flavoursome.

Tokiya Special Dinner Box

Tokiya Special Dinner Box

In details

In details

In details

The Tokiya Special Dinner Box is the most expensive of their set meal costing £28 which might appear expensive considering the location of the restaurant not far from Clapham Junction train station but actually you do get quite a lot for your money, and the quality was high. The assorted sushi and sashimi were very fresh and great. The salmon teriyaki was perfectly cooked and not overdone with teriyaki sauce as it happens often in “fake” Japanese restaurants, the chicken katsu was very nice too, crispy and light as made with real Japanese bread crumbs (panko). Really a nice set meal. I would gladly take it again despite the too large amount of food (even for me, and I am not a small eater).

The dobin mushi soup coming with the Dinner Box

Another view

Another view

The dobin mushi is a soup with mushroom, fish cake, spring onion and prawns as you can see on the photos above. It is part of that huge dinner box. It was delicious and very welcome with this icy forecast.

Nabeyaki Udon

The nabeyaki udon arrived steaming hot. This dish is fantastic for winter evenings and, thanks to the hot metal pot it arrives in, stays piping hot right to the finish. Along with tempura shrimps & vegetables, this dish has an egg poaching away inside it, which lets you choose how much to let it cook before eating.

The dessert

The dessert

Cost and conclusion: it was £53 with no “optional service charge” added to the bill which is nice and unusual in London. The service was nice, the meal excellent so a very good value for money. Certainly my favourite Japanese restaurant in London! Highly recommended.

Tokiya Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Little Japan – Japanese restaurant near South Kensington tube station, London
Aug 26th, 2009 by Olivier

Little Japan
32 Thurloe Street, South Kensington
London SW7 2LT

Little Japan

Little Japan

Little Japan

Little Japan is a tiny restaurant located in South Kensington, close to the tube station. Actually we had intended to go to la Bouchée which we have already eaten at but it was before the blog. On our way we thought it was a bit of a waste to eat French cuisine in London since we are going to go to the French riviera on vacation soon. It was a bad decision as we found out the hard way.

The restaurant is quite small, with two levels and a counter in the background. The waiter comes to take orders and to serve you but you have to go to the counter to pay.

We ordered some sushi – salmon rolls (8 pieces – £3.50), the tonkatsu bento (described as “deep fried breaded pork marinated in tonkatsu, rice and salad” – £4.90), the Torikara Bento (described as “garlic chicken in teriyaki sauce with rice and salad – £4.90), some deep fried vegetables, a orange juice and a 7up.

Tonkatsu bento

Tonkatsu bento

Tonkatsu or cordon bleu ?

Tonkatsu or cordon bleu ?

The “tonkatsu” was nothing short of astonishing. For a start, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t pork. It was, in fact, a sliced piece of chicken cordon bleu with a dash of tonkatsu sauce. I can’t say it was nasty exactly (though it was overcooked and rather dry) but it certainly wasn’t tonkatsu or even a close approximation. I mean, since when do you have a slice of ham in tonkatsu? LOL The rice was some form of long grain, so also rather dry and difficult to eat as it didn’t stick together (we stuck to chopsticks because, although a couple of forks had been provided, they weren’t too clean…). The rest of the bento box wasn’t worth eating. The salad, drowned in a pasty-white mayonnaise, was some wilted bits of lettuce and tomato whilst the seaweed was seriously nasty to the point I started to worry if I would get sick.

Fried vegetables

Fried vegetables

The deep fried vegetables were exactly as described. Seeing as it was supposed to be a Japanese restaurant, I had, of course, visions of tempura vegetables when I ordered this dish. What I got was chunks of a variety of vegetables, encased in a very peppery batter, and that had been deepfried. Not that bad in small doses, but they had a taste of very well used cooking oil (so the small doses was as much a health issue as anything else).

Torikara bento

Torikara bento

Close-up of the garlic chicken...

Close-up of the garlic chicken...

The garlic chicken in teriyaki sauce was weird too. I couldn’t really taste the teriyaki nor the garlic and it was salty and spongious. In fact, the “garlic” was identifiably garlic salt – if you can imagine that added to chicken in a teriyaki sauce, you start to get an idea of my horror…

Salmon rolls

Salmon rolls

The salmon rolls were bad with a funny sour taste while the wasabi was probably old because it wasn’t very hot anymore. The salmon bits were tiny. You get a lot better salmon rolls at the take away section of Japan Centre, near Picadilly Circus or at just about any place selling sushi.

Cost and conclusion: it was £20.30. It was bad, one of my worst lunches in London. Even thinking about it makes me shiver.

This place has nothing Japanese, the name is very misleading. On the upside, the service was friendly and we did not get sick which is already something (or at least, so far we are not sick). We must be pretty tough! Or maybe just lucky… For more information about Little Japan, just google the name.

Little Japan on Urbanspoon

Miyajima Japanese restaurant in Lavender Hill, Battersea, Clapham Junction, London
Jul 9th, 2009 by Olivier

Japanese restaurant Miyajima
196 Lavender Hill, Battersea
London SW11 1JA
0207 223 1144

Miyajima

Miyajima

Miyajima

Red!

Red!

More red...

More red...

Miyajima is a Japanese restaurant located near Clapham Junction. At night you can recognise the place quite well because of its red display. The door is solid wood and does not really look like the entrance so first you wonder how to get in. Inside, it is black and red. Black for the tables and the ceilling. The rest is red, and deeply red. Put a chamaleon on that red wall and I believe it will die… The tables are canteen-like which is fine as they are quite large. Like at Franco Manca you choose-your-own cuttlery (chopsticks here) from a wood tin in the centre of the table. It’s a bit classier than the recycled tin at Franco Manca of course, but the same principle. The menu is large and thick. Not like a phone book of course but there are many pages. I did not take the time to read everything.

As starters we ordered the salmon rolls (£3.60) and the California rolls (£4.10). They were followed by a tempura bento (£9.50) and a yakitori bento. As drinks we had two Miyajima juice (£2.50 each) and two Tiger beer (£3 each).

Miyajima juice

Miyajima juice

Good Tiger beer

Good Tiger beer

Californian and salmon rolls

Californian and salmon rolls

The salmon rolls and the California rolls were nicely presented and good, but not as good as at Tokiya which has better sushi. The wasabi was very fresh and quite strong.

Yakitori bento

Yakitori bento

Details of the yakitori

Details of the yakitori

Tempura bento

Tempura bento

Details of the tempura bento

Details of the tempura bento

The bento boxes were quite good, with generous servings. The tempura bento had 5 good size shrimp. Considering it cost less than £10 it was a very good value. The fried vegetables were good too. The only thing I did not like was some sweet confit stuff that was put into the salad. Also, the sauce provided here is not the usual tempura sauce. It was more like a lightly sweet soy sauce. The portion of rice was huge.

The yakitori bento was excellent too. There were three skewers with plenty of chicken bits. They were tender and well marinated. Same reserve about the salad: it is fresh but it could do well without the sweet stuff. Actually it is quite amazing how much food they managed to fit into the box. Everything is densely packed.

Cost and conclusion:  it was £41.31 with a service charge of £3.76 included in the bill. Without the two beers and the starters it would be around £25 which is good value for money because the bento boxes are quite large. Friendly staff, reasonable prices and good food can resume Miyajima. I find it better than the other Japanese restaurant Ukai Sushi located accross Lavander Hill street but if you are into sushi mostly, Tokiya Sushi Bar not far on Battersea Rise is the best  in this area and more authentic.

Miyajima on Urbanspoon

Japanese restaurant Tokiya Sushi Bar 74 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EH
Jun 15th, 2009 by Olivier

Tokiya Sushi Bar
74 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1EH

http://www.tokiya.co.uk

Tokiya Sushi Bar

Reviewed on Sunday 14 June 2009

Tokiya Sushi Bar

Tokiya Sushi Bar

 I was looking for a real Japanese restaurant near Wandsworth Common and I finally found it! The restaurant is run by a couple of Japanese people who are originally from Sapporo. The sushi chef has over 30 years of experience and I have to say the food was simply delicious. The design inside is mostly black and it feels like a Japanese diner. At the entrance there is a Maneki Neko – the welcoming cat.

We ordered as starters an Agedashi tofu (Deep fried tofu with tempura sauce – £3.80), the California roll (5 pieces) made of avocado & crab stick & small fish roe with mayonnaise (£4.50) and the spicy salmon roll (5 pieces) made of spicy salmon with mayonnaise (£5). The beers were a Sapporo and an Asahi (£3.20 each). The spicy salmon was indeed hot. It does not get you instantly like a wasabi but it burns the mouth lightly. The California rolls were also very good. With the mayonnaise these Japanese dishes aren’t completely authentic but they are still very good :-) The tofu was yummy and very hot! Be sure to cut it instead of taking the whole tofu at once. You are warned  ;-)

As main courses we had tonkatsu (Deep fried pork fillet – £9) and salmon teriyaki (Grilled Salmon with teriyaki sauce – £8). We also ordered two bowls of steamed plain rice (£1.50 each). The salmon was very good, with a crispy skin while being tender inside. The taste of the teriyaki sauce was perfect, not too sweet. The tonkatsu was perfectly cooked, crispy and not greasy. With the bulldog sauce and the Japanese mustard it was a very good meal.

As dessert I had an ice cream with green tea and black sesame flavour. It was lovely, very smooth. I love the green tea sweet and bitter taste and the particular taste of the sesame was really good. It is easy to write a review when everything is good… If I’m picky, I can find a few downsides: the bowl containing the tofu was a little chipped, the beer could have been colder. Well, they are pretty minor.

Asahi and Sapporo beers

Asahi and Sapporo beers

Excellent Agedashi Tofu (£3.80)

Excellent Agedashi Tofu (£3.80)

California Roll & Spicy salmon Roll

California Roll & Spicy salmon Roll

Tonkatsu (£9)

Tonkatsu (£9)

Salmon Teriyaki (£8)

Salmon Teriyaki (£8)

Overview of the two main courses

Overview of the two main courses

Green tea and black sesame ice cream

Green tea and black sesame ice cream

Cost and conclusion: the total cost was just below £40 and there is no service charge as is the custom in Japan. We appreciate it. The food was excellent and the service friendly. I wish I had discovered this place sooner! We will be back!

Tokiya Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


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