It was the day after my son was born and as the labour ward was shut to visitors between 1PM and 3PM i decided to pop home to Notting Hill to get a bit of rest and some decent food inside me. I had been living on crisps and takeaways for 4 days so I was keen to get something more substantial into me. However when I opened the fridge tiredness hit me and I just couldn't muster the energy or enthusiasm to cook lunch. I decided to avail myself of one of the local spots for lunch. I had been wanting to try "Eat Tokyo" for a while. It occupies the site of the former "Costa's Fish Bar" on Hillgate st. A venerable local institution that was only shut when the onwer decided to take a well deserved retirement. It may have denied us our Friday Night fish and Chips but I was not unhappy to see a Japanese noodle shop pop up in it's place.
I wandered down to their place looking forward to a quiet restorative lunch. I was politely greeted at the door by the waiting staff and chef and shown to a table. The restaurant was about half full which isn't bad for a Monday. I leafed through the menu which came with handy pictures and ordered some grilled gyoza dumplings and a pork escalope bento box, to drink I had green tea. I was pleased to see that the new owners had kept the same sparse understated decor of the "Costa's". It reminded me of my old west end favourite "Ramen Seto" where the food does the talking not the decor. A nice new touch was some quiet music playing in the background and a projection of Japanese scenes onto one of the walls. All in all it was very relaxing and gave me some time to take in the reality of fatherhood.
My food arrived after about 10 minutes and was very nice indeed. The Bento box was huge, rice, tofu squares, lots of pork escalope, a nice salad, a few pieces of sushi, plenty of teriyaki sauce and some miso soup. Really nice fresh flavours big on taste and it really livened me up. I could probably have managed without the gyoza but I can never resist ordering them,. These were very good with a nice crisp filling. I am not the greatest fan of sushi and have always found the cooked offering to be so much better. I sometimes wish people would see further than the california rolls and waygu beef and try something different. "Eat Tokyo" has an open kitchen so I can see the small team of chefs preparing some great looking dishes. I was particularly impressed by one dish which appeard to be a seafood omelette on a bed of noodles.
Service was polite but friendly and I always like places where the kitchen crew say goodbye to you on leaving. The bill was extremely reasonable at around £15 for such a tasty lunch. It has to be said I was very impressed with this little gem, it may be small but the food it turned out was superb. I may miss "Costa's" but I think it's replacement offers the area something new and something authentic. I can't wait to try it again and this time go for something more unusual. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9