Yaki – Goodge Street

Reviewed on January 6th, 2014 by Dina

Yaki is a Japanese eatery and bakery in central London. It seemed like a good place to go for lunch especially as they did a One Bowl Meal on rice!

The Oyako-Don was a combination of chicken and egg cooked in Japanese seasoning served with rice. It also came with some pickled ginger and edamame. Although the dish had a good flavour, there was not enough chicken and egg and so most of the meal was the rice.

YakiYaki Oyako DonYaki 2Yaki InteriorYaki Tai YakiYaki Latte

One specialty of Yaki is their Tai-yaki. This is a fish shaped waffle with a savoury or sweet filling. Originally, I was going to choose the green tea custard azuki filling but then did not fancy the red bean with custard. The Tai-yaki was served warm with its filling of green tea custard white chocolate. The fish waffle was a lot bigger than I had expected and it was not overly sweet.

Yaki is a small place with only a few tables and chairs inside. There are some window seats. Luckily, it was not too much of a cold day, so we were able to sit outdoors.

A warming drink was needed so the green tea soya latte was chosen. This drink seemed more to taste of the milk rather than the green tea which was surprising as it was made with macha green tea.

On a positive note, the food is cooked fresh to order. The staff were friendly and after placing our full order, the various items were brought out to us.

If you want something different for lunch, Yaki also does the omelette style Okonomi-yaki, baked octopus balls Taco-yaki and also Rice Burgers!

Yaki , 53 Goodge Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1TG

Rating: ★★★½☆

Yaki on Urbanspoon

Hazuki – Covent Garden

Reviewed on January 29th, 2011 by Dina

It’s quite easy to walk past Hazuki and not notice it, as it’s on the corner of a busy street! But, Hazuki is worthwhile noticing, as it has some of the best Japanese food!

Hazuki has its dining area over two levels. The dark wood furniture contrasts with the cream decor. There are also screens decorated with Japanese artwork. The restaurant was quiet when we first arrived but it didn’t take long for it to get busy.

The staff and service were fantastic. They gave service with a smile and were always ready to clear up empty dishes to make room on the table for more food! Also, our cups were constantly being refilled with the jasmine tea.

All the dishes, starters and mains, were really tasty. We had no faults with any of them.

The pork and chive gyoza had a good flavour and were filled generously. The crispy salmon strips were something new for myself, as in I’d had salmon before, but not the skin fried on its own before! It was nice enough but I think that I prefer it with the salmon flesh!

The aubergine with chilli dish was a big portion and very spicy! The pan fried squid came with green beans. The squid and beans were not overcooked, with the green beans still quite tender. For the chicken starter, we had the yakitori, which was grilled chicken on two skewers. The chicken was soft and tender.

One dish that I did not try was the itawasa-fish cake with wasabi. It was very pretty to look at though with its pink, green and white semi circles presented on a green leaf.

Surprisingly, we had room for some main dishes as well! We went for a selection which included chicken, salmon and a hotpot. The chicken katsu was deep fried bread crumbed chicken. It wasn’t greasy and was very moreish. It came already sliced into strips so it was easy to eat.

The salmon was the sake terayaki grilled salmon. The fish was succulent! The terayaki had the expected good sweet/sour taste.

The tarachiri nobe cod hotpot came in an iron pot. As well as the big piece of cod, this dish also had tofu and vegetables all in a broth! The hotpot could have been a complete meal for one person, together with the rice! It had a light delicate flavour.

Everything about Hazuki was great and it’s a fantastic place to go for quality Japanese cuisine!

Hazuki, 43 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HS

Rating: ★★★★★

Hazuki on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

Itsu – Regent Street

Reviewed on December 11th, 2010 by Dina

Itsu’s motto is health and happiness and that is exactly what it delivers, in my eyes! The calming atmosphere is created with the help of its beautiful orchids, spacious dining area, booths, and the pink and brown decor!

At Itsu, you have to go to the counter to order your meal. This is convenient if you want something quick but healthy at the same time.

The menu is not huge but has enough choice. They recently updated the menu so now it includes hot rice dishes, cupcakes, teas as well as the original noodle soups, ready boxed sushi, salads and frozen yoghurt.

On this particular visit, I chose the vegetable dumpling pot-su. Itsu calls this a complete meal in  a pot and it is a definitely that! The base is the dynamite soup with carrots, ginger, beansprouts and pumpkin seeds. It also has vermicelli glass noodles which are also known as mung bean noodles. These are lighter than udon noodles and they are also gluten free.

The vegetable dumplings are of a good size and they are steamed. They are usually served in the soup but I prefer them on the side. The pot-su is a really filling and warming soup! The soup has strong flavours and also is slightly tangy. The vegetables, dumplings, noodles and the dynamite broth is a match made in heaven!

Itsu uses low sodium soy sauce in their food. The staff were ok and were fairly helpful!

Itsu, 18-20 Lower Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PH

Rating: ★★★★★

Itsu on UrbanspoonSquare Meal