Located on Earlham Street, just off Seven Dials in Covent Garden, this Japanese dining room is a little less Izakaya than it claims, and perhaps a bit more Wagamama, albeit a far more sexier and ultimately more satisfying version! We take a seat in one of the booths that surround a very long, central table (ideal for tucking in with the masses), and we quickly realise that it takes a rare breed of idiot to sit in a windowless basement when the temperatures are soaring outside - we've committed now though, so must see it through, for the hirata buns if nothing else (a new-found love of mine since visiting Shoryu recently).
I should first and foremost mention that the food in this place is great - hats off to the chefs, who calmly work in an open kitchen and made us a delectable feast of prawn tempura sushi rolls, Korean fried wings and miso soup to start, followed by crispy piglet belly, 1/2 young chicken and crispy duck leg, all perfectly prepared for us to portion off with some very thoughtful accompaniments, into some mouthwateringly good steamed buns, courtesy of Bone Daddies ramen bar in Soho (the hot older brother!).
Everything I put in my mouth today was brilliant, but (and I'm afraid this is a rather disappointingly large BUT), the metal beakers made the water taste of, well...metal, the service was disengaging and uninformative, our waitress was far too quick to swipe everything off our table while people were still eating (inexplicably hasty in a very slow lunch service), and without wanting to sound like Wagamama's less intelligent, ugly sister, the menu was impossible to interpret! I think we've collectively gotten to the bottom of it now, but if I was part of a larger group, I might have given up and cried myself into a hungry stupor in the toilets, comforted by the fabulous naked manga wallpaper! Great food, with promising ambience but the rest let it down unfortunately.
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|Flesh & Buns|
|Prawn tempura roll|
|1/2 young chicken|
|Dessert menu looked great!|