It would be nice to have an enjoyable meal for once.
Enjoyable referring to the food itself. Not the company. I can manufacture that myself.
In an attempt to make full use of the eat out to help out deal, we decided to visit a place I had not reviewed before. In these days looking for clean (less clutter and virus), we picked based on this photo.
The restaurant. Indecisive people that we were, we elected for two different lunch menus, to get a more broad spectrum exposure (sorry for the medical term there but I can think of nothing more suitable, I won’t use the word herd immunity instead).
Padron no tempura, padron pepper tempura with kosho mayonnaise. Extra oil for free. These peppers had a little surprise inside, pockets of oil that had snuck into cavities. The tempura batter was sadly rather tasteless and the mayonnaise a case of being a little too late to save the day.
Shiro miso, white miso soup with shiitake mushrooms and wakame. Watery and tasted like it came out of a packet. The token slices of mushrooms just looked sad in their inability to make this better.
Sashimi moriawase, tuna, salmon, yellow tail and mashed up tuna. I perked up when this arrived. Although I should have stayed in my rather unimpressed state as this tasted like generic fish from a freezer bag. The negitoro (which is what I think they were going for), did not come off well as it was rather salty and seemed like the mush you would get to make fish paste out of.
Califonia maki, crab meat, avocado, mayonnaise and wasbi tobiko. Quite weird as although through the texture, I could tell that it was supposed to be crab but all I could really taste was the mayonnaise. The tobiko added perky little bubbles but this was a dish of looks over taste.
Baechu kim chi, napa cabbage in garlic and hot chili. Sliced nicely into small rectangles the shape were interesting. This was decent although probably the easiest to prepare (and hardest to screw up).
Sake to avocado maki, raw salmon, avocado and asparagus. Generic fish with overpowering avocado on top. I’ve been to Peru and have had excellent Peruvian Japanese food (known as Nikkei). This was not it. Avocadoing everything is not the way.
Gyuniku no gyoza, beef, ginger and sesame dumplings. Coming rather lukewarm and soggy, this could have been so much more but instead came across as a rather flaccid affair lacking any oompf.
Gindara to kani no gyoza, black cod and prawn dumpling with chili dressing. Interesting with a mish mash of seafood inside. Although quantity doesn’t mean quality and both were lacking here.
Gindara no saikyo-yaki, black cod marinated in yuzu miso. Yet, this was something that they got right. Cooked just a shade past done, it was moist, flaky and delicately seasoned. So much so that you didn’t really need to add the extra miso on the side.
Kobuta no ribs yawaraka nikomiyaki, baby back ribs with sansho and cashew nuts. Looked pretty, tasted rather boring. It seemed like the taste had not really permeated the meat in any real way.
The food did make for interesting conversation points making the company even more enjoyable. The actual taste of the food itself presented another problem. It wasn’t enjoyable or exciting. Taking it all together, was it an enjoyable meal? I would have to say yes because of the company but I could have gotten something better (and cheaper) at home.
A quiet eating 5/10.
Lunch (all of the above for 2) was GBP38 excluding drinks and service.
4 Park Pavilion 40 Canada Square, 40 Canada Square,
London, E14 5FW