Although it describes itself as a “restaurant”, Taro is really a typical Japanese canteen-type cafe which serves a variety of Japanese dishes including sushi, sashimi, soba, noodles and other simple dishes.
It is open from lunchtime all the way through until late in the evening and is pleasantly busy all day. However you shouldn’t find it too hard to get a table and reservations are not necessary.
Now, there are several Japanese restaurants in this area so why choose Taro? For me the only reason is value, but this is not to criticize any other aspects of the Taro experience. The service is acceptable – nothing special but friendly and polite which is as much as one can hope for when it’s such a busy place and they work with a minimum of staff, the surroundings are pleasant enough but not especially different or comfortable so the attraction has to lie with the great food at good prices.
Being sushi lovers we both went for a sushi selection – mine came in a wooden dish – fairly deep – which had a good layer of sushi rice on the bottom and then the fish and prawns beautifully arranged on the top. This came in the form of prawns, squid, salmon, tuna, salmon roe and octopus – all of it was fantastic. My partner chose a more conventional selection, which came on the typical wooden board though it contained similar ingredients to mine and was individual sushi items. His too was excellent. Taro really do provide a visual treat and the bright colors of the fish and roe tempt me every time.
Our table was close to the counter so we were able to watch the sushi chefs at work, which was very entertaining – it’s also good to know that your food is freshly made to order.
We had bottles of Asahi (Japanese) with our food, but a full range of drinks is available. Other diners were eating the noodles, which came in huge portions and looked delicious – a quick eavesdrop on our neighbors proved this to be so.
The interior is clean if a little basic, but in keeping for an establishment of this kind. Wooden chairs and tables and not much else – a few pictures on the walls and the obligatory Asahi cats used for advertising. If you get a window seat you can watch the world go by as you eat and, you never know in this part of the capital, you may even spot a celebrity or two.
At about 9.00 each for a good selection of sushi we thought this was very good value – much more so than chain restaurants such as Yo Sushi where individual sushi items cost between 32.50 and 4.50.
While not the best sushi restaurant in London it scores points for value and quality
59 Brewer Street
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