Which Eat Tokyo branch in London did we pick?

by Best-Japanese Team
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Eat Tokyo Sushi Bento

There are six Eat Tokyo restaurants in London aside from their Tonkotsu-ya branch in Mayfair and their G2 Shabu Shabu outlet next to their Golders Green branch. You’ve probably already come across Eat Tokyo already on social media. They are well-known for their authentic Japanese food that come at reasonable prices. One of the images you’ll often see is of their fantastic Sushi Bento Box which costs just under £20. However you may also see some very varied reviews online – some rave and others do not. We decided to try out Eat Tokyo for ourselves.

We decided to head out to the Covent Garden branch to try out Eat Tokyo for ourselves.

Eat Tokyo Exterior

Queueing outside Eat Tokyo Convent Garden

Eat Tokyo’s Convent Garden branch is located on Catherine Street, opposite of Theatre Royal Drury Lane and a few streets east of Convent Garden. Quite a few of the online comments talk about “no frills decor” at certain branches in need of a revamp. However you could see this branch was decked out with natural wood panneling and even a koi pond by the front window. While we waited outside, we saw that Eat Tokyo is an officially accredited Authentic Japanese Restaurant. It’s interesting to see this sign and after a quick search online I found the Nintei Nihon site.

As for the queue itself, since there were 5 of us, we did have to wait slightly longer than the couples and smaller groups. However it wasn’t longer than 20 minutes and genuinely we didn’t notice. It also gave us time to check out the menu and decide what to eat.

Eat Tokyo Nintei Nihon Restaurant

Eat Tokyo Interior

Once inside, we were led upstairs to the first floor passing a landing with sake barrels and TV screens. It was great to see live Japanese TV on the screens and really did make you feel “at home”. If you are Japanese or have lived in Japan you will know NHK of course. We also wondered why there were not more screens like this in Japanese restaurants in the UK.

Eat Tokyo Interior

The first floor was as busy and lively as the ground floor but the atmosphere was pleasant and not overly noisy. Our table was at the far end near a glass square section of the floor where you could see down into the koi pond below. Eat Tokyo’s Convent Garden branch is certainly full of features when it comes to the interior decor!

What did we order?

Eat Tokyo Deep-Fried Squid

First we ordered some deep-fried squid rings. They were a pleasingly golden brown colour and cooked to perfection. The batter was light and crispy and the squid inside was tender. An excellent starter for sure although there are so many other great choices like their Ikura (salmon roe), fatty salmon, or sweet prawn sashimi, their asparagus rolls, or a classic miso soup. Honestly the menu is almost like a small book covering all kinds of dishes ranging from chicken teriyaki and salmon teriyaki to soft shell crab and gyoza dumplings. Some other starter options are the Takoyaki with bonito flakes, stir-fried chicken liver for the adventurous, or Age Tofu / Agedashi Tofu (deep fried bean curd).

Tonkatsu Bento

One of the best things about Eat Tokyo is their Bento boxes which all come with generous portions. One of our group went for the Tonkatsu Bento which features a nice breaded deep-fried pork cutlet. This Bento box includes Agedashi Tofu (Deep-fried Tofu) which my Japanese friend was very happy to see, and along with the black sesame seeds sprinkled on the rice was a small salad plus some salmon and avocado rolls. You can also get the Katsu in a Donburi style “Katsu Jyu” just by itself with egg sauce poured over the cutlet.

Eat Tokyo Curry Rice

Two of the guys in the group decided to get the Double Size Japanese Curry Rice. As you can see in the photo above, this was a gigantic plate and probably the biggest serving we’ve ever seen. That’s a full size tablespoon you see there! The curry rice came with Chicken Katsu (chicken cutlets) and some chunky potatoes and carrots. Both friends found the curry delicious and even managed to eat everything on their plate.

Sushi Bento

I ordered the ever popular Sushi Bento. Like the other Bento boxes, it is made up of two trays which for some reason were brought out separately. The waiter explained it was because the sushi set tray is prepared separately to the tempura one. This was not a real issue although it would have been nice to have both come at the same time.

So the first photo here is of the left side of the sushi tray. The sashimi on top of the rice were tuna, salmon, prawn, crab, yellowtail, octopus, bonito and white fish mackerel. Also you may see the egg roll omelette peeking out and the Tobiko (flying fish) roe with the yellow Takuan beside it. It’s really quite rare to see so many types of sashimi like this and the quality was good. My favourites here were the yellowtail and the cured mackerel.

Eat Tokyo Sushi Bento

Nigiri Section

Then I looked at the right hand side of the tray where there were 3 salmon rolls and 4 kinds of nigiri sushi including salmon nigiri as well as sea bream, tuna, and yellowtail. All the nigiri tasted great and I was happy with the tuna quality. Have to admit I was getting a little full after eating this tray.

Sushi Bento

Tempura Tray and Sashimi

Next up was the tempura tray which came with salmon and tuna sashimi and a small salad on the left side of the tempura. The salmon sashimi was lovely and fresh and I enjoyed the delicious chunky cuts. Also the prawn tempura were excellent! You can see how good the batter is from the photo and the prawns were full of flavour. The juicy courgette tempura was okay too just I’m still not used to the taste as I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever eaten in Japan.

Sushi Bento Sashimi and Tempura

Eat Tokyo Rating

Eat Tokyo Koi Pool

Eat Tokyo definitely made a good first impression. We’d give our visit to the Convent Garden branch 4.6 stars out of 5 stars.

The food was authentic and the quality of sushi and sashimi was good. There were a few sashimi slices not on the highest level but they were still decent. The range of dishes at Eat Tokyo is extremely impressive. They have it all starting from sushi including fatty tuna, and chirashi sushi, as well as cucumber rolls. If you’re in need of some suggestions when it comes to cooked seafood they have king prawns, crab meat, and black cod, while if you’re after more vegetarian dishes they have vegetable dumplings and vegetable tempura.

Possibly other branches are different in terms of decor, but the Convent Garden branch was certainly not in need of any new decoration. As mentioned there are a few features that I personally liked like the TV screens or small Koi pool. Also the service was excellent. The staff were knowledgeable and explained what was in each dish when asked. Honestly not all staff can do this especially when they are super busy. However our server was patient and very friendly.

If you are looking for good value and authentic Japanese food, Eat Tokyo would be a great choice. The regular Bento boxes like the Tonkatsu Bento was £10 and the regular curry rice was £8. Even the double curry rice was only £10. As we say in Japan, Eat Tokyo boasts superb cost-performance.

What to eat on my next visit – Donburi and Avocado Rolls

When I plan my next outing to Eat Tokyo, I’ve got my sights set on trying out their donburi and avocado rolls. I’m particularly interested in their Gyudon beef bowl Donburi and their Unagi (Grilled Eel) rice bowl. Their salmon and avocado rolls wrapped up in a neat little package of rice and seaweed are also popular as are their spicy salmon rolls with spring onions and spicy sauce so would like to try them out next time! One other dish that I’m intrigued about is their Rainbow roll made of “7 colour fish”!

Are there any must-try items for first-time visitors to Eat Tokyo in London?

For first-time visitors to Eat Tokyo in London, must-try items include the Salmon Teriyaki (Salmon with Teriyaki sauce) Bento Box, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Chicken Katsu Curry. Also if Mabo Dofu is a dish you aren’t familar with, we would recommend getting this soft tofu, chilli, mince pork in a pepper and bean sauce main especially on a cold day to warm you up. Then for warm summery days, try the Wakame-Su, which is seaweed and cucumber with Japanese vinegar, or Horenso Goma-Ae (spinach with a sesame sauce and sesame seeds on top).

Eat Tokyo London

Please let us know in the comments below what your Eat Tokyo experience was like. Also, please check out our Top 10 Japanese restaurant list if you are looking for more authentic Japanese restaurants in London.

Uber Eats Delivery

For those wanting Japanese food but at the convenience of home, remember that you can order from Eat Tokyo through the Uber Eats app, where having an Uber One Uber Eats account can unlock free delivery straight to your doorstep, however the regular Uber Eats account delivery fee is pretty reasonable should you not wish to subscribe to Uber One. Also, rather than just a few select orders, the majority of the menu is available for delivery. For quick access, here’s a link to Eat Tokyo Convent Garden branch on the Uber Eats website.

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