Like us, you may have passed the Soho branch of Taro Restaurants on Brewer street with its striking yellow exterior and wondered how authentic and good the food is? On the way back from HyperJapan (yes this is a shockingly late review), I checked out the Brewer street branch on a solo visit.
Taro has built up a loyal following since the first branch opened in Soho in 1999. Noticeably this would make it one of the longest running restaurants in London along with the likes of Jinkichi. There are a few tourists visiting too but the main thing here is it’s a genuinely decent no frills restaurant. It’s also family friendly and for a change doesn’t have any kitsch decoration in sight.
While Taro offers a full range of everyday authentic Japanese food, I decided to go 100% sushi on this occasion. And I started by ordering their mixed Sushi A set. Incidentally mixed Sushi B set is priced at £16. With Set B you get ikura, scallop and salmon avocado hand rolls along with the other nigiri below.
How was Sushi set A at Taro?
This is for sure their most popular sushi menu. For £12.90 you get soft clam, tuna, salmon, prawn, snapper, squid, octopus & 4 rolls of maki roll sushi. So there is a good variety of neta (toppings) and the sushi rice was also just right and not too sweet. I liked the texture and flavour of the squid and octopus too and interestingly enough found their tuna nigiri the best of the set (if you follow you may remember how critical I can be on tuna nigiri).
Perched on a counter seat, it was easy to see what was going on in the kitchen and all the sushi sliced and plated. You could also see the freshness of the sashimi stored in front of your eyes.
At this point it was high time to order some nigiri a la carte. The menu was priced roughly £2 – £2.40 per piece and I ordered a half dozen including 2 more tuna.
How was their A La Carte nigiri sushi?
Although it was expected, this a la carte menu was really high quality. The tuna was mind-blowing melt in your mouth level, the yellowtail was sweet with a rich savoury flavour, the saba was fresh and firm with its cured vinegar notes, and then there was an unexpected star of the show – the sea bream. It had a refreshing sweet flavour that was super intense and truly next level sublime.
Rating for Taro Soho
We would give Taro 4.2 stars out of 5 stars. All in all it was a much better experience than anticipated. The sushi set was good with some average neta but it was the a la carte menu that would make me consider going again and recommending to friends. One area that could be improved on was service. While in general the service was satisfactory, I was handed the bill while waiting for the a la carte sushi that I ordered. Not a biggie but also something that could be improved on.
Finally a counter seat observation: their yakisoba is huge! Definitely this dish if you’re super hungry. If you are looking for other Japanese restaurants in London, please check out our top 10 restaurant guide.