Friday, 31 October 2008

Sweet and Spicy Tofu and Beans

Deep Fried Beancurd and Green Beans in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

I fell in love with this dish after an Indonesian ex-flatmate made it for me. She actually first made this dish with tinned sardines (yes.. and just as delicious!) and it's so utterly simple! Alright, not as simple as making Maggi instant noodles in a cup ... but you get the idea :) However......unlike the sardine version, making this dish with tofu does have an extra step...deep frying the tofu. Or if you can just buy ready fried tofu from the supermarket. As the only deep fried tofu I can readily get my hands on would set me back more than 2 quid for a disgustingly small amount, I slaved over the stove a little longer.

Putting it all together:
Tofu, cut into small pieces
Green beans, topped, tailed and cut in half
Tomatoes, cut into small chunks
Chili - lots or as much as you can handle (my flatmate used to use a small handful of bird's eye chillies - ouch!)
Garlic - lots or as much you like
ABC kecap manis - a thick sweet Indonesian soy sauce (Chinese thick soy sauce might be an alternative)
Oil for deep frying
  • Heat the oil in a pot. Fry the tofu pieces in batches. Fish them out of the oil as they turn golden brown and drain on paper towels. The tofu will get darker as they continue to cook a while longer out of the oil.
  • Once all the tofu is cooked, heat a touch of oil in a pan on a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chillies to the oil, letting it sizzle and colour but be careful not to let it burn.
  • Add the tomatoes and let it soften slightly. Put in the beans and toss with the other ingredients to mix. Let it cook for about a minute or two before turning the heat down.
  • Pour in the kecap manis. Use as much or little as you like. If your chillies are a little too hot, add a bit more kecap - it will soften the blow from the chillies. If you don't like your food too sweet, add less. Simple.
  • Add the tofu to the pan and coat with the sauce. Cook for another five minutes or so. This is to allow the beans to soften and the tofu to soak up some flavour from the sauce.
  • Served with hot steamed rice. Rather good with brown rice as the nuttiness really complements the dish.

    Deep Fried Beancurd and Green Beans in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Midnight Cravings

Warm Chocolate Chip Cake with Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cream

Wanting something sweet last night, we managed to rush to Tesco's down the road before it closed for the night. With £4 between us in loose change, we picked up a little chocolate chip cake and a tub of strawberry yogurt ice cream.

The cake went into the microwave for 30 seconds, which made the cake all warm and goey inside. Served with the strawberry yogurt ice cream on the side. Sweetly satisfying..

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Roast Lamb Dinner with All the Trimmings

Roast Lamb Dinner with All the Trimmings

Sometimes I do make an traditional English dinner to keep Stuart happy. On the menu, roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes, steamed veg - cabbage, baby corn and broccoli, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and mint sauce. Keeping it traditional, the lamb went into the oven went into the oven with the barest sprinkle of salt and pepper ;) It come out cooked well done (just the way Stuart and I like our lamb cooked). The veg was slightly overcooked and the Yorkshire pudding was little too dense. The spuds and gravy were good though :)

Friday, 24 October 2008

Glorious Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Crème Fraîche

Sticky toffee pudding - rich, sweet and deliciously satisfying. Served with a dollop of crème fraîche for a balance with its slightly tangy creaminess. Certainly not coming anywhere close to a good homemade version - Delia Smith's recipe (with a few home kitchen improvements, of course) is hard to compete with but it's pretty darn yummy when you're craving a sugar rush mid-week.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

A Black Cloud

It's been a pretty horrible week. Redundancies were announced at work first thing on Monday morning. My department has so far remain intact but some of the other departments have been pretty badly hit. A particularly good friend from another team was asked to leave and it's just been awful. I know everyone's relieved that it wasn't them but who knows what will happen in the coming weeks, months? I know I've walked around with forced cheerfulness for a good part of the week until today rolled round. I'm tired, I'm fed up and it feels like my head is going to explode. I feel like I've been looking over my shoulder wondering if it's me who is going to be called up next. A few months ago picking up my bag and walking out of the main doors would have been easy. But now ... an endless stream of worries.

So this is what adulthood feels like?

*A food blog gone slightly melodramatic...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

A Meal to Last The Whole Weekend ... For One

Autumn is definitely not my favourite time of the year. Actually, I hate it! I have spent the last 8 years despising it's arrival and hating the months of October and November. September's not too bad...with the odd English weather, it usually turns out to be the nicest month of the year :) Last weekend Stuart headed up north for a conference. Holed up in a nice hotel can't be all that bad :) as I was in London tucked up on the sofa, under the duvet trying to meet a Sunday night deadline. Yes, a Sunday night deadline! 3AM counts as Sunday night, right???

Oven Roasted Vegetables and Sausages over Sweet Potato Vermicelli

With no Stuart to turn his nose up, I bought some cauliflower. I'm not a huge fan of this vegetable myself, unless I have it roasted. Yum! Cut up into florets, tossed with oil and into a hot oven until lightly caramalised on both sides. I added broccoli to the roasting tin, which was a huge mistake ;) Live and learn I guess. The broccoli was a little too burnt and the cauliflower a little too waterlogged for my liking. Oh well! Also added some tomatoes sliced fresh tomatoes at the end, which had a nicely intensified tomato flavour. I also roasted sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks, with some pork sausages in another tray. I served this with sweet potato vermicelli (picked up from Chinatown), a dressing made from oil, soy sauce, Japanese vinegar and grated ginger, and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

Not the best meal I've cooked, not bad though. Cooked enough for a small army = roughly about 2 meals for me :D

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Birthday Meatballs

Stuart asked for Beef Wellington for his birthday meal but as his birthday fell on a weekday, I suggested that the beef be served on the weekend instead. Maybe that wasn't such a great idea as I spent a great deal more time trying to come up with something to cook than it took to actually cook it. Also, not great when your boss suddenly turns around at 5PM asking you to work late! After a firm "no, I'm really sorry.... I would any other evening....." sort of conversation with my team, which left me feeling guilty for the rest of the day, I headed home in a foul mood to cook this meal. Breath........calm down.........! :)

I ended up making meatballs in tomato sauce - Stuart suggested burgers but I thought it wasn't 'birthday -y" enough ...... and meatballs are?? Haha. I managed to pick up some Aberdeen Angus beef mince, as well as some veal mince. Veal is making a rather slow comeback to this country but better than never :) Ages ago I was trying out a meatball recipe that called for veal and since I couldn't get my hand on any I ended up using a mixture of beef and pork. This time there was no set recipe. I mixed 500g of beef with 500g of veal, added whatever dried herbs I had in the cupboard - mint, basil, oregano, herbes de Provence - as well as a sprinkle of dry English mustard, a large beaten egg, some parmigiano reggiano and breadcrumbs made from 2 slices of bread (wholemeal as that's all I had on hand). This mixture probably made about 20 medium sized meatballs (enough for the both of us for dinner that night, lunch the next day and a few more neatly wrapped up and sitting snug in the freezer:)

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

As I was frying the meatballs to about 3/4 way done, I fried some bacon lardons, garlic and chopped up onion for the tomato sauce. When it was nicely caramelized, I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and a jar of passata. Letting it simmer (and the flavours infuse) before I added the meatballs to cook until done - another 20 minutes on a low simmer. I dished it up, topped it with some pesto I made a few days earlier using a mixture of mint, basil and coriander. I also substituted the usual pine nuts with sunflower seeds. On top of the pesto, I added grated cheddar before I popped it under a hot grill for a few minutes. Served with a salad and warmed baguette.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce - Innards

For dessert we had individual vanilla and chocolate cheesecake pots from . I love their desserts and I haven't had one that has let me down yet. Emmm yummm!

Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake

A biscuit base topped with creamy vanilla cream cheese and finished with a 53% cocoa Belgian chocolate ganache. Quite decadent. Thank heavens it was only a little pot ;)

Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Dine in for a Tenner from M&S

I love this deal from Marks and Spencer! Stuart and I walked into M&S in Covent Garden purely by chance on Sunday and found that far from offering some really cheap bit and pieces, there were some good stuff that were part of the offer. So good I decided to get a £20 deal :)

Marks and Spencer's 'Dine in for a Tenner'

Main course? Whole uncooked chickens. I thought it was slightly odd that they had both medium and large chickens as part of the deal. Of course I was going to get the large ones! They would have cost me about £8.50 each without the offer. Score! :)
Sides? Ultimate Posh Mash and Red Cabbage
Dessert? Apple and Blackberry sponge pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding (Did hope to get the Hot Chocolate Fudge Pudding but they had sold out -drat!)
Wine? Vino Frizzante Chardonnay Rose and Pheasant Gully Cabernet Merlot (both of which have become cooking wines)

Not bad I thought. I was most excited about the chickens to be honest. One of which went into the oven last night sprinkled with salt and black pepper in a 180 °C oven for about 2 hours (it's a big chicken!). It came out nice and juicy. Putting the bird aside to rest, I made gravy using the chicken juices, the fizzy rose (if you were a wine snob ... it was probably a terrible wine.. haha) and some flour. Whilst that was simmering on the hob, I heated the mash and cabbage in the microwave. And......ding! Dinner was served. Brilliant! Minimal effort from me :)

The chicken was lovely - nice and juicy. Really liked the fact that it looked like a more fully grown bird with it's bones bigger and not like a 2 day old chick on hormones. The mash was loaded with butter but a bit "processed" (according to Stuart) but I was quite happy eating it. Red cabbage was cooked with apples and was nicely sweet. No dessert - we were stuffed with mash and chicken. And there's still half a chicken left, plenty for lots of chicken salads and sandwiches.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Sunday Eating - Croissants and Burgers

We've had beautiful weather today, with sunshine and temperatures that have outdone most the summer days past. I dragged Stuart out of bed early-ish, fed him and shoved him out of the front door (nearly) for a day out.

Ham and Cheese Croissants

Breakfast was mini ham and cheese croissants. I would love to say that those croissants were homemade :) but they came from the shop in a pack of 12. I stuffed a few with some cheese and ham and put them into a medium hot oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the exterior. This is one of those breakfasts that can't really fail. Ham, cheese and buttery croissants.... all good and yummy. Even yummier put together and warmed up. Served with milky, sugary tea for a hearty (and artery clogging :) breakfast.

Squirrel - Lincoln's Fields

Squirrel - Lincoln's Fields

But fear not, we headed for a nice long gym session in the afternoon to make sure we redeemed ourselves (and our poor tummies) somewhat. Killing some time between our gym session and dinner, we chilled out at Lincoln's Inn Fields where we met this little guy. The squirrels here seemed so incredibly tame, more so than at other London parks. He came bounding up to us hoping for a little handout (of which we had none) but still happily struck a few poses for me ;) He hurried away as soon he caught scent of a Weimaraner, in full hunting mode.

Squirrel - Lincoln's Fields

When the squirrels retired for the day, we went on to Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) for a few juicy burgers. We our hearts set on fish and chips from The Rock and Sole Plaice right after the gym session but after walking round and round looking for a cash point, we were a little too lazy to retrace our steps. So off we went to GBK at The Brunswick Centre, off Russell Square. I remember going to The Brunswick Centre for lunch when I was still a student in the area and it was one of the most depressing, run down of places. The only good thing about it then was the cheap noodle bar - the Hare and Tortoise (which is still there). A few years on and it's really cleaned up with lots of new shops, restaurants and a slick coat of paint.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Brunswick Centre, Russell Sq

GBK burgers are probably the best amongst the chain-restaurant offerings. And it doesn't break the bank. This was my third visit to a GBK restaurant and found that this branch was probably the most pleasant. The staff were more friendly and probably because it was a little early for the dinner crowd, the atmosphere was more relaxed. In tune with their informal chain-restaurant vibe, the GBK system works on staff greeting and showing you to a table with menus, cutlery, your table number and an explanation of how you have to order at the counter. After you've made your selection from the menu, up you go to counter to order and pay. Back to your table again and your food is brought to the table. Bit of a pain bit it's all generally cool - hopefully the savings they're making on the number of waiting staff shows in the price of my food :)

Avocado and Bacon Beef Burger - GBK

Innards - Avocado and Bacon Beef Burger - GBK

As usual I went for the Avocado and Bacon beef burger (£7.95). It's described on the menu as "100% Aberdeen-Angus Scotch beef, avocado, streaky bacon, salad, mayonnaise & relish" and yes, it was every bit as good as it sounds. The avocado was mashed up and oozed beautifully out of the burger. The thick cut streaky bacon had been cooked over the grill and had a lovely charred flavour, espacially where the fat had met the fire. The patty was meaty and cooked to 'medium' - as are all their beef burgers, unless otherwise specified.

Garlic Mayo Beef Burger

After a little grumble about there being no cheese and bacon burgers on the menu, Stuart settled for the Garlic Mayo beef burger (£6.90) - 100% Aberdeen-Angus Scotch beef, fresh garlic mayo, salad, mayonnaise & relish. Extra streaky bacon - with extra bacon (£1.60). Yup, a double dose of mayo! He could of course just ordered a plain Cheese burger and added the bacon :) His burger does look a bit smaller than mine - because he squashed it and took a large bit from one end before I could stop him. I didn't try his burger but I did get a little swipe of the garlic mayo that had dripped out and it was good - they certainly ensure you get all the garlic you paid for!

GBK Skinny Fries

We had a portion of GBK skinny fries (£2.75), freshly out of the fryer. The oil still sizzling off the golden brown spuds. They were not bad fries, they were just not great.

GBK Homeslaw 'the Antipodean way'

We also had the GBK Homeslaw 'the Antipodean way' (£2.35) with cabbage, spring onions, carrot, celeriac and vinaigrette. Very nice it was too. Unlike the usual coleslaws, this was not bogged down by heavy mayo although it was slightly oily. The vinaigrette was citrus-y (think orange rather than lemon or lime) and despite my dislike for celeriac, I found myself happily digging in until there was no more.

Tired and full we headed back for an evening of silly TV shows and mind numbing games on the X-box :D GBK-wise, I'm no burger connoisseur but I think the stuff from GBK is pretty good. I've read reviews where the burgers have been compared to the stuff in the States, but having never tried a Stateside burger, I'm quite happy in my oblivion. Hopefully the next time I'll be able to tear myself away from the Avocado and Bacon burger... and maybe the next time I won't be so greedy ... I was disgustingly full after all that food!

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK)
44/46 The Brunswick Centre, London WC1N 1AE

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Breakfast Tagine with Couscous

Breakfast Tagine - Serving it Up

Traditionalists would probably laugh, cry or at worst, curse but it doesn't stop this version from being terribly heart warming on a cool English evening, when the days are fast becoming shorter and thoughts of a salad for dinner is almost laughable.

I first came across this recipe over at Tamarind and Thyme and I loved the addition of pork sausages to the dish. A great mid-week dinner that can be practically thrown together in a large pot, browned and simmered. In my attempts to keep it 'healthier', I used leaner sausages (minced lamb always being slightly fattier) and threw in a carrot or two (diced and cooked to a soft consistency to keep it off Stuart's anti-carrot radar - I actually had a huge bag sitting in the fridge which I was desperately trying to use up).

Putting it all together:
6 pork sausages
500g minced lamb
4 eggs
Peppers, roughly chopped (I used one yellow and one green - I only like green peppers in stews)
1 large carrot, diced
1 tin of tomatoes
1/2 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed to removed excess salt
Large handful of spinach leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Large pinch of chili powder
Fresh coriander
*Since I had forgotten to stock up on onions and garlic AND was too lazy to go back down to the shops to pick some up, the dish had to without.
**The couscous was mixture of pre-cooked lemon-coriander flavour (hence the green specks in the couscous) and plain - just add boiling water and stir.
  • Heat a large, deep pan (or pot) on medium-high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Put in the minced lamb, breaking it up as it starts to cook. Let the lamb brown lightly and the fat ooze out. Drain the fat, keeping the meat in the pan.
  • Add the sausages and let it colour along with the mince. Once coloured on both sides, drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the carrots and peppers to the pan. Let them soften for a few minutes.

Breakfast Tagine - Frying The Ingredients

  • Add the cinnamon stock, ginger powder, coriander powder, cumin, chili powder and tomato paste to the pot. Stir well and cook off the rawness in the spices for about a minute.
  • Pour in the tinned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let leave to simmer. At this point I cut each sausage into four smaller parts. I could have cut them before cooking but I like how the sausages maintain its meaty juices whilst still linked, which is then released into the sauce rather than cooked off earlier on.
  • Let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes with a lid partially covering the pot. My indication that it's done is when the carrots are nicely soft, the sauce has reduced slightly and is nicely thickened.
  • Add the spinach and let it wilt. Season.
  • Make 4 small indentations into the surface of the bubbling mixture. Break an egg into each. Cover the pan to allow the eggs to cook for 3 minutes. I like to leave my egg yolks runny as they enrich the sauce as they are broken at the table.
  • Garnish with coriander. Serve with couscous (cooked to the directions on the packet).
Breakfast Tagine - Poach the Eggs, Done!

This is a great no hassle mid-week meat feast. Sausage and eggs give it the 'breakfast feel'. The lamb and spices lends a more exotic flavour. It's hearty, warming and great with the couscous, which soaks up that lovely sauce.

Breakfast Tagine - Serving it Up

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Kyoto Restaurant

Although we had plans to go to Eat Tokyo for dinner (our second attempt), we got sidetracked and ended up next door at Kyoto Restaurant instead. I was in the mood for sushi and I had read good reviews for this place. Our welcome was friendly and as we had come bang in the middle of dinner time on a Friday evening we were given the table right next to the door, where we had to side to side. Not the most comfortable seats in the house but it gave us a great view of the sushi chefs at work.

Kaki Fry - Kyoto Restaurant

I was torn between sushi and noodles. I had planned on sushi but the greedy monster inside me demanded noodles. One of each surely be over the top? I settled for the Kaki Fry (deep fried oysters at £6.50) from the appetiser section and the dragon roll. I love deep fried oysters and when I have Japanese with my mother at home, we usually have an order of this. However, I was really quite disappointed when it arrived. Each oyster had been cut in half! It made the dish look bigger but it meant that every delicious bit of oyster succulence was gone - deep fried out. Like most deep fried foods, one always looks for a crisp exterior and a juicy centre. Not for these oysters here. Other than that the dish wasn't too bad. There was a reasonable number of oysters. Fried, perhaps, a little too crisp. There was also little bits of potato crisps served with the oysters with a little dish of donkatsu sauce.

Dragon Roll - Kyoto Restaurant

As we were being seated I saw an order of the Dragon Roll (£7) being sent out and knew that I had to order it. I think it was the eel sitting on top of the roll that did it for me. The roll was a basic Californian roll (crab stick, cucumber and avocado) but that the eel and the sauce really did make it more delicious. I'm not quite sure what the sauce was, the menu stated it was iso sauce, whatever that is. Slightly sweet, it really complemented the eel.

Californian Roll

Stuart stuck to his standard order of Californian Roll (£4.80), which were slightly smaller than mine but with the same filling with an extra bit of tobiko rolled into the rice.

Yahisoba with Chicken

As his main, Stuart had another favourite - Chicken Yakisoba (£6.50). We were both slightly surprised when it arrived. The noodles looked like the stuff out of an instant noodle packet with its slight curve in the noodle structure. Whilst we assumed that the usual buckwheat flour noodles would be used, the restaurant used the term 'soba' a bit more generally to mean thin noodles. Although it tasted alright, there was a bit too much thick cut onion and beansprouts was barely cooked with a very evident raw flavour. Stuart, who is usually so easy to impress, was barely satisfied on this occasion.

The sushi here is definitely very good and the prices rather reasonable. However, after having lived in Vancouver, where sushi and yakisoba is plentiful, cheap and reasonably good, Stuart has found it a little hard to adjust to what can be found in London. If we ever make it back here, we'll be sticking to the sushi and leaving the food from the kitchen well alone. What also irked me slightly was that although there seemed an adequate number of waiting staff, service was slow. No one brought us menus until I asked for them and from our vantage point in front of the sushi bar, we also noticed how slow the completed dishes was being picked up by the waiting staff and sent to the tables. No doubt service is friendly, but the pace should really pick up.

Kyoto Restaurant
26 Romilly Street, London W1D 5AL

Friday, 3 October 2008

Canteen - Royal Festival Hall

Exterior - Canteen

A mid week dinner with Jo, whom I haven't seen in ages, took us to Canteen on the South Bank. It's another one of those places I've been meaning to try but never got round to. It boasts of a menu of British food - gone upmarket and lightened on the stodge - but still rather reasonably priced. Located at the Waterloo end of the Royal Festival Hall, Canteen's decor is clean and modern - almost an imprint of the houses featured on Grand Design. Of course there is the touch of old British charm with the counter featuring their daily offering of iced cakes.

I thought we were rather early when we walked in at 6.45PM but found that three quarters of the tables were already occupied and quite a few reserved. We were offered a shared table, which we accepted. If I'm not a fan of the shared table idea, the couple we were placed next definitely thought even less of it. The lady almost grimaced when we sat down. Not a good start to the evening but hoorah... they had just paid their bill and were about to leave! :) We greedily moved to the take over their table by the window and settled down to a heart meal.

Roast Pork - Canteen

Jo chose the roast of the day - roast pork with roast potatoes, cabbage and gravy. Topped with a piece of crackling. All for £13. I'm not a fan of roast pork but the dish definitely looked yummy. Jo was happy enough with it to finish it ... leaving only a bit of the crackling - slightly too tough and chewy.

Fish and Chips - Canteen

I had the fried fish of the day (cod) with chips and tartare sauce. It was very generous with two portions of breaded cod, which were nicely crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. The chips were perfectly cooked - crunchy, not too thick nor thin. The tartare sauce was a bit bland, nothing great. I was a little disappointed that the kitchen had sprinkled the sea salt over just one spot of my fish, ensuring that I had to scrape and spread it myself. Where I wasn't particularly successful, I took a hit of saltiness. The other bits were thoroughly enjoyable - crunchy salt free.

Fruit Cobbler with Custard - Canteen

Portions are generous at Canteen and though we were both nicely full, we decided to soldier on and get dessert as well. The little piglets we are :) Thank heavens Jo got her appetite back! I was very lonely when she lost her will to eat to the tropical heat when she came out to Southeast Asia with me :) We ordered the fruit cobbler and custard to share (£5), which arrived in a little bowl with the custard on the side. The lights had been dimmed at this point, which made taking an acceptable looking photo without flash rather difficult. For me it was the disappointment of the evening. It was more of a crumble than a cobbler (which I always believed should have more of a batter/scone like top) and the fruit tasted purely of apple. Tart apple at that.

The food was good, the portions generous and the atmosphere chilled. I must say the service was prompt and friendly without being overbearing. Although I had my back to the restaurant for most of the evening, the turnover of diners was steady - evident with a turnover of two couples at our shared table . The bill came up to about £20 each - not bad for 2 main courses, a dessert, a soft drink for me and a glass of wine for Jo. Would I go back? Yes.

Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Tokyo Diner

True to our odd eating hours on a Sunday, Stuart and I decided to try out Eat Tokyo on Romilly Street in Soho. The food was pretty tasty and the prices reasonable when I went with a friend a few months ago. Lo and behold .... Eat Tokyo was closed when we got there about 5PM. Perhaps we should have tried Kyoto Restaurant right next door (my google searches have brought back some pretty good reviews for its sushi)? We headed to Tokyo Diner in Chinatown instead. Sitting on the corner of Newport Place and Lisle Street, the restaurant has been around since the early 1990s. I've passed it numerous times but I've never been in. It's a compact restaurant with policies of no serving of tuna and no tipping. Certainly not a problem for us.

Chicken Katsu Curry - Tokyo Diner

Stuart ordered the Chicken Katsu Curry (£10), which came with a whole panko crumbed chicken breast sitting on a pile of rice with a side of Japanese vegetable (potato and carrots) curry sauce and little side of salad greens. The chicken was nicely crumbed and very crispy. The curry was the standard Japanese sort that could have come from a packet. It was still good though :) The potatoes and carrots were nice and soft. Not mushy, just soft but still holding it's shape.

Chicken Sauce Katsu - Tokyo Diner

I had the Chicken Katsu with sauce (£9.70) served in a large bowl with rice and salad. The sauce turned out to be a drizzle of donkatsu bulldog sauce over my chicken. I say bulldog sauce but it could really have been any brand. My chicken katsu was exactly the same as Stuart's - a big piece of chicken breast. It was nice that it actually tasted like chicken and not some mushy bit of non-discript piece of meat. I did find the overall dish slightly dry (not even the extra drizzle from donkatsu sauce bottle provided helped), so maybe the extra 30p for some curry sauce would have been worth it. We also had a bowl of miso soup each (£0.80 per bowl) - which in true Chinese home style I poured over some of my rice ...haha....

The food is nothing fancy but solid and satisfying at reasonable prices. It makes a nice change from the Chinese food I would have when I'm in the area. However, a plate of rice piled high with roast meats from a Chinese would still be cheaper :) However, a large portion of rice is free on request.

Tokyo Diner
2 Newport Place, London WC2H 7JP