Sen Nin – Upper Street, Islington, London

We decided to treat ourselves to a teppanyaki dinner, which neither of us had tried properly before. Sen Nin were doing a weekday special feast menu which consisted of 4 courses for £30 per person. There was a Miso or Tom Yum soup to start, Japanese tapas next, then the Teppanyaki course and a finished off with a dessert.

We weren’t really sure what to expect – all I knew is that we booked the chef’s table so that we could watch him to the cooking in front of us.

It was a quiet Wednesday evening in the restaurant, which I guess was why they had a deal on during the week. There were a few tables of people in the restaurant, but we had the chef’s table to ourselves.

I ordered the Tom Yum soup and Jack ordered the Miso soup. They were served in little Japanese soup bowls and were nice but nothing to shout about.

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For our Japanese tapas dishes we chose the seafood option. There was a seabass ceviche, a tuna tartare and calamari. These were presented gorgeously on a long dish so I was very impressed when it came out. Taste-wise, again, they were all nice enough. The tuna was a little stringy and didn’t really melt in my mouth the way I thought it should, the ceviche and calamari were nice though.

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Next was the Teppanyaki and out came our Chef who explained it all to us! We had ordered the scallops and the fillet steak to share with some rice and vegetables.

He was great! This is what we had been waiting for! He chatted and joked with us the whole time that he was cooking. And he wasn’t JUST cooking, he was doing tricks with all the food! At one point he let Jack get up and try out a trick as well.

It was great entertainment for the evening. He didn’t go wild and make a massive flame on the stove but he was fun nevertheless.

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The scallops and steak with the fried rice and the vegetable stir fry on the side were the best part of the meal by far. Nice flavours but I think the entertainment of it being cooked in front of us definitely made us enjoy it more.

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For dessert we got a mixture of 3 mini dessert pots and a duo of red bean and matcha ice cream and shared them all. I love matcha ice cream so that was the best bit for me (matcha is a glorious time always!) – the rest was okay but I don’t think I would have missed out if I didn’t have them.

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I wouldn’t necessarily be running back for a weekday set menu – but perhaps would come again to see what the weekend is like for the chef’s table teppanyaki as that was definitely good fun.

 

http://www.sen-nin.com/

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Ippudo -Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

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After some shopping around TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) in Hong Kong which is a great area for shopping, Jean and I were famished and came across a cute little Japanese ramen bar in one of the shopping malls.

We were seated by a lovely Japanese waitress and on the table in front of us were all the cute little trimmings including; a sesame seed grinder, a garlic crusher and two little salads.

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We decided that all the starters sounded so delicious and we would just order loads of them and just share one bowl of ramen – which ended up being a good shout because we got to try a bit of everything.

We got the calamari, the fish roe stuffed chicken wings, the gyoza and a bowl of their spicy pork ramen. The calamari were perfectly cooked – still soft (not rubbery) and the batter was a light and flavourful dusting (not the thick tasteless batter that you can get sometimes). The wings were lovely and crisp on the outside and the gyoza were lovely too. The ramen was super spicy but tasty all the same.

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The perfect no-frills-restaurant for a post-TST-shopping-spree-dinner.

http://www.ippudo.com.hk/en/

http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/r-ippudo-hk-tsim-sha-tsui-japanese-ramen-r52892

 

Bone Daddies – Soho, London

The last time I did a blog post about Bone Daddies was a while ago. So it is time to give an updated one (with much better photos compared to the ones taken on my old phone – thank you technology evolution).

Come rain, snow, icy wind and cold English weather – this is the place I crave.

Jack and I went recently. Hidden away in a small side street in Soho, it’s got a cool, casual, light rock-type vibe, but not too in your face and I think their food, their service and their atmosphere is fantastic for a modern, big city, ramen bar.

We got a starter of wild soft shell crab tempura £9.40. If you haven’t tried this and you are a fan of seafood – well then you are most definitely missing out. I wasn’t a massive fan of the ginger sauce on the side but I dipped them into soya sauce instead and they tasted absolutely stunning. The crunch of the tempura coating on the outside and the softness of the crab on the inside is a gorgeous contrast.

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Then I got my Bone Daddies bib on ready for my ramen!IMG-20160525-WA0009

We got the Tonkotsu Ramen £11. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth which is usually cooked for about 20 hours until the soup goes a milky white. Absolutely beautiful and it must have so much goodness in there.

Ramen is a particular type of Japanese wheat noodle that usually comes in a pork broth that has cooked for so long that it has become creamy and it is absolutely gorgeous. What makes a ramen dish exciting are all the little colourful parts of it – The spring onions, the meat that falls apart, the bamboo shoots that give a sweet crunch, the fresh beansprouts, the nori (seaweed) and those melt in your mouth, soya dipped, runny yolked eggs! ARGH GET IN MY MOUTH NOW! (Sorry I got a little carried away there).20150920_134959

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If you haven’t been to Bone Daddies yet – try and make it there for some gorgeous, feel-good, Japanese comfort food.

http://www.bonedaddies.com/peter-st-soho/

Takoyaki Stall – Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London

There are a lot of quirky finds at Brick Lane on a Sunday when the market is on. Susan came over and with the sun shining and the birds singing and living right by the hustle and bustle of the market, what better to do that do a little exploring? So we got out exploring shoes and hats on and made our way!

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One of my favourite stalls is the Takoyaki stall. All that they offer are takoyaki of different flavours.

First you pick your filling: octopus, cheese, or prawn. I personally always go for the octopus because Takoyaki translates into “octopus balls”, which is the original filling. You can also go for a mixture if you are feeling adventurous.

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They cook these in front of you in a special dish which helps with the shape of the balls. It has the same type of texture as chocolate/cheese filled Poffertjes, a round dutch pancake, but takoyaki is a savoury food (obviously).

Then you pick the Japanese Mayo to go on top: original Japanese mayonnaise, Wasabi mayonnaise, or Teriyaki mayonnaise. I go for the wasabi mayo for a little kick.

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They then sprinkle with seaweed, mild chili, and fish flakes and voila!

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It tastes like a thick savoury pancake with a creamy filling in the center and if you love Japanese cuisine, I can tell you now, you will love this!

Itadakimasu!