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|Address:||3 Piccadilly Place, London W1J 0DB|
|Tel:||020 7287 6622|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £14.80|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-9.30pm|
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Sometimes you stumble upon a good restaurant quite by chance, other times by recommendation or occasionally through just old fashioned searching. To find Yoshino in this way, would be quite an achievement. Perhaps if you had been out for a night on the tiles in Piccadilly and found yourself lost and just at the right time happen to peer upwards you may notice the discreet sign above your head, but otherwise no chance. To ask me for directions and receive some kind of coherent response would be like asking me to explain the string theory of physics while standing on one leg, after downing a bottle of super strength Sake . Basically it’s near Piccadilly Circus, halfway down a tiny side street which contains no other businesses, off Vine Street, which is off Swallow street and near the rear service entrance of Le Meriden hotel, Piccadilly. There how clear was that.
The Yoshino web site appears to be under construction in part, but it does state “Healthy, Beautiful, Original Japanese Cuisine” and I agree completely with those five words. You do not need to be an expert fishmonger from Billingsgate to notice the quality and freshness of the food served here, which was absolutely first class and presented in a modern and creative way with the elegance and grace of a Swan Lake production. Service was exemplary by the beautiful and by coincidence, healthy looking staff. It's a slightly odd restaurant in terms of internal lay out with some plain looking seating outside, a few tables and chairs on the ground floor next to an ad hoc take way sushi counter and seating upstairs for maybe 30 people. We sat upstairs in a pleasant but basic setting, but the real star here is the food and I would highly recommend this if you are a sole diner or with friends. In fact, I felt with the quality and presentation of the food, this place could choose to be all swanky and swish and double its prices, but thankfully they have not chosen that route and my guess is the Japanese like their restaurants to be homely rather than resemble a DHS showroom.
The menu which is written on a paper place mat is in both Japanese and English ( a good sign) does seem to leap about a bit in terms of pricing, but there are some good set menus which start at just £10 and rise to a heady £60.00. The prawn tempura I had was wonderfully crisp and came in a generous sized portion. My miso soup had a large prawn's head floating on the top ( I guess from my prawn tempura) which added some real depth of flavour and the Sashimi salmon salad was presented in sort of woodland fairly setting kind of way. Desserts are very limited, but with an unusual green tea ice cream choice and even a tiramisu?
Go if you can find it, but keep it to yourself for a while.