SquareMeal Review of
Tokimeitē is Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata’s second London venture; his first, Chrysan, a partnership with the Hakkasan group, lasted under a year. The new restaurant’s name means ‘a sense of anticipation’ or ‘butterflies’, but whether this refers to diners’ financial anxieties about entering a Mayfair Japanese establishment specialising in Wagyu beef is questionable. The venue is certainly smart, spread over three floors and furnished in the clean lines and pale woods that characterise modern Japanese places. We prefer the ground floor, with its robata grill, open kitchen, cocktail bar and lovely lighting; upstairs has less vitality, although a private room in a wooden cocoon looks fun. Murata holds seven Michelin stars across three restaurants in Japan, but he’s only consulting here. In our opinion the cooking matches standards set by the many local competitors, without adding anything new. The Wagyu appears in truffled tartare rolls, nigiri sushi, shabu shabu, steaks and, notably, the must-order sukiyaki with truffle sauce. More modest dishes include char-grilled edamame, robata pork ribs and salads – modest, that is, until the bill arrives. Still, no-one visits Conduit Street for cheap eats, and while the slightly sterile vibe might not suit romance, Tokimeitē impresses as a business-friendly newcomer.