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2 Newport Place
Spread over three floors in Chinatown, this friendly, inclusive and reliable café runs until midnight, 365 days a year, and is intended as a home from home for its Japanese customers and anyone who appreciates good everyday food. Come here for donburi rice bowls, katsu curry, bento boxes, noodle soup and sushi at excellent prices. Seared salmon tataki is dusted with roasted sesame seeds and served with daikon, carrot, radish and ponzu dressing, while tofu katsu ju (a new vegan dish) arrives on a box of rice, which will be replenished on request if you’re hungry enough – a nice thought that applies to all set lunches and other rice-based dishes. Service is considerate, the decor is attractively low-tech (slate floors, wooden tables, ‘noren’ curtains, paper lanterns), and the atmosphere gently quirky.
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Cheap eats in London
2 Newport Place
020 7287 8777
Leicester Square Tube Station 79m
Covent Garden Tube Station 316m
Leicester Square 54m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We went to the cinema in Leicester Square and when we came out, Tokyo Diner was right there, waiting for us! It is very Japanese-feeling, with the lanterns & typical entrance-way. We were seated right away, though later on it got busy and looked like people were having to wait 10-15mins for a table. My wife had the sushi which she said was very good. I had a salmon teriyaki bento box – everything was cooked well and the sashimi tasted very fresh. Our son had some noodles which were served in a huge bowl. If you're hungry they also offer extra portions of rice free of charge! Overall a real winner – probably less than half the price of some Japanese restaurants of similar quality.
Don't expect fireworks, but if it's consistently good quality and value for money japanese food your're after then this place is for you.
Whether its Donburi, Bento Box Sets or a (huge portion of) comforting Japanese-style curry, you will love this place.
The sushi and sashimi are good quality, too, though you might miss the presence of tuna which the restaurant does not serve (in abidance to its policy on sustainable fishing. Very conscientious).
In true Japanese-style you are also not expected to tip, though the Gaijin owner will certainly not miss the opportunity to ask you to tell your friends to come and try Tokyo Diner for themselves in the future.
Service ranges from delightfully subservient japanese friendliness to downright groggy (you know who you are! though I haven't seen her working there on my last visits…). The place also seems to have an obligatory temping job for SOAS students of Japanese, but that's just my speculation.
Finally, come here on a regular basis and start noticing the shifting wall decorations…and together with the excellent food you'll be mesmerised into loving this little gem of a restaurant.
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