‘Asakusa’ Review: Mornington Crescent

Asakusa Restaurant London

Why? My friend Kazu absolutely loves this place. He’s been raving about the Yudebuta Ninniku Miso.

When? A Friday in September, 9.40pm. This was the earliest/only reservation available a couple days beforehand. We stayed until 12.30pm though!

Impression: The place was really buzzing with youthful mixed-nationality groups when we arrived, rather dingy, with questionable décor. Authentic atmosphere, with Japanese menus up on the walls.

Prices: Cheap as chips! The food just kept coming, as Tanaka ordered more and more. I must admit was getting worried about the cost, especially as we had a gigantic bottle of sake too. In the end I was relived to find it was an affordable £19 per person (including the 12.5% service charge!).

Service: Erm… we did wait a full hour for our first dish to arrive! However, the waiting staff were courteous and efficient. The larger-than-life manager lady was charming.

Description of food and drink: A large bottle of Bishonen (Beautiful Boy) sake went down very well served in overflowing Masu (wooden box cups) with a pinch of salt on the rim.

Of particular note is the Sake Gashira – a salmon head with plenty of meat and a salty, crunchy underside, and the Shimesaba (vingared mackerel sashimi) boasted a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The Yudebuta Ninniku Miso dish was something I’d never tried before: soft, simmered slices of pork, to be eaten wrapped in iceberg lettuce leaves with miso paste and slivers of raw garlic.  It tasted gorgeous, but looked less so – that’s why there’s no photo.  Pleasant Shimeji Bata Yaki butter-fried mushrooms had a bitter aftertaste which I liked.

The Agedashi-doufu (pictured above) was just right, creamy and flavourful. The tempura was very nice, but the seemingly microwaved-from-frozen takoyaki less so.

Toilets: Stinky. Nasty. The pale pink toilet paper perfectly matched the pale pink walls though!

Come again? Absolutely. Overall, a surprisingly wide variety of tasty dishes with a few outstanding ones. We had a really fun evening in the laid-back atmosphere. But I wouldn’t go if I was in a hurry to get served.

265 Eversholt Street,
London NW1 1BA
Tel: 0871 3328033

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