We used to kid ourselves, but we recently came to terms with the truth that we visit this restaurant because of the dessert. Or more exactly, The Dessert, as there’s only one, the Kinako French Toast:
It is a moist and sweet thick piece of bread, served with matcha ice-cream coming from a giant machine that stands majestically near the end of the bar, well aware of its importance in the grand scheme of things.
We’ve visited the restaurant a few times in the last three years–here’s an early review from when we tried the tasting menu. Menu items come and go, but The Dessert is always there to bring your gluttonous instinct back to the surface, no matter how well guarded you think you keep it. You’ll say “OK, I’m just having one more bite”, and then end up fighting for the rest, if you irresponsibly agree to “share” 😜
It can’t all be good: there was one time we visited when they seemed to be running some sort of bottomless brunch promotion and it was pretty annoying, as it was full of squawking drunk people on what I presume was cheap and abundant prosecco.
Thankfully, it was very different when we visited last. Due to it being in between Christmas and NYE, half of the restaurant was empty, so no high pitched screams piercing your ears; only lots of scrumptious food that we proceeded to demolish, aided by some Asahi beers.
I also liked that there was a bunch of new vegetable based dishes (or maybe I hadn’t noticed them before!). Things like burnt cauliflower or charred baby gem helped balancing the richness of the rest of the food, and I didn’t feel awful hours later as my stomach dealt with the mess I made it go through 😂
If you’re in need of some irreverent izakaya style dining place in Soho, this might be the place you’re looking for (but please don’t squawk)
14A Old Compton Street,
London W1D 4TJ
I used to be convinced that this was on the place of a former izakaya which had introduced to me the magnificent concept of ASPARABACON i.e. a piece of asparagus wrapped in bacon and deep fried. But I was wrong – the place was next door, in what is now eat Tokyo!
I used Streetview to go back in time and look at the former storefront. I feel so much better now 😅