Thursday, July 05, 2007

Little Tokyo

Wed 4 July 2007

Last night, after a predinner drink at Milo, we headed to dinner at Little Tokyo. We're big fans of Japanese food but somehow have never managed to eat here. We didn't have a reservation, which, for just two of us wasn't a problem: we were shown to a downstairs table but there are also pits, allowing people with the flexibility and inclination to sit cross-legged while not inconveniencing others.

The menu is quite long and making a decision took quite a while. In the mean time, I was drinking a Kirin and Andy was enjoying a super chilled Asahi, which the restaurant has on draught. We opted for a serving of gyoza and a half sashimi set to start, and followed this with a ton katsu bento box for me and a beef teriyaki bento box for Andy. I also ordered my obligatory bowl of miso shiru.

The gyoza were fantastic: they were really fat, well filled little dumplings, crispy on the bottom, hot, juicy and served with a dipping sauce laced with ginger. We were very happy. The sashimi was also very good: 3 pieces of salmon and one each of tuna, prawn and a white fish (I can never pick the white fish). The sashimi was served with a very healthy portion of wasabi and it didn't take us long to work out way through it.

After the starters we held very high hopes for the main courses and were, unfortunately, rather let down. The bento boxes consisted of portions of salad, tempura, rice and the main course. The salad was rather drowned in its dressing and the rice was not the big, fat, sticky grains of Japanese rice we were expecting. The tempura was OK, but the batter was not the ethereal, pale, fragile tempura batter and the sweet potato, we both felt, really didn't work. At least the vegetables weren't over cooked. My main course (ton katsu - pork, battered and fried) was quite disappointing. I've been spoilt and had it cooked for me by a friend many times before, so I was hoping for a piece of pork fillet, light and crispy but it wasn't so. It was more a pork mince, formed into patties and fried in a similarly heavy batter to the tempura. I did eat it all but I was rather disappointed I did. Andy's beef teriyaki suffered in a similar way: although the flavour was good it was drowned in an over sweet, sticky sauce. The miso was fine, although I was surprised that it was served in a shallow bowl with a spoon. I think part of the reason I love miso is because it is usually served in bowls that are a perfect shape for your hand, that come with little caps to keep the heat in.

Having said all of that, we did have a very pleasant meal (with some very bizarre entertainment in the form of a Robocop mime and a lip syncing Elvis - apparently I looked terrified) and we would go back again. But we won't be having the bento boxes.

1. Little Tokyo, 24 Central Road, Leeds, LS1 6DE, phone: 0113 243 9090

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whereas here in hicksville (Poughkeepsie) I have just had the misfortune to have eaten an unajuu that tasted like no unajuu I've ever had before. Most disappointing, especially after the last 5 days in Japan!

2:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at Little Tokyo two weekends ago for lunch - wasn't impressed at the chicken katsu. Somehow the coating is just not right.

And the lighting downstairs wasn't conducive at all for pictures,which cheesed me off:).The special seafood ramen was quite nice with a miso base, but not the best, as we only had different bits of fishcake rather than real seafood.

If I return, I'd probably go for the sashimi.

Which by the way, yo sushi is having a promotion (6 plates @£10) if you're interested.

7:34 am  
Blogger Alex said...

I'll definitely make mention fo the Yo! Sushi offer.

From your experience, Sourrain, it does sound like the sushi and sashimi are the way to go at Little Tokyo. I think I need to do a comparison at Sisushi in the near future ...

Let's hope 'anonymous' finds some good food in Poughkeepsie soon!

11:54 am  
Blogger David Hall said...


Just came across your blog from the UK Food Bloggers Association. I lived in Leeds for 13 years and I love the place, still have loads of great friends there and visit regularly. I'm now back up in Geordieland. I used to eat in Little Tokyo now and again, great place.

Keep in touch

7:20 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Hi David

We'll definitely be back to Little Tokyo for sushi, but I'm also keen to check out a couple of other Japanese restaurants. For cheap, huge portions of noodles I don't think you can beat Fuji Hiro!

11:50 am  

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