Finding a great Japanese restaurant in London isn’t difficult, but you can bet your last pound that it’s going to be pricey. Restaurants such as Nobu and Roka have been taking the plaudits for years, and quite rightly so, but they’re not the kind of places you visit without a quick chat to the bank manager first. So it was a great surprise when we found Tsuru to be serving great Japanese food for less than the price of a cocktail at some of the more ‘fashionable’ places.
The smart and contemporary restaurant is mainly aimed at the takeaway market, although there are a few big wooden high-stools and tables for those with a bit of time on their hands. The open kitchen dominates the restaurant though, with the sights and smells giving the clearest indication of the quality of food Tsuru prides itself on.
The devil is most certainly in the detail at Tsuru, with real pride taken in producing everything from the stocks, sauces and sushi vinegar to their famous ‘8 hour’ katsu sauce made from scratch. Even their ingredients are ethically sourced, with free-range chicken and sustainable seafood. The drinks list doesn’t escape their attention either, with sakes supplied by Akashi Tai and a wine list from Sotheby’s.
Moving onto the food then, and as expected, everything was delicious. The seafood is completely fresh and full of flavour, including a pleasantly punchy Spicy tuna hand roll and a beautiful dish of Seared scallops, tiger prawns & asparagus in garlic butter which wouldn’t look out of place at Nobu – an absolute steal at £5.45 too. Similarly, the steamed Gyoza were tasty and light, whilst their renowned Katsu chicken curry was more than worthy of the hype (and the 8 hours it takes to make the sauce!). Like everything else, at £7.25 for a hearty portion, the Katsu proved to be great value too. Oh, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they pull out a warm slice of the richest, most moist Fudge brownie around!
Cuisine type: Japanese
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £22
4 Canvey Street
Tel: 020 7928 2228