Eat Tokyo (Old Compton St): where it’s not the one and uni

Eat Tokyo restaurants are peppered around the city and they’ve been around for quite some time now. I’ve always passed by the ones near Holborn/Trafalgar Square but have never really visited a branch myself, until they opened a branch next to my favourite cocktail bar in Soho (LAB) and queues snaked around the street. I have an abhorrence towards “no reservations” restaurants taking over the city, because this means queuing and sometimes the wait ain’t worth the weight.
ET is bookable (hallelujah!) but the queues are still crazy, which should say something non? I booked a table to jump the queue, walked in (ignoring dagger looks from people who’ve been waiting for yonks), only to be told to wait out (ignoring smug looks from people who’ve been waiting for yonks). After a few minutes, we were told our table was ready so we walked in once again with smug looks on our faces, ignoring evil eyes from people who’ve been waiting for yonks.

The gindara marinated in miso paste was quite palatable. There wasn’t much of it but the sablefish was melt-in-your mouth good.

I always get excited to see takoyaki on the menu as it’s something I crave on a regular basis. Eat Tokyo’s version got me all excited when placed on our table. The bonito flakes danced like we were watching, showing off their flexibility and taunting us with how good looking they were. Which is why it was such a disappointment biting into these octopus balls. Dissected a piece and it was all dough and the teeniest piece of tentacle from a baby octopus.

We ordered some salmon skin rolls which frightened the life of me in terms of presentation. I wanted to chop off the extended cucumber and sad lettuce leaves off. The salmon skin itself wasn’t as crunchy as I’d hope and the drizzled teriyaki sauce made it too sweet for my liking.

We ordered some seared tuna dish off their “specials” menu. I thought the dish was slightly over than how I’d like it, but the ponzu dressing was decent enough to liven the whole dish.

We had some cuts of sashimi a la carte, which we laughed about as they were literally ‘on sale’ (30-40% off!) Our boat included three cuts of tuna (normal, chutoro and o-toro), salmon and yellow tail.

I personally enjoyed the chutoro (medium fatty) which tasted fresh. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I dropped the o-toro (fatty) on the table and refused to enforce the 3-second rule but my dates said wasn’t too good. The salmon and the yellow tail were just average.

I specifically wanted some uni (it was on sale too, haha!) and this, by far, was the best thing I had on the menu. All things considered, it still tasted fresh and delicious. That umami flavour was very prominent and I had to refrain myself from not sharing.


I get why people visit: it’s decent enough Japanese that won’t break the bank and the menu is absolutely extensive. Eat Tokyo is cheap (they do make value for money bento boxes and they have sale prices after a certain hour) but not necessarily cheery unless you bring your buddies. Service can be slightly abrupt as the place gets quite hectic but you’re there for the food anyway. I thought the food was more on the average side than something I’d queue up for, but I’d go back if I had intense uni cravings for sure.

Eat Tokyo (Soho)
16 Old Compton St, London W1D
Ave spend pp: £25
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  1. 27th May 2015 / 5:40 pm

    I have to say from looking at the photos the sashimi etc doesn't look as good as what you get in the more high end sushi places but you definitely get what you pay for in this sort of place.
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

    • 28th May 2015 / 10:04 am

      Totally agree, Angie. It's so hard to find good sashimi here and I'd rather pay extra for premium than queue for average or (over)hyped.

  2. Anonymous
    8th July 2015 / 4:14 am

    What time did you book your table for?

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