Saturday, 18 September 2010

Tokyo Diner made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Maybe it is a throw back from eating more or less nothing but Indian food for the last 10 weeks that I have been eating everything but…. Maybe I am fed up of those perfectly blended spices cooked in all manor of ways that have been tantalising my taste buds at every meal. Or maybe I really know deep down that the Indian food in London is very poor and no match for a simple restaurant in a small village in India.
I had been thinking what foods I had not eaten and somehow as always when I do this a katsu curry always turns up. I love this simple dish. I mean it is pure genius. Breaded meat, deep fried and served with rice and a curry sauce. But this curry sauce could never be mistaken for an Indian sauce. This is comforting and thick. Real school dinner type sauce.
I’d passed the Tokyo Diner on how many occasions and never actually thought about setting foot inside. But as the Prince Charles Cinema was showing the Godfather on a Friday night, I had to eat there. So cinema first, katsu curry after.
I love the Prince Charles Cinema. Those weird and wacky film events they do. I also love the fact that it allows major alcohol companies to sponsor film events there. Brilliant.

The Godfather is one of my favourite films of all time. It and the first sequel are always in my top 5. But let’s not speak about the 3rd instalment. Best not to really.
Russian Standard Vodka are doing a series of promotional events around the UK this year. That week was at the PCC. The films they are showing are real classics, well except for one crappy British fluffy comedy. Yes you know who you are.
As we entered the cinema for this FREE event. (I thought we had to pay for the tickets). We were given some vouchers for FREE vodka cocktails. It just keeps getting better.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away I had a liking for vodka. This came about by me living in Israel for a year and a half many moons ago. Cheap Russian vodka was cheaper than a cup of coffee. We drank a lot.
The vodka girls hired by the company also gave us little goodie bags. I was only interested in the small bottles of their vodka. Some nice double vodkas and coke were had later.
Watching the Godfather on a cinema screen was unreal. There were so many little things I’d never seen before. Amazing. The killing of Sonny was seen in a new way that I felt every bullet enter him. But being slightly drunk made it a different experience also. There was a really good atmosphere from my fellow oh so nearly drunk cinema goers.
When we left I never realised it was so late, and the Tokyo Diner was closed. Damn. This was not good. Tomorrow would be a different story. Tokyo Diner then cinema.

So the following evening before we watched The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, which in Spanish is translated as “The Men Who Do Not Love Women”. I mean who chooses these titles in other languages. Talk about lost in translation.
We headed into the Tokyo Diner. My need for a Katsu Curry was getting to me now. I was instantly taken by the place. It is simple and had a nice vibe. It is however more chilled than Misato which also does a nice katsu curry.
I like that they give you a good cup of green tea when you are seated, and it is refilled whenever you want.
After looking at the menu, a change of plan was called for. No chicken katsu curry, I opted instead for the pork Tonkatsu curry. Controversial I know. Lina had the chicken katsu bento box. It was catching. Now this is strangely enough exactly what we had in Misato, and they could not have been so different.

This has been the first katsu curry I have had that has been like what I ate in several train stations in Japan. Boy I had missed that taste. Slightly naff, but oh soooo good and very school dinnerish food.

The portions are large and filling. The rice is cooked excellently. The breaded pork cutlet was perfect. Crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. But the curry sauce was awesome. It took me back to those cheap eateries you find around railway stations in Japan. Pure heaven.
The Bento box was beautiful presented, and a perfect portion for a pre cinema dinner. The salmon was quite nice, but lacked any real salmon flavour. The brown sauce for the breaded chicken was really good. It was a perfect match for the chicken. There were some aubergines that had been cooked slowly and were delightful to eat.
I was contently stuffed by the time we had finished. I was happy now to relax in the cinema knowing I had found a real gem in China Town. A hard thing to do these days.

Also the films couldn’t have been so different either. I’m hoping to see more of these film seasons at the PCC, especially those ones sponsored by vodka companies. 

Tokyo Diner on Urbanspoon

No comments: