Hazuki, a little two-storey Japanese restaurant hidden away on Chandos Place, past Oscar Wilde and just up from the station, and we always head straight upstairs.
I'm one of those lucky souls who commutes into town from the 'burbs, and the stop that my husband (a fellow commuter) and I usually come into is London Charing Cross.
The way into work is generally fine (apart from never getting a seat, and being crushed into strangers' armpits), but on the way back, invariably something will go wrong to delay our journey home - leaves on the line, signalling problems and one time, memorably, a cloth factory in New Cross went up in smoke.
Whilst we often resign ourselves to waiting, and scrunching our faces up angrily at the departures board, more often than not, we will decide that this is God's way of telling us to go away and have dinner and simply try again later.
An old faithful, when snow is the cause of disruption, Hazuki will warm us with sansai udon, agedashi tofu and the finest, crispiest tonkatsu pork.
And in the height of summer, their hiyayakko and zaru-soba hits the spot and their super-deluxe sashimi is a bejewelled platter of pleasure.
Calpis at Hazuki (or rather Calpico, as it's been rebranded for the squeamish US and Europe). What more could a non-drinking Japanophile want?
I've not written about Hazuki before, as frankly I felt like it was mine.
Now it's yours.
ps and for my fellow gaming otaku out there, it also shares a name with the main character from Shenmue. WHOO \(^_^)/
43 Chandos Pl
020 7240 2530
That sansai udon looks amazing by the way -- hadn't tried that there before!
Those pics of the sashimi have started the old salivary glands working. Damn, i'm too like those cats that drool when you stroke them...
I'm not sure what I'll be able to eat though as a lot of things seem to be breaded or come with soy sauce. Do you know what dishes might be gluten free?
A bit of snow stops the trains eh, toughen up England!
Another fab and informative blog, really do admire your style :0)
@The Grubworm - It's hidden away! Yeah, mackerel shio rocks - try it!
@Debra Doherty - Ooh, that's difficult. Udon is wheat noodle. And the sauces are often soy-sauce based.
And yes, tempura and tonkatsu are wheat-based too. And there's soy used in most other things
I think your safest option would be sushi and sashimi, or something with a purely dashi stock. Soba noodles are, I think, gluten-free (being buckwheat rather than wheat) but often come with a tsuyu sauce which is soy sauce-based
Sorry not to be more help!
@Sasa - England is weak ^_^
@Carol Ford - Thank you - feel free to spread the word!
@Dennis K - Hi Dennis! Oh, you and me both re busy-ness :)
I would kill for some instant sansai udon.
@Greedy Diva - I'm beginning to wonder if they have some kind of forcefield in front of it - even Marina O'Loughlin didn't know about it :)
@Laura Nickoll - My mates love that one, but I'm not keen on aubergine! Thanks :)