Tag Archives: japanese

Tonkichi – Tonkatsu Seafood

  
Our first eat in Hong Kong and what a feast it was. We met our friend and her fiancé for dinner on our first night and they had already decided that this was the place for us to try. Located in the World Trade Centre building it over looks the harbour. If you love fried food and love your katsu then you will love this place as they have ‘katsu-fied’ everything from pork to scallops. For a halal eater like myself I had to be uber carefully and asked them to separate the pork katsu from the rest of the meal. 

  
Tonkatsu Seafood is a lovely intermit dining experience. Diners can sit in the main hall or opt for a cosy booth. The soft lighting adds to the uber relaxed atmosphere which make you forget the hustle and bustle and soaring temperatures outside. 

  
The meals came with sticky Japanese rice and a range of condiments. What was fascinating about this meal was that once you have ordered you are given a bowl of roasted sesame seeds and a number of oils. You are required to crush the sesame seeds with a pestle and mortar and then add the oil which you like the taste of the most to create a paste which you will use as a dip for the rest of the meal for the rice and the katsu. 

   
You are then served a platter of fried goodies which you can dip in the paste you have made or the other condiments on offer. 

  
A meal for four came up to 650 Hong Kong dollars costing you £52 which is incredibly cheap given the location and the fact we were eating fresh oysters and scallops. Great experience for our first meal. 

  

Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood 

Shop 412, Podium 4, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay

Wagamama

Found on every high street and for good reasons too. I must admit on my first visit to Wagamama I hated it, I was with another person and I just couldn’t get comfortable on their school bench style seating and having to get up close and personal to strangers. It really wasn’t an intimate setting at all so I boycotted it through my teenage years but then fell in love with it after giving it a second chance.

One thing I like about Wagamama is the ever changing menu and the different offerings at different locations. Some places you find sushi other places you find pho. Pan Asian would be the best way to describe this cuisine.

01e65740afbe9ad0069c279bb16ea901778698347d - Copy

Some must have starters are their steamed soya beans also known as edamame beans with chilli or garlic salt. Great to nibble on and so fresh. Two more must have starter are the chilli squid, crispy and chewy and packed full of flavour and they serve it with a tangy coriander and garlic dip which enhances the flavours. The last is the gyoza and I mean any of these steamed or fried. On this visit we tried the duck gyoza fried served with a hoi sin sauce. The duck is so juicy and tender which is a skill to achieve with duck as most cooks and foodies will know.

013339531ee3cc8e6ef7dca81ece55f49ff724a555 - Copy

Number 71 has always been my favourite dish. The Chicken Katsu Curry, as always I asked for extra curry sauce as I like my food to be hot and wet. I have the oddest way to describe this dish yet if you like the two food I am about to say then you will get what I mean. If you are a fan of fried chicken and curry then the Katsu Curry is basically the happy medium between the two. Chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs, topped with rice and smothered in curry sauce, served with a side salads and pickles. I love this dish and just can’t get enough of it. If you are a veggie lover there is a veggie option which is just as good and instead of chicken you get sweet potatoes and aubergines which are under yummy.

0160c64a3c87942bebee6611358c7fdbc8ef216534 - Copy

Dishes are served quick so unless you ask for your starters and main course to be served at different times they will arrive as and when each dish is ready if you don’t. So do make this clear when you are placing your order how you will like your dishes served.

01921cb72580c3c566c165524566abd9f5beb41a9b - Copy

Service is generally pretty slow so don’t be surprised if you have to flag a waiter down to take an order or to get your bill. However, Wagamama are fully aware of this flaw and have recently created an app so that customers can pay for their meal and leave when they are ready.

It’s a cheap yet satisfying dine with huge portion sizes so there is no way you will ever walk away from here hungry. Just be prepared to be a tad annoyed about service should you not have the app.


forkandtalkSomething I have had to ponder was how healthy Wagamama actually is. I’m currently on a mission to lose some weight so am always interested in how many calories are in each dish so I can pop it into my fitness app to keep track of how many calories I am consuming and burning. So for a restaurant that prides themselves on healthy and positive eating hub I didn’t even think this could be an issue for me. After a few clicks on their website in which they proudly display nutritional information I was horrified to find that the Chicken Katsu Curry was a horrific 1147kcal and Elena had beef noodles which came in at 993kcal!!! This made me exceed my daily target of 1400kcal! The chilli squid is 492kcal!!! The duck gyoza is 292kcal!!!

Now we understand that in theory each ingredient is healthy and nutritious however, can Wagamama really justify stating they are a positive eatery when one meal is more than half the daily calorie allowance for a female of 2000kcal? Is McDonalds healthier than Wagamama with fewer calories?

It would be interesting to know your thoughts on this.

Wagamama
46-48 Wimbledon Hill Road, London SW19 7PA
www.wagamama.com

Sticks’n’Sushi

It was a cold Wednesday evening and I have made my way down to Wimbledon to meet an old school friend. Since neither of us been there for a while we have decided to take a walk and see if we come across anywhere to eat.

We walked down Wimbledon Hill road, past pubs, past all the estate agents and then the road turned empty and dark…we were about to turn around and head back to the station when we saw an inviting glimmer of the lights.

sticks-n-sushi-review-fork-and-talk-4

Walking into Stick’n’Sushi was like discovering an oasis in the desert. We were surprised to see that it was packed out to the max on Wednesday night. Soft groovy house music played in the background, waiters buzzed around the tables and the crowd certainly looked very stylish.

sticks-n-sushi-review-fork-and-talk-1

I loved the layout of the restaurant, it was a smart casual feel that I have only seen in European metropolitan cities such as St. Petersburg, Russia. There was a mix of small tables for two and large long ones for a party of 20, wanting a comfy low key spot me and my friend made ourselves comfortable on the low sofas and our food was served on the coffee table next to it.

sticks-n-sushi-review-fork-and-talk-5

The service was amazing. Having never been to Sticks’n’Sushi before we were talked through the menu, which I must say was impressive. Our waiter certainly knew what he was talking about, with  total ease he would list all of the ingredients in each sushi roll which would on average be up to eight items. On top of that all of his recommendations were delicious!

As I mentioned the menu is HUGE, although they did make it easier by creating a separate set menu where you find sushi platters of different sizes and flavours. But if you are feeling brave or picky, they also have a thick menu of individual rolls, sushi, sashimi and ‘sticks’ dishes.

sticks-n-sushi-review-fork-and-talk-2

I am not going to go into the detail about what we ate but I am going to say that this was THE BEST SUSHI I’ve had since Sushinho in London closed down. Innovative flavours, amazing arrangement, it was feast for the tummy and the eyes. Although we didn’t order any of the ‘sticks’ we checked out our neighbours table and they certainly looked yum.

Deserts were incredible. Divided into tiny pots we got a taster of creme brûlée, lemon sorbet, chocolate fondant and almond ball. It was a perfect end to a perfect dinner!

sticks-n-sushi-review-fork-and-talk-6

We got so comfortable with our sushi and cocktails, time flew by. We ended up being one of the last people to leave that place. Although not cheap, it was not expensive either and I was more than happy to pay £30 for my dinner.

I am so glad I stumbled upon Sticks’n’Sushi, and just found out they have a central London branch, now I have to go back!

Star Rating: *****

Sticks’n’Sushi
58 Wimbledon Hill Rd, Merton, London SW19 7PA
http://www.sticksnsushi.com

United Ramen

From the outside you would be mistaken to think that this is just a new version of wagamama with a few funkie colours and a lack of the uncomfortable seated which wagamama is known for. On closer inspection of the menu you will find a jaw dropping range of fusion dishes inspired by the globe like; British Bulldog Roast Beef Ramen and Yankee Doodle Ramen Noodle. They even have Bombay Spiced Edamame! We ordered the handmade tofu gyoza which was the best gyoza we have had. The gyoza was not steamed or deep fried but steam-fried which gave it crispy coating. The filling was so flavoursome. Tofu can often lack flavour but this was seasoned to perfection.

Elena (better known as the devourer of anything piggie) ordered Chashu Pork Shoyu Ramen which came with crispy bacon on top and I ordered the Spicy Salmon and Kimchi Ramen which had the most succulent slices of grilled salmon on top. We both agree that the broth used in the ramen was nice and thick and popping with the individual flavours. The noodles used were almost al dente (in a good way) and very taste, with ramens the noodle part can often be soggy and tasteless so this was a very good surprise. Another positive which can be seen as a small thing but to people who love bottled water like ourselves, after paying a flat rate of £1 you can get an unlimited supply of still or sparking water. Well it’s the small things that make us happy. We look forward to returning and trying out more delights. Next on the list is the Sweet Potato and Crispy Skin Maki, apparently it was so good that they sold out but it will be in our bellies soon.

Star Rating: ***
United Ramen
105-106 Upper St, London, N1 1QN, United Kingdom
http://www.unitedramen.com