London, England

Tokyo Diner, London

Sushi is one of those things that people either 'love or hate'. Since I will be reviewing a tiny Japanese restaurant in the heart of London's China Town, I can assure you I am one of the votes of love.

A taste of Japanese culture

With its Japanese text littered on the walls, petit wooden hardback stools and polished oak tables, Tokyo Diner, which has been a firm fixture since 1992, is a perfect hideaway for some Japanese culture. Upon entrance, you are always greeted with a smile by Japanese or Western staff members, who are all fluent in both Japanese and English. Upon seating, you are presented with complimentary green tea and Japanese Rice Crackers, the former is refillable throughout your visit, most of the time even when your ceramic tea cup is half empty instead of you requesting.

Wholesome Japanese cuisine

The food is always cooked fresh on the premises and this ranges from traditions such as Katsu Curry to my personal favourite, Tomagadon – a rice, egg and spring onion based dish – which is always served with complimentary miso soup. I have visited Japan and feel that Tokyo Diner does serve the best Sushi outside of Japan, regrettably they no longer have a sushi chef and, until the post is filled, they are no longer doing sushi. They are of the opinion that something should be done properly, which is a credit to the business. I, for one, hope a sushi chef is found soon.

A Japanese tradition is tipping is not required, so Tokyo Diner insists you do not tip, but ‘come again with friends’. Whenever friends comes to London, or if I am in search of a cheap lunch in Central London, I visit frequently here.

They have three floors and on busy weeknights or lunchtimes, they can get busy and it’s not unusually to find you’re waiting in a queue for about 10-15 minutes, but I can assure you, it is well worth it.

Tokyo Diner is open Tuesday-Sunday’s 12pm-12am and, since Christmas is not a Japanese holiday, it is even open Christmas Day, if you can get into London and are tired of the traditional Turkey and Christmas Pudding. 

Best found from exiting Leicester Square Tube Station at exit 3 and immediately taking a left towards Newport Street in China Town and it will be directly in front of you. After lunch or dinner, you will be free to roam the rest of sights that this metropolis has to offer.


Review by Dom Ryan – actor / writer / director