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Food London

Spider Crabs & Octopus Balls at Mr Taro • Soho, London

November 12, 2015

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Mr Taro
10 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 4TF

It’s about time I shared this little gem with you all. I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Taro, my favourite Japanese restaurant in London! Although the original Mr Taro restaurant is still going strong on Soho’s Brewer street, and there is even a popular Mr Taro takeaway on Cannon Street, it’s the Old Compton Street venue in Soho that I keep going back to. I’m sure it’s two brothers are just as splendid, but I seem to have formed a special bond with Mr Taro on Old Compton.

This week I went with my friend Tam who shares my love of Asian food, in particular Japanese and Sushi. And Mr Taro has become the place we frequently visit together.

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There is so much to chose from at Mr Taro, from meat & rice dishes, to soups & noodles and of course plenty of Sushi. Being on a bit of a budget at the moment I went for a Bento Box.

For anyone on a tight budget wanting to come and get your fill of delicious Japanese food, I would recomend a Bento Box. They range from £9.90 to £14.90 and it’s basically like ordering a little buffet to yourself. These wooden Japanese boxes have little cutouts, each filled with something tasty. I normally order the Salmon Sashimi box, which is one of the healthiest (and the chespest at £9.90). As well as Salmon Sashimi it contains plenty of other little Japanese tasters, including Edamane beans, Sushi and a bowl of Miso Soup which is included with all Bento Boxes.

I can’t even tell you what Miso soup actually is because all I know is that it contains a special stock called Dashi, and a special paste called Miso. Both are made in Japan and I’ve no idea what they consist of. But what I can tell you is that Miso Soup is very tasty. So tasty in fact, that 75% of all Japanese consume at least one bowl of Miso Soup a day (Thanks Wikpedia).

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So where was I? Ah yes, my bento box. Istead of ordering my usual Salmon Sashimi, I ordered the Duck Teryaki Bento Box *licks lips*

At £14.90 it is the most expensive Bento Box.  It includes the Miso Soup (served sepertately), two pieces of Tuna Sashimi and three pieces of Salmon Sashimi, some Edamame beans, Beansprouts, a selection of Sushi, a little salad and finally a bed of rice topped with crispy duck in Teryaki sauce. It was delicious! Not the healthiest option, but nevermind, a girls gotta spoil herself.

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Tam was a little more adventurous in her choices, opting for the Fried Tofu in Terkyaki sauce (£4.90), followed by the Spider Crab roll (£7.90) which was presented beautifully. It was two Sushi rolls filled with soft tempura crab, topped with two deep fried pieces of crab, both shaped like pincers. Creepy and yummy all rolled into one.

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I can also recommend the Octopus Balls, which I have previously devoured at Mr Taro. They arent actually the balls of an Octopus (sorry to dissapoint you if thats what your into) they are little ball-shaped Japanese snacks. They do contain Octopus, just not their balls. They are served differently depending where you go, but Mr Taro likes to serve them deep-friend with Terkyaki and mayo and they are delicious.

Trying out Mr Taros Octopus balls back in 2014

There is a variety of drinks on offer including a Sake mojito! I wasn’t drinking this time round, but if I had been I most certainly would have tried one of those bad boys. It must be a new addition to the menu. But I can vouch for their plum wine (£3.50 per glass) which is what Tam and I would normally order with our meal, and it always leaves us feeling a little giddy as we leave.

Mr Taro is perfect if your wanting to catch up with friends over some yummy Japanese food. It’s in a great location and is relatively cheap. Don’t turn up expecting it to be fancy, in fact with it’s layout being quite similar to Wagamamma’s, you could even end up sharing a bench. But for a relaxed environment & delicious asian food – it’s perfect.

Have you been to Mr Taro? What do you think? Got any Japanese Restaurant recommendations for me?