Friday 12 October 2007

The Japanese Canteen, High Holborn, London

As the name suggests, this bustling cafe has basic decor, uncomfortable plastic stools, semi-neon lighting and there is a cold draught from the frequently open door. The staff behind the counter shout 'yes please', you order and then go and collect your food when your number is called. On the menu, teriyaki dishes and curries feature heavily, while sushi and drinks are available from a fridge. You can buy a bento box for £6.45, which comprises teriyaki or a curry, plus rice, sesame spinach, seaweed salad and miso soup. Despite the modest surroundings, the food is of a high standard. The salty chicken teriyaki, for example, comes with lots of meat, spring onions and some fresh, chunky noodles doused in a thin sauce - a delicious combination served in a cardboard box with wooden chopsticks. There are also plastic spoons and forks available for the less adept. 7/10