GT Scene

Restaurant review


Although this Japanese eatery has long been a popular choice among Soho-ites, its recent refurbishment is now arguably polarising regulars and newcomers alike. Not least for getting rid of its infamous and much-loved bento boxes, which prompted such an uproar they were swiftly brought back.

But the most striking aspect of the restaurant's revamp - and as a talking point it totally eclipses the food on offer, which can't be a good thing - is its new appearance. There is an abundance of acidic orange which, far from a branding masterstroke, makes for a somewhat discomforting dining experience depending where you're sat and how much you had to drink the night before. Some of the tables are encased in strange box shapes of the aforementioned colour; while some will appreciate the added intimacy I disliked feeling so disconnected from the other diners, slightly claustrophobic even.

I don't doubt that the ultra-modern, shiny new fixtures will pander to certain tastes, but they didn't to mine, and this is the most prominent memory I carry with me. It's a shame really, as there are no other major gripes to report.

The waiting staff seemed a little nervous and we were dealt with by umpteen individuals over the course of the evening which isn't ideal in my opion; nevertheless everyone was extremely pleasant and the food served very swiftly, perhaps a hallmark of its ex-canteen guise, and, crucially, prices very reasonable; a salmon katsu curry dish rings in at £8.60. The food itself was enjoyable, and appeared much more appetising on the table than it did in the slightly questionable menus. They didn't impart enough information about the food, were clumsily designed and featured some really dodgy photography that didn't show the food in its best light.

The generous helping of salmon I ate tasted of a high quality and the accompanying sauce not too thin or overpowering - I would definitely recommend Satsuma for a quick curry when you're on the move or on the way home from work. It's all served in generous portions too - particularly the amazing edamame beans which I could have eaten all night. You'll find yourself eating a higher quantity of the food than you might expect because of its lightness; especially the fluffy rice and soft tempura battered prawns and vegetables. The latter were especially delicious.

Another highlight was desert; a small-ish scoop of ice cream with a curious nutty, sesame-seed like taste. A little more wouldn't have gone amiss but then again it seemed like the perfect amount to consolidate the feeling that I'd eaten well, and much, but didn't feel weighed-down or unhealthy for it. It was a nice meal, but having spent the evening immersed in orange I still left with a very satsuma-esque taste in mouth.

56-58 Wardour Street

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