Misato’s chicken katsu curry is better than Wagamama’s

 

The long queue outside Japanese eatery, Misato, suggested that the food must be good, yet, looking inside, my confidence waned. Diners were crammed tightly together on basic wooden tables and chairs, and the plain beige walls lining the small space desperately needed some cheering up. It seemed to lack ambience, especially for a Chinatown restaurant. Still, every table was full and diners were chowing down on bountiful portions of sushi, noodle and curry dishes. I decided I had to leave my preconceptions at the door.

Following a twenty-minute wait in the queue, we were seated and quick to order. As the chicken katsu curry promptly arrived at our table, I was alarmed at the presentation. The rice was piled up messily and there was a huge breadcrumbed chicken portion resting on top with a generous drizzle of thick curry sauce. A mixed salad sat beside it all. The meal looked like it had been hastily thrown together by someone eager to clock off from their kitchen duty, but as I looked around, I noticed fellow diners’ dinners appeared in the same fashion.

As I got stuck in, I was pleasantly surprised. The fried chicken was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and the curry sauce was flavourful. The salad was dressed well and complemented the flavours with every mouthful.

Misato gives Wagamama’s much-loved chicken katsu curry a run for its money – plus you get almost double the portion for less money (£6). Now the rice did not arrive in a perfectly-formed mound as you would get at Wagamama, but the salad portion was sprawling, and the overall taste of the meal was as good as, if not better than that you get at the restaurant chain.

At Misato, it seems the food is cheap and tasty and the portions are big. Our meal for two came to just £18 (payment is cash-only), with drinks and service included – something that’s often unheard of in London. The queue outside Misato is worth the wait and, as that old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. 

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All-you-can-eat sushi in Soho

all-you-can-eat-sushi-eatery-soho-london

Now that you’ve seen the words “all you can eat”, I bet you’re fired up and ready to go. Before you do, here’s the small print: the bill at Sushi Eatery must be paid in cash, you’ve got an hour and a half to be in and out and drinks are paid on top. Now off you go.

It’s the same premise here that you get with the sushi buffet at Sushimania, where you’re given a small card on which to score a tick beside the dishes you want. You can get up to six rounds of the sushi and sashimi dishes, and only one for the hot dishes (featuring tempura dishes, gyoza, calamari and noodles etc), so make your choices wisely – and fast, the clock is ticking.

When we visit on a Thursday evening the place is packed to full with mostly Asian clientele. The food is decent – perhaps not the freshest or the best you’ll taste – but a good way to sample a lot of different things. I tasted something called Japanese butterfish and enjoyed the tuna sashimi and salmon and avocado sushi, washed down with a cup of Japanese tea.

The portions are generous and we just about make it to the fourth round. I don’t think it’s possible to get through more than four rounds, but if you do, you deserve a pat on the back.

The menu is fairly extensive and obviously fish- and meat-heavy. If, like me, you like raw salmon you’ll be happy.

Service is brisk at this small restaurant, which is set over two floors. The seating downstairs consists of long communal tables sunken into the ground – you almost feel as if you’re sitting on the floor (soft cushions are provided) – and it is difficult to elegantly enter or exit the seats; you have been warned.

Sushi Eatery doesn’t accept reservations and the cover price is approximately £20 per person.

If you can’t quite move at the end, you’ve probably got your money’s worth. Good work.

Japan earthquake shakes the digital camera market

The earthquake and resultant tsunami that struck Japan on 11th March, have wreaked havoc on the digital camera market, with one assistant in a UK high street store telling a customer that the arrival of a specific camera model could not be guaranteed until August.

From lenses to memory cards, the production of many components for cameras has been affected as manufacturing sites, power and transportation have been disrupted for a number of companies with plants in Japan. This has subsequently affected the supply chain.

Imaging company Nikon, for example, has suspended operation in one plant and several manufacturing sites located in Miyagi Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture because of the quake’s damage to equipment and the buildings.

With the destruction caused by the tsunami, there have also been issues with personnel and Nikon has already paid tribute to one employee, and the safety of three other employees from Natori City have not yet been confirmed.

The company says it is trying to resume operation as early as possible, but is unsure when that will be.

Rival company Canon has also suspended operations at some of its Japanese sites.

The short-term effect of the quake appears to be a shortage of products and stock, as warehouse stock dries up.

Obviously though, for those companies who have sites in other countries, and do not need to rely so much on Japanese parts, it will be easier to resume business as usual.

Depending on how quickly Japan gets its infrastructure back in order, i.e. power plants, roads etc, stock levels will begin to regulate once again. Still, it’s going to be a tough process for Japan and for these companies.

That is just one example of an industry that has been affected by the natural disaster.