Thursday, March 26

Food: Kikuchi Click for more info

You generally get what you pay for, one way or another. Take Kikuchi, for instance: in passing you'd think it was a run down dive of a Japanese restaurant - decor isn't a strong point in this place, especially when you compare it to the entrance of Hakkasan that's within eye shot.

But aesthetics clearly isn't the point with Kikuchi. No, this place is all about the atmosphere, and more importantly, the food. It's one of those lovely Japanese places where the service all cheer as you come in, cheer while you're ordering, cheer as they bring the food and then finally cheer as you walk out. And although the place is nothing to look at, it's clean, intimate and authentic, oozing atmosphere as a result. In fact, I'd say I felt very much out of place during my time there, almost like a tourist.

The food was marvellous, if a bit on the small side. The fish, cooked or raw, was yummy, the tempura delectable and the Japanese omelette different enough. The cruel size of the portions meant we had to order a lot, something that was reflected in the final bill of £160 for the three of us (although that did include a couple of sake bottles). As wonderful as the food was, that's still quite the tally.

So yes, ultimately you really do get what you pay for; I guess what you have to decide when faced with a delight like Kikuchi is how much you really want excellent Japanese food!