A TASTE OF JAPAN
Louisa Walters tries an exciting and innovative new restaurant in north London
Every once in a while I get invited to try somewhere that I walk into with no pre-conceived expectations and skip out of with glee. Taisho Japanese restaurant in Golders Green is one of those. Like I was, you’re probably thinking: ‘Bet it’s just another Japanese sushi place and we all know that Oka and Kiyoto have got that sewn up.’ But the clue is in the name – ‘Taisho’ means barbecue. And there, in the centre of each beautiful Italian marble table, is a hot plate on which you can grill your own superb quality meat (and, coming soon, fish) with delicious sauces and toppings, making this a fun interactive dining experience.
There are also wonderful things coming out of the kitchen – kushyaki skewers, beef tataki, delicious salads with sesame dressing, amazing Japanese mushrooms plus this is the only place in London that does snowflake gyoza – a crisply rice flour sheet under which nestle the best gyoza I’ve ever tasted (see photo). The chocolate mousse dessert is amazing and there’s a great range of Japanese beers, sake and other ‘regular drinks. Best of all, unlike other barbecue restaurants, due to a really hi tech ventilation system, you don’t sit in a smoky room or walk out smelling of cooking. Delightful staff, lovely ambience and a large private room downstairs.