EXCLUSIVE: Mitsuryu (Japanese) – Chinatown, London
THIS RESTAURANT HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED DOWN!
Having only opened in July, Mitsuryu, or Three Dragons as it’s translated, appears to have the distinction of being, to our knowledge, the only Japanese restaurant in London to offer a fully Halal food menu.
With issues of cross-contamination being entirely irrelevant, this place also has the distinction of being located in London’s Chinatown.
With seating for 95 split equally across two floors, its wooden-based interior is clean, bright and minimalistic in nature, with the main kitchen located on the ground floor and toilets upstairs.
The restaurant also offers a traditional tatami-style dining experience, with low tables and comfy cushions for sitting on, in a private seating area downstairs for 10, as well as a similar seating booth upstairs for eight.
Mitsuryu’s menu is based on a type of Japanese set meal called Teishoku dining, where all dishes in the course are served together as a set based on the ichiju-issai (or “one soup, one side”).
This concept originates from traditional meals offered at Zen temples, and includes a main, soup, rice and pickles.
As such, the process is simple enough:
- Choose a main dish from a wide range of dishes available from the menu.
- Choose one side dish, which is included in the set price. You can add £1 for a special side dish or £2 for a premium version.
- Rice and miso soup come together with your meal as standard.
While the Calpico was easily the tastiest and most refreshing of the two recommended to us, the Ramune was certainly “original”.
The former was a soy based drink that delivered a strong sharp tangy-cum-sweet kick, which we all enjoyed, whilst being milky smooth in consistency.
The latter, although an extremely mild lemonade, is quite a popular one in Japan, we were told, courtesy of its playful element, which involves undoing the top cap; flipping it over 180°; placing it back on top of the bottle shot before pressing it down strongly in order to eject the ball into the liquid to kickoff a fizzy reaction.
The cup in the middle was the hot green tea, that’s available on tap during the entire duration of the meal.
SUSHI & SASHIMI
While it was nicely presented, this assortment platter didn’t quite wow us as we’d have hoped for.
The rice in the salmon avocado rolls was slightly on the cold side, with the salmon not quite as uniform as it could have been. Otherwise, it was good without being anything spectacular.
As for the nigiri, then the seared salmon was barely discernible, the tuna had that mild oily texture, and the seabass a tenderness all of its own. However, we did find the rice a little on the sticky and cold side.
Having chosen the thinly cut, seared Beef Tataki as a ‘Premium’ side for this combo, we found its tender chewiness to be an absolute delight, particularly when properly rubbed in in all that viscous sweet-garlic soy dressing, and topped with a generous sprinkling of finely chopped spring onions and crispy toasted flakes. Yum!
The hot Miso Soup was beautifully made too having an earthy undertone to it, and being a really soothing foil to all that meat and fattiness. In addition, the rice had just the right texture, being neither too sticky nor too dry.
It was a close call, but this full-bodied Chicken Katsu Curry was our dish of the review!
What a wonderfully executed bowl this was, with the succulent battered chicken having taken up enough of the onion-infused curry, which was covered in scrambled egg perhaps and had a mellow sweet undertone to it, to make it a deliciously addictive eat.
This went so well with the warm rice. A solid dish; and one we’d return for without a doubt.
Wow was the ultra-soft, almost melt-in-your-mouth, thin slithers of kingfish delectable in this Hiramasa Carpaccio.
Lightly marinated in a gentle citrus dressing, with the truffle providing that familiar aroma, this was one simple, yet tasty side.
While the slithers of sliced beef were again smothered in plenty of those crispy flakes and thinly diced spring onions, which provided a good textural contrast, it was the simplicity of the Kuwayaki-style cooking that impressed us.
The pan-fried beef, while being slightly chewy around the edges, had a bite which, coupled with the balsamic soy sauce, whose vinegary-tartness appeared to have been sweetened somewhat, kept us masticating for far longer than otherwise.
And there was plenty of simple salad with this too.
The Salmon Tartare, while painting a pretty picture, flattered to deceive.
Though resting atop a bed of diced creamy avacado, the salmon, even with the squeeze of the lemon, and in spite of the attractive orange roe, just didn’t have the quality we were looking for.
The eel, oh the eel indeed! Positively enveloped in a rich sticky, almost smoky, teriyaki sauce, the eel had a velvety-cum-spongy texture, with sesame seeds sprinkled over its silky soft skin.
Nestled alongside were vegetables, mushroom, and tofu that had a sweetness to it which married well against the teriyaki sauce.
And with plenty of rice at the bottom of the bowl, this was an impressive looking thing.
And so it was that around five minutes after having lit the apparent block of methanol fuel neath the hot pot (the obvious indication being when the broth begins to seep through and bubble around the edges), that we were ready to indulge ourselves.
The broth itself, however, did split the crowd. We were all agreed that it did err on the sweet side.
But, while one Lion thought this to be negligible, the other two didn’t.
Nonetheless, there’s no denying the experience, particularly when enjoying the beef with the condiments: shiitake and shimeji mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and soft tofu.
Here’s any area that definitely needs as much thought and attention as the dishes had above.
For what it’s worth, the Chocolate Doryaki had a cold interior, a soft-spongy exterior, and nothing much more.
As for the ice cream scoops, then the Green Tea was softer than the subtle-tasting Red Bean, while the Yuzu Mochi had a lemony interior that was surrounded by a soft gelationous skin, the Sesame Mochi offered a weird taste and texture.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- FREE WI-FI
They've certainly put some thought and consideration into both the place, the decor, and the menu. It certainly tells too, because most of the dishes had were extremely enjoyable, sans, of course, any concerns over dishes containing alcohol, pork, and/or cross-contamination.
While they are new, we've persuaded Mitsuryu to put up a 10% discount to FtL readers (the things we do for you guys).
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