Tamashii (Pan-Asian) – King’s Cross, London
THIS RESTAURANT HAS SINCE CLOSED DOWN!HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu UPDATE (05-02-19): CURRENTLY NOT HALAL (temporary supply issues!) • Alcohol served
Having recently reviewed a number of Japanese restaurants, including the award-winning Issho-Ni and London’s first Japanese restaurant to present a fully Halal food menu, Mitsuryu, our exploration of the Far East continues.
Having opened in November after taking over from the old buffet restaurant Kitchin on Caledonia Street, Tamashii in King’s Cross has currently taken up residency as a pop-up that’s being trialled till March.
The exciting news is that its fully Halal food menu has been created by Chef Wei, a man with over 35 years of experience who’s plied his trade at places like Hakkasan and The Colony Club in Mayfair.
This 100-cover venue though is huge! And while there is a large alcohol bar located therein, this is situated at the front of the restaurant, with plenty of seating around the corner in an entirely separate area.
The menu itself has plenty of dishes of a Pan-Asian nature ranging from Ramen and Teppanyaki to Thai Green Curry and Pad Thai.
What’s more, there’s Halal duck, and plenty of it, including a ramen, which we don’t believe you can currently find anywhere else.
A standard mojito that’s decent enough, with the mint just about coming through with far to much sugar added to a fizzy drink. We’ve had far worse.
But, here’s the thing, there’s a huge bar across the way, and while they have a separate section for making non-alcoholic drinks, why is their selection so limited, and why is this mojito barely average? Drink for thought!
SMALL PLATES & SIDES
These golden Shichimi Chilli Squid were a touch on the chewy side and not as crispy as we were all expecting.
What we did enjoy was the manner in which the vinegary sauce helped counter the heat of the batter.
In spite of a crispy exterior, these Sticky Chilli Chicken Wings were neither sticky nor chilli. Truth be told, they were rather bland, chewy, fatty and a tad oily too.
Furthermore, there were at least two which were a little red nearer the bone. As for the sweet and sour sauce – standard!
Oh woe is us for expecting a Quarter Crispy Aromatic Duck to be flavourous and moist, but which instead turns out as though its been sitting around a while.
While this was certainly crispy, it was on the dry side, and lacked that deep fatty richness of a well executed duck. Consequently, the pancakes weren’t very memorable, which was a real pity.
Alas, this came out lukewarm. To make matters worse, and despite being a fun dish to work through using the claw cracker and pick, parts of it were a touch on the chewy side, giving the impression that either this had been slightly overcooked, or cooked only to then be left to sit around rather than being served immediately.
The only redeeming factor for us was the chilli concoction at the bottom of the bowl which we were left to nibble on by the end.
On first impressions, we were expecting far more, both in terms of presentation (a blue plate! Really?) and quantity.
And if this Yaki Udon succeeded in achieving anything, it was in splitting the crowd. As such, while two Lions were left underwhelmed all round, the remaining member opined: “Impressive! Full of flavour,” while describing it as “refreshing after the average starters”!
In this case, two words came to mind: simple and homely, which aren’t exactly the words one looks for when popping out to a restaurant, let alone one in King’s Cross.
Be that as it may, this tasted better than it looked, though, again, in a homely type way. The patty, soft with a gentle sweet undertone to it, married well against the soothing heat of the mild curry. And that’s all she wrote.
For us, the dominant flavour was the onion, with a touch of heat running through it.
What’s more, not only did one Lion consider the texture of the poultry to be “almost chewy”, but another said he also detected an unpleasant odour to it.
But not even the sense of anticipation could serve as much of an excuse in favour of this Chilli Sirloin Steak Ramen, it was that bad!
Not only was it unappealingly presented, but also lacked any real depth of flavour.
The steak was overcooked and chewy, and appeared to have been sitting in the broth for a period. Worst of all, there was hardly any broth.
The only redeeming factor here was the cooking of the noodles. We’re hoping this was just a one off.
In complete contrast to the above, and in relation to the quality of the competition, this Roast Duck Ramen was far better.
While we would have again preferred more of the mellow-flavoured broth, the duck itself had that familiar richness to it so distinct of well cooked duck.
Not only was it saturated and juicy, but the noodles were just right.
And with plenty of nicely wilted pak chow, the red onions provided some sweetness along with some additional textural contrast. Wholesome!
To be honest, these were certainly some of the betters ones we’ve had.
The exterior casing had a light, gelatinous texture to it, making it easy for a spoon to slide through to the ice cream centre, all of which were relatively smooth and well made. Our favourite had to be the Chocolate Ice Cream Mochi followed by the Sesame Ice Cream.
And don’t forget the tea at the end to wash things down!
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED ACCESS
Bearing in mind that this is a pop-up restaurant currently being trialled until March of this year, this place is worth exploring, if only for the duck ramen. Tamashii has potential, given that its menu has been created by Chef Wei, a man who boasts 35 years of experience. For the moment, there's room for improvement.
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8 Caledonia St, King’s Cross, London N1 9DZ.
T: +44 (0)20 7713 8777 | W: www.tamashiilondon.co.uk | E: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Mon-Thur 12:00-22:30 | Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00 | Sun 12:00 – 22:00