Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tomoe review - Marylebone Lane Japanese restaurant, somewhat lacklustre


Address: 62 Marylebone Lane,
London W1U 2PB
Tel: 020 7221 2280
Nearest Tube station: Bond Street

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £10 pp
Service charge: N.A.
Taste: ***
Service: **
Ambience: **
Wife and I were on our way to The Golden Hind a couple of weeks ago (when the sun was still out shining) after missing its opening hours time and time again. While we were trekking along Marylebone Lane, we were waylaid by Tomoe. Let’s face it, the temperature was pushing 30C and that we were sweltering under the blazing sun, it wasn’t exactly the best time for deep fried fish and chips, was it? Obviously, something cooler was in order and being famished, we succumbed to Tomoe.

With its tinted fa├žade and cooled interior, Tomoe was indeed inviting. In fact, it looked what Tenshi would be a in a couple of years’ time – more assured and a little jaded. The staff who showed us to our table was a bit distracted. We realized that she was laminating pieces of menu that has been removed from their original file folder.

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As we ponder through Tomoe’s uninspiring menu, the laminating machine giving out a soft whirling sound on the table next to us. Alright, I’m just here to fill up my stomach so let’s get on with it, I mumbled to myself.

Pointing to the pork katsu rice, I flashed my most brilliant smile at the Japanese waitress. She scribbled the order onto her notepad without even a hint of acknowledgment. Crestfallen, I turned towards Wife. Perhaps she’ll have better luck getting a response from the waitress.

“Can my tempura be set aside from my udon?” Wife requested. “No, we don’t do that,” the reply was swift. “Erm, I think you have misunderstood me. What I meant was whether it would be possible to place my tempura aside so that it wouldn’t be drenched in the soup?” Wife persisted. “I’m sorry, we don’t do that,” came the reply. We wondered why it was so difficult for the restaurant to comply with such a simple request but Wife decided to proceed with the tempura order nevertheless.

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Our dishes arrive soon after. To be fair, Tomoe’s pork katsu don (£8.90) wasn’t bad at all. With generous slices of battered pork, vegetables and an egg with a tinge of runniness in it, I was rather satisfied with the dish.

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Besides having her tempura doused in the soup with udon (£8.90), Wife mentioned that the soup could do with more stock. Tomoe’s tempura udon was a far cry from that offered at Tenshi. Determined to have her tempura somewhat crisp Wife requested for a small bowl and went on to set her tempura aside before tucking into her udon.

We found out later that Tomoe, like some other restaurants found in the vicinity, closes soon after lunch and reopens for dinner. That probably explains why the staff was a bit lacklustre towards the end of the meal. While we probably wouldn’t head specially to Tomoe for a meal, it is nevertheless a place to rest your feet if you are tired of the cafeterias along Marylebone High Street.

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3 comments:

Wild Boar said...

Agreed, I thought it was pretty decent but not overly amazing.

C K said...

@wild Boar,
Perhaps I should be turning up at a more 'regular' time instead. Did you try the Japanese restaurant opposite Tomoe? I just can't recall the name.

Anonymous said...

I visited TOMOE with my Japanese partner on Saturday evening 19th March 2011 just after opening time at 18.00. The greeting was not very welcoming for their first two guests. We were asked to sit in the window seats ! The furnishing are dilapidated and the toilets which are up a steep staircase leave something to be desired. The lady behind the counter was cold and unfriendly. A very young male who served us at table was pleasant and mannerly but he seemed to lack experience. I ordered Chicken Teriake. A small bowl of Rice arrived 10 minutes before the main course so it was cold when the Chicken arrived. The portion was small, and not very appetising. As the portions are small and their is a minimum fare it was anything but value for money. Very disappointing visit to a restaurant that appeared to have had complimentary comments in the past. The owners need to upgarde their furnishings, decor and Toilets. Customer Service needs to be improved which is anything but Japanese. Unless the Chef had a day off - changes are needed in the kitchen too. HIBERNIAN