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Tatsuso

32 Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street, London, England, EC2M 2QS, United Kingdom

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Tatsuso closed its doors in July 2009, presumably a victim of the economic downturn in the City. The notes below are of historic interest only.

Tatsuso is in Broadgate Circle, next to Liverpool Street. Downstairs is a sushi bar, upstairs a more formal restaurant. The downstairs had blond wood tables and offered some privacy, the upstairs was more open and was decorated in black. There was a vast array of set menus, ranging from £33 – £99.50. From the a la carte examples included tuna sashimi at £24.50, assorted tempura £16.50, pieces of sushi and sashimi from £2.50 - £11 for a fatty tuna roll. Prices were high, as shown by egg fried rice at £5.50. Sashimi tuna was very good indeed,with excellent texture and carefully cut (comfortably 15/20). Soft shell crab roll was also good, though a spicy tuna roll could have done with more spice, at least for me. Grilled eel was excellent, served on a bed of rice which had absorbed the cooking juices (14/20). The only let down on the food was prawn tempura with good prawns but a rather heavy batter (12/20). Service was good throughout. 

What follows are notes from a May 2001 meal.

This has a reputation for being fearsomely expensive, a feeling reinforced when booking: not “which name?” but “which company is the reservation for?” However the reality is not quite that bad. There are half a dozen set menus at the teppanyaki counter, each of several courses and ranging from £43 to £80, but five were in the £43 – £63 range, hardly a bargain but not too steep by these days’ standards. The wine list looked somewhat costly, but who drinks wine in Japanese restaurants? 

Beer or sake are de rigueur, and even with several Kirins and an extra side dish from the a la carte menu, plus one of more costly menus and service, the bill was still only £80 a head. You’d barely get a couple of sardines and a glass of house white at the River Café for that price. The food itself was very good indeed – I asked for a dish just of sashimi tuna, which did not exist on the menu (“no problem”), that was of the very highest standard (16/20 comfortably). Everything else was cooked on the steel teppanyaki grill, and we had excellent vegetables, scallops, prawns and beef. Rice was extremely good, as was the miso soup. Service was courteous and efficient. 

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  • Norman Hui

    Situated in a basement of Broadgate Circle next to the ice rink near Liverpool Street, this Japanese restaurant is full of City types wearing shirts of different shades of blue on a Thursday evening. I counted only three female diners the whole evening while loud brokers come in their dozens. Décor is in dire need of updating; the live lobsters surely all felt a sense of salvation when they were plucked out one after the other to be cooked on the teppan than having to languish for another evening in the fish tank overgrown with slime and algae. The claustrophobic gent's room felt like a cross between an airplane loo with awful smell and a Hong Kong kitchen with sticky, greasy floor. We started with a trio of amuse gueule that was a single floret of boiled broccoli dipped in a sweet peanut sauce (1/10), a piece of tender chicken glazed in a soy-based sauce (3/10), and a thin slice of Japanese tofu terrine (2/10). Then a small tea pot was placed in front of us with a tiny saucer containing a small slice of lime. This puzzled me: is it tea? Upon lifting the lid, it actually was a soup with a piece of mushroom, chicken and fish in a clear broth. The mushroom is fresh shiitake, chicken piece tender and the fish silky, the soup tasted great with clean but intense flavour, using the tiny saucer as receptive to drink one sip at a time (6/10). I like this very much. The first teppan course was salmon and prawns, cooked with closed cup white mushroom, courgette and onion. The salmon was done correctly, the prawns just au point with tender flesh but lacking in flavour, the mushroom and courgette fresh and crunchy, the onion sweet (3/10). Even with ample warning from people who had dined there before, the smoke from the teppanyaki still took me by surprise; the giant extractor hood seemed totally ineffective and my friend and I were engulfed in cooking fumes almost as soon as the chef dripped oil on the hot metal surface. With eyes stinging and clothes smelly, we asked to be moved "upwind" so as not to have to do a blind tasting in the literal sense. This was dealt swiftly with no problem. Despite the smoke, or, perhaps, because of it, the food tasted better than other teppan places I have been in London; no doubt the high heat and smoking oil imparted a good "wok hei" to the dishes. The dipping sauce was not that helpful in this case despite having the choice of soy-sauce, seafood sauce and spring onion and garlic sauce. Next seafood course was black cod; the fish was extremely succulent with snow-white flakes of flesh and crunchy skin (5/10) though the teriyaki sauce is no better than the one I made myself at home. At this point egg fried rice was served, but the diced onions and carrots were not cooked through before rice was added so there was a crunchiness that I did not think should be present in a well-made fried rice for my liking, it was also under-seasoned so quite bland (1/10). The salad was disappointing: iceberg lettuce with tomato and cucumber slices plus thousand-island dressing, just like the one they serve up at roadside Little Chef's…is this a joke? The highlight of the evening was the foie gras wrapped in Kobe beef, the richly flavoured liver sitting on top of a thin wafer of white-marbled bright red beef that was quickly seared and rolled, then bisected into bite size, served in a special sauce. The spectacle of seeing the foie gras being cooked was great, the Kobe beef was so tender and delicate that my mouth merely registered its texture before the flavour of the foie gras exploded (4/10)…I wonder if it was wise to pair two highly prized ingredients together this way for one to fight the other. The result was rich and luxurious, perhaps too rich for some people. The Angus fillet steak was much more straight-forward with a simple sauce cooked to medium rare as requested, then diced to inch-wide bite size and served with bean sprouts (5/10). We finished with dessert of fruit salad served with whipped cream and ice cream; I asked for just fruit salad, it turned up with a sweet raspberry coulis. Not bad. We had the hot sake to accompany the meal; I do not have the name but suffice to say it was mild and pleasant throughout the various courses. I would have liked to have a full-bodied red wine with the beef steaks, but then I wondered what they do in Japan before they had grape-based wine, so in the end I decided to stay with sake. After all, in a Japanese restaurant, eat and drink like the Japanese. Service was unremarkable: requests dealt with, plates changed when required, place mat replaced when dripped upon; perhaps it has something to do with the waitresses not speaking English very well, I didn't feel they were especially eager to please or showed any initiative to serve beyond the bare minimum. Price was not as extortionate as some would have me believe, comparing to the Greenhouse this is definitely bargain basement.

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