Date visited: 6 May 2011
How does a girl get so lucky? Secret date night! I was taken to the London Sky Bar, where I was treated to a wine and cheese tutorial followed with dinner at Tosa, Hammersmith’s answer to our Japanese restaurant in London.
By this stage of the evening we were slightly sozzled from all the wine-sampling, encouraged by our enthusiastically soused ‘wine speaker’. Trying to puzzle out Japanese dishes through the blurred vision of one open eye became impossible and I settled on asking our our waitress for suggestions. Hers was an easy and obvious response – share the set menu.
After years of turning my nose up at anything fishy, I moved to Asia and it wasn’t long before I was craving fresh and raw, which came handily packaged as hand-rolls with whole dedicated sections in supermarkets as with butchers, fishmongers and bakeries in local supermarkets.
I’ve rarely ventured any further than sushi in Japanese cuisine. The set menu at Tosa offered the perfect opportunity to sample a variety of dishes, without the worry of missing out or suffering menu-envy.
We were served sashimi moriawase (assorted fish), kake soba (buckwheat noodles in bonito based hot soup served with spring onion) and ebi fry (deep fried prawns in breadcrumbs served with tonkatsu sauce). But the really exciting course was yet to come.
Tosa specialises in kushiyaki, or grilled skewers which are freshly grilled to perfection and equally perfectly priced. You’ll see from the photo that we were so keen to dig in, we only remembered to take a photo halfway through. My favourites of the skewers were yakitori (grilled skewer of chicken and onion served with yakitori sauce) and asparamaki (grilled skewer of fresh asparagus and pork belly).
We washed down our meal with kirin ichiban, a Japanese beer, and smacked our lips, satisfied.
Verdict: Tosa is a little restaurant, simply decorated with an underlying Japanese theme and populated with Hammersmith locals and Japanese suits. The menu encourages sampling a number of dishes, rather than focusing on a main meal, which makes it ideal for visiting with a bunch of friends. Be warned – the set menu is more than enough to share between two!