Address: 5-7 Vining Street, Brixton, SW9 8QA
Telephone: 020 7737 2369 (booking) 020 7737 6583 (take away orders)
This is an old Brixton favourite and always full in the evening. It is tucked away in a road – well little more than an alleyway – off Atlantic Road in the heart of Brixton. It describes itself as a Japanese noodle and sushi bar but so far we have not tasted the sushi as there is such a good sushi bar just round the corner in Atlantic Road (Ichiban, see above for a review).
The restaurant consists of two rooms filled with benches and rough wood tables and sharing is a must. It also give you the opportunity to decide what you might like from the menu as you ogle the other dinner companion’s choices. The menu is extensive, so a bit of help in making choices is essential. There is a series of all in one meals – Bento boxes, Don Buri (rice with toppings, miso soup on the side), rice dishes including curry and vegetarian options, Ramen (noodles in the miso soup with toppings – beware the temperature!), fried noodles including Yaki soba (thin ones) and Yaki Udon (thick ones) and various curry noodles – and that’s just the top-level categories so you probably see the choice problem. There are ten Bento boxes so a pin might be a good accompaniment to a meal here.
As well as an extensive food menu it also has an extensive choice of drinks. As well as the usual Asahi and Kirin there is also wine (including Japanese wine) and a list of soft drinks which they make up on the spot. We saw carrot and apple, mango and other healthy looking five of the day type things being concocted while we were there. We stuck to beer which is an ideal accompaniment to the Ramen with roast salmon and Oyako Don (chicken on top of the rice).
All that we tried was lovely with the proviso of being aware that any noodles in soup will be very, very hot. The ambience is buzzy and it is open every day for lunch and dinner although all our trips have been for dinner. The service is friendly and swift. They want to get you moving so it is not a place of rest but fast food Japanese style served efficiently. We would definitely recommend this for before or after the Ritzy when you are working to a timetable.