Review of 'Inko Nito'

A few weeks ago at Carnaby Street Eat Food Festival we noticed a new, intriguing, addition to the local restaurant scene: Inko Nito. Peering through the floor-to-ceiling windows we saw a cool, clean, quite industrial interior with narrow tables arranged around a central barbecuing area on which small skewers of delights were arranged. Having a look at the menu we saw that it specialised in small izakaya-style Japanese food dishes…at a price. Being there for the food festival we gave it a miss so the other day we returned to actually visit.

There were not many people when we visited, a few couples scattered here and there. We were shown to a table on the far side of the room near to the toilets where, according to the server, we had a good view of the grill in the central cooking area of the room. The placemat-sized singled-sided menu is divided in two: “Kitchen”, which features “Snacks”, “Salads”, and “Nigaki (somewhere between maki & nigiri)” with the second section, “Roba Grill”, featuring “Skewers”, “Meat & Fish”, and “Vegetable” along with a small two-item section for “The Sweeter Things” (mochi and ice cream). Helpfully, on the far right there is a section describing some of the terms used in the menu for those unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine. With the dishes all fairly small, nibbling size, meant for eating as you drink the menu suggests “around 4 dishes per person” but we were on the way to a show and not really looking for a meal so we came up somewhat short on this.

After our helpful and enthusiastic server took our order the dishes came, as you might expect, when they were ready. First up was the “Kampachi Sashimi” salad (£9.80; “Yellowtail sashimi, Japanese leaves, pomelo & citrus soy dressing (gf)”) which was wonderfully light with the Japanese greens quite mild and the sashimi perfectly cool (but not cold) and fresh.

Kampachi Sashimi

The “pork & padron pepper skewers” (£7.60 for two; “Pork & padron pepper skewers with wasabi shiso”) were delicious with the peppers not completely overcooked and the pork slightly chewy but still juicy. We are a sucker for padron peppers having discovered them in Spanish tappas a few years ago.

Pork Skewers

I am a big fan of “kare age” (chicken marinaded in sake then deep fried with a panko-breadcrumb crust) so I had to try the “fried chicken” (£7.20; “Japanese breadcrumb fried chicken with peanut, chili garlic yogurt”) which was a good sized portion of juicy fried chicken helpfully cut into strips with a large amount of dip. Can't say I recall any peanut…

Fried Chicken

On the recommendation of the server for a vegetarian dish he suggested the “grilled aubergine” (£4.90; “Grilled aubergine with garlic lemon miso & spring onions (v)(gf)(vg)”) which was absolutely delicious if a bit odd: The miso topping was almost cheese like making the whole thing almost slimy in texture (in a good way).

Aubergine

We were encouraged to completely mix the flesh with the topping and also to eat the charred flesh. This was good advice. Interesting and quite moorish.

Aubergine Demo

Finally we had the “beef cheek wrap” (£10.00 for two pieces of meat; “Beef cheek & butter lettuce wraps, Korean miso & pickled daikon”) which was a bit messy to eat (pick up the large pieces of meat in the fairly small pieces of lettuce, holding it together hopefully enough to avoid the juices squirting everywhere…I was only moderately successful). Deliciously tender and flavourful meat with it's lovely side salad of pickled daikon.

Beef Cheek Wrap

The only thing I have to complain about is that when we were using the card machine to pay for the meal it asked whether we wanted to add a tip despite already having added 12.5% to the bill (£51.19 for the two of us including two soft drinks). This “double-dipping” is not acceptable on the restaurant scene and, to be honest, I thought it had been dealt with years ago. So, I ended up giving them a 25% tip.

The food was amazing and service friendly. I think going there for drinks and a few snacks is a good approach rather than going for a full meal (which may cause a shock when the bill comes). We will be back to try some of the recommendations of our waiter as we were leaving: The cauliflower and the chicken skewers.

Interior

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-09-27


Cuisine: Japanese

Address: 55 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9QS ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus

Location: London (England) - Soho

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3959 2650

URL: https://www.inkonitorestaurant.com/broadwick-street-soho/