Monday, 30 January 2012

Life - Japanese cuisine by After 5+City Pig

After being asked where to go on several occasions in where to eat after work and weekends. City Pig will also share with you places to eat and drink outside of working hours. This new section will be called “After 5+City Pig”.
Hope you will all enjoy and share with other readers on places to go, eat, explore and have fun.
After 5 + City Pig’s Summary
Japanese cuisine.
Here are some price guidelines:

Eel and avocado roll £7.50
Main dishes approximately £13
Set courses from £25
Healthy. Lots of fish on the menu and most food is cooked via grilling.
2.5/5 (Quiet atmosphere, plain decor.)
2-4 Old Street  London EC1V 9AA
020 7250 3737
Opening times
Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm (Last orders at 2:30pm)
Dinner: Mon-Sun 5pm-11pm (Sunday closes at 10:30pm) (Last orders at 10:30pm and Sunday at 10pm.)
Eat in/Takeaway:
Eat-in and Takeaway.
Recommended dishes
Sushi dishes. Look out for special dishes on the special menu.
Vegetarian dishes
Limited pure vegetarian dishes. A lot of the dishes may have fish and seafood stock. However, there is a Life Vegetable Course which is the set course.
Loyalty card
No loyalty card scheme.

Life is a Japanese restaurant near Old Street and Barbican tube stations. It is not the most noticeable restaurant as it doesn’t look like a typical Japanese restaurant for one.
It serves high quality Japanese food but with a modern twist in presentation in some dishes.
There is a specials menu which appears to look like it is handwritten which gives it a personal feel. It has a selection of inside out rolls, sushi nigiri, and main dishes including the classic chicken teriyaki.
Inside here, you will feel that it has a slight raw and industrial feeling. The decor is rather minimal and simplistic and the restaurant is generally very quiet.
It is not a place that will get you started for a big night out. In fact, it is quite the opposite of being a quiet dinner for two or a much civilised meal between a few friends.
The focus for me here is definitely the food. The menu has a combination of classics but also dishes that have been carefully created for foodies to sample some different Japanese dishes that are less mainstream.
I had the agedashi tofu with pork miso as a starter to share.
This was wonderful in taste, the delicate tofu was flavoured with the sweet miso paste and the pork pieces gave the tofu life.
Followed by some eel and avocado inside out rolls which were hard to pick up in one piece but was so delicious in taste. The sauce on the eel was not too overpowering or sweet but filled with freshness in every bite.
The butter fish with walnut miso paste was found on the special menu. The walnut miso paste went with the butter fish. It is also served with grilled vegetables making this a healthy and balanced meal. The dish was bigger than I expected and so was happy with the portion size.
The chicken teriyaki here is cooked to perfection, the chicken still tender and the sauce lightly coats it. The presentation was impressive and again the portion is generous. All main dishes come with grilled vegetables on the side.
The green tea and oolong tea were not the best teas I have had and was expecting a better quality to be served to match the impeccable service and food.  I was very impressed that the service was very attentive and that my teapot was refilled without me having to ask for a top up.
The bill came to about £56 including service charge and green tea for two people. This was a great value meal that was serving fresh Japanese food that was healthy and tasty. It may lack the buzzy atmospheres other west end restaurants have but if you are looking for a nice relaxed environment then Life serves this very well.

                                                            Butterfish with walnut miso paste
                                                            Inside out roll – eel and avocado
Agedashi tofu

                                                                     Chicken teriyaki
                                                   Soy sauce and wasabi ball used for dipping sushi

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