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Itadaki Zen restaurant review

I've just started a new job in the region of King's Cross - time for a bit of culinary exploration!

Handily enough, not only does King's Cross have The Secret Society of Vegans to satisfy my vegan cake urges, it also has vegan Japanese restaurant Itadaki Zen.

When we arrived, the restaurant was silent and unpopulated, while the service was efficient if not particularly warm - not the best of starts.

Luckily, things warmed up - someone remembered to put on some background music and a few more diners turned up to warm up the atmosphere - and we could turn our attention to the food.

The food at Itadaki Zen is, according to the restaurant's website, all about healing, healthy food with rice, root veggies, seaweed and tofu all featuring strongly. (And some good booze - nice to see the lovely Whistable Bay beer on the menu.)

First up we tried miso soup and shira-ae - tofu with veggies and seaweed. The shira-ae I'm used to is mainly tofu shot through with hijiki and a tiny bit of carrot - not the earthy, spinach-heavy dish we got here. Not was I was expecting, but lovely nonetheless. If only there had been more of it, by way of tribute both to its taste and the size of the portion.

For mains, I opted for udon noodles with tempura, my boyfriend went for tempura too, only over rice (a  dish called ten-don).

He won the tempura battle - what ever rice Itadaki Zen used, it was slightly sweet and nutty and a nice foil to the tempura. My noodles, while nice enough, lacked a depth of flavour - only the occasional nori shreds gave it a lift above the little-too-understated.

Again, though, I felt myself longing for a bit more - the tempura on my noodles was more a dainty garnish than a substantial part of the meal. 

There were a couple of tempting puddings on the menu - kanten or cake - which I'd have liked to try, but we were running off to another event and couldn't linger.  It was the essence of Itadaki Zen - nice food, just not enough of it. 

That said, I enjoyed the food. I left Itadaki Zen feeling light and healthy - and just a little hungry.

Itadaki Zen
139 King's Cross Road 
020 7278 3573

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Okay, I guess I'm having problems commenting. When I first commented, it appeared that my comment had shown up twice. I went to delete the bottom one, and now nothing has been posted (except my deletion). Ah, so if this ones shows twice, I'm just gonna leave it alone. :-) All I was trying to say was that it's nice that you have another place to enjoy eating out, even if the food wasn't overly fantastic.


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