According to this blog, the last time I visited Itadaki Zen was 2012. Yep, it's been a whole four years since the last time I spent some quality time filling my face at London's only vegan Japanese restaurant.
Why the absence, given Japanese food wins the much-contested battle to be my favourite food? Apart from the fact Itadaki Zen is the other side of London (anyone who thinks one side of the capital to the other is not far has never tried to persuade TfL to let them cross the city on a regular basis), I think the delay was because last time I visited, I found the experience nice, but a bit underwhelming.
Happily for Itadaki Zen and my belly, in the intervening four years since I last darkened their doorstep, they've seriously upped their game.
The last time, I remember that the service was fairly uninterested in us, despite the fact that for most of our meal we were the only people in the restaurant. That's happily changed - the waiter this time was a cheerful, attentive gem.
The last time, I also remember that the portions were a little on the small side. That's happily changed too - I ordered a noodle set and got served four separate dishes, none of which were on the small side. I went home full and happy.
Surprisingly for me, I didn't get a dessert - I went off to a gig at the Lexington (which is also rumoured to have vegan Sunday roasts, can anyone confirm that?!) though there are some on the menu. That's something for a return visit. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be in four years' time though.