I do a lot of my thinking in the shower. I think a lot of people do their best thinking while showering. Except for boys, they do theirs in the loo because trust me, you do not want to know what boys are thinking about when they are showering.
I was thinking the other day. Panu, in all his awesomeness, decided to take me out to dinner at Dinings last Saturday night. I mean, Dinings, guys. It’s one of my favourite restaurants in London and hands-down my favourite Japanese, so y’know, he got brownie points.
So I’m showering and sud-sing and totally loving that my new cleanser literally leaves me squeaky clean, and thinking about what I was going to order at Dinings. I’d been there once before and loved my meal and was all hyped to get out of the shower, jump on their website and check out the menu.
Except that Dinings does not have a website.
[Note 15.02.2010: I stand corrected and I am also stupid. They do have a website]
Hm. This is something I must have known the last time, right? But I guess around that time I was completely and utterly (and mentally and emotionally) obsessed with a certain vampire, so little details like a restaurant’s website could have totally logically slipped my mind. Totally.
Anyway, Dinings ~ with no website, no marketing and probably no PR to speak of ~ is seriously one of London’s best kept secrets. Tucked away in a dark little street behind Edgeware Road station, you’d be forgiven for thinking someone had given you bogus directions because the street, it’s dark.
And while places like Roka are brilliant and all that, what I really love about Dinings is its unpresumptuous façade ~ a tiny little Japanese restaurant with a simple sushi bar and a small, brightly lit restaurant area that seats I don’t know, 30 at most, serving up in complete modesty what I think is up there with the best Japanese food in Londontown.
Big call, little one.
Big call, but trust me, they deliver.
I’m not going to go into a clinical dissection of every dish in this post, because frankly, you should just go and experience this yourself.
But I do have to point out the seared wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa & ponzu jelly (above) which at £9 for two portions, is definitely the most expensive sushi to have ever passed these lips. But they’re that ridiculously good that despite the expense, they’ve passed these lips quite a number of times. In fact I did say to Panu that I’d be quite happy to pay £36 for eight portions and call that my dinner. And honestly, I would.
But I’m greedy, and I wanted to try other stuff.
Every single dish is a star in its own right. The wagyu beef tataki, foie gras sushi (which I’ve heard others not liking because the foie gras is served warm but I, for one, relished it), grilled scallops with creamy wasabi sauce… the winners just kept on coming.
And they don’t stop there. Dinings has a small but quality dessert menu, including green tea crème brulee which OMG I didn’t order! I was itching to try the hoji tea pannacota (delicious, not too sweet with a distinct tea bite) and Panu had the black sesame crème caramel topped with coffee froth because I was raving non-stop about that.
So there you go, a too-well-kept London secret unveiled and now y’all just have to go and check it out. And whatever you do, whatever you order, just don’t be stingy. Go for the seared wagyu beef sushi, I promise you won’t regret it.
In fact, let’s go all out. I pinky swear it.
22 Harcourt Street
London, W1H 4HH
0207 723 0666