Edokko, 50 Red Lion Street, WC1R

This is the most authentic Japanese restaurant I’ve come across in London. Even from the outside the red lantern brought memories of Japan thundering back. Then as we entered, the curtain over the internal door, the friendly Japanese sushi chefs shouting their welcome and the smells emanating from the kitchen made me feel right back in a Tokyo sushi bar.

We were taken upstairs where there are a number of sunken tables, but we had managed to secure the little ‘private table’ which had screens around it, a low table and cushions on the floor. As it had been a week of snow and ice, I was wearing some enormous moon boots which weren’t exactly the most elegant things to remove before walking onto the tatami mats, so perhaps try to avoid such footwear if you visit.

We started with some warm sake (to combat the cold weather outside) and some edamame. We then ordered a sashimi selection which included salmon, tuna, seabass and turbot. All super-fresh and melt in the mouth. Then onto the hot stuff, gyoza (an absolute must whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant) and assorted tempura which included prawns, courgette, aubergine, sweet potato and mushroom.

Our lovely waitress was from Tokyo and very friendly and attentive, just like in her home country. The food was reasonably priced – all decent Japanese food in London is relatively expensive. The assorted sashimi was just over £20, but the other items were more reasonable – gyzoa around £6 and tempura £12 (I think – sake doesn’t help the memory).

This restaurant is a must for anyone wanting an authentic Japanese meal, thoroughly recommended.