Tamashii is a relatively new restaurant near Kings Cross, offering Pan-Asian cuisine. The sprawling space occupies what used to be a buffet restaurant. The interiors are mostly low-lit, punctuated by stylish neon signage adding pops of colour and vintage party vibes.
We kicked things off with their relatively small but exciting sounding Eastern Inspired Cocktails menu.
Geisha Girl | Gin, Cherry Blossom, Lemon, Sugar, Mt Fuji Bitters
Tamashii Mojito | Rum, Lime, Sugar, Mint, Lychee, Prosecco
The Geisha Girl was a truly beautiful looking cocktail – full of deep crimson, lemony and gold sparkly tones, served in a martini glass.
The mojito was a playful twist on the classic; it had a decent amount of lime and mint, which made it nice and zesty and came together nicely with the hint of tartness coming from the yuzu.
Both drinks were refreshing to taste and worked very well with all the starters; the citrus cutting through the spice and fried batter.
We can see these cocktails becoming exceptionally popular during summer time.
To accompany our delicious cocktails, we ploughed through a plethora of starters:
Crispy Fried Squid
Ebi Katsu | Crispy Fried Prawns in Panko Breadcrumbs
Fried Gyoza | Dumpling with Vegetable Filling
Now the starters may sound familiar but it was the execution, presentation and taste that impressed us.
The Gyoza was perfectly crispy with a soft filling, exactly how we like it.
The Ebi Katsu was wonderfully crispy outside, groaning with the prawn inside and a fiery sauce to lift it all up.
I genuinely loved the crispy fried squid. I have tried a few fried squid dishes in my life and these were done pretty well, with nice, healthy flavours, not overly fried or oily and presented in an edible basket. Everything had a freshness and lightness to it without compromising on flavour. Upon enquiry, I was told that the squid is freshly prepared prior to every order rather than using previously refrigerated batches.
Overall, we were quite happy with the starters; in spite of not being the biggest fan of fried food, I inhaled it all.
It was time for a second round of cocktails and we chose the below:
Sake Sling | Sake, Cherry Brandy, Triple Sec, Benedictine, Pineapple, Lemon, Sugar
Yuzu No-Groni | Gin, Campari, Vermouth, Yuzu
The No-Groni had a nice hint of bitterness to it, although the ice had melted a bit too quickly which made it a bit watery. The Sake Sling was invigorating enough for summer drinking but also had enough depth to warrant ordering it during the colder months.
All of Tamashii’s cocktails are made with premium range liquors and the prices have been kept quite reasonable (£8.50). I can honestly say these were some of the best cocktails I have had in London for that price.
For mains, I ordered the Pad Thai Yaki (Chicken & Prawn) from the Teppanyaki section. Compared to the rest of the dishes, this was slightly unexciting in terms of presentation. Tastewise, it was decent: soft, slippery and satisfyingly chewy noodles packed with umami flavours.
The Beef with Black Pepper Sauce Hot Pot made quite the entrance: hot and sizzling inside a ceramic pot, releasing lovely aromas as we lifted the lid. The meat itself was fiery and punchy, perfect with some plain boiled rice.
In terms of overall opinion based on the dishes we tasted, I would say Tamashii’s starters and cocktails have a slight edge over the mains. The Hot Pot dishes are great for wintry weather – heartwarming and wholesome.
The place is new so there are still some creases to be ironed (they are currently understaffed and parts of the restaurant are still not fully open), but that comes with any new business venture.
Tamashii means ‘soul’ and I do think they are pouring their soul and warmth into this place.
People behind the scenes were lovely (big thanks to the manager Ashraf who looked after us like his personal guests). Customer satisfaction is their highest priority which is evident in keeping their prices low without compromising on quality. The dishes may not be groundbreaking but the quality of cooking is applaudable and there is something for everyone here. So give this new place your love and patience; I look forward to seeing it when it is fully up and running on its feet.
Address | 8 Caledonia Street, King’s Cross London
Website | http://www.tamashiilondon.co.uk
N.B. Our meal was complimentary but all photos and opinions are mine.