Does the prospect of having either Wasabi or Wagamama for lunch bore you of Japanese food? Or have you ever been stuck in a rut with the same rotation of sandwich fillings at Tescos? Slap yourself out of it right now. Ever since discovering Yaki a week ago, my lunchtimes are no longer just another trip to Pret or Subway, trust me Yaki is much more exciting than any 6 inch Italian with meatballs.
Back to Fitzrovia I go.
Yaki is one of the very few Japanese bakeries around London, serves up some of the country’s most popular exports with a variety of sweet and savoury toppings. Many of them are also baked rather than fried, making it a healthy choice for a quick lunch. Although the Donburis (rice bowls) and some desserts are made behind the scenes, they are just as fresh as the other baked goods that are made when you place your order in store.
The Presentation? 9/10
You can always count on Japanese food for the cutest presentations - small pizza boxes, wooden racks, plastic taco-shaped burger holders that double up as a bowl, and a live Tai-yaki demonstration.
The taste? 10/10
Okonomi-yaki (Teriyaki Chicken) – A thick Japanese omelette made with shredded cabbage and ham, topped with pieces of tender teriyaki chicken and drizzled with mayonnaise. Oishi. This was the highlight of my brunch.
Tai-yaki – A warm fish shaped waffle straight off the griddle, filled with melted green tea custard and azuki bean paste.
Gyu-don Beef Burger – The beef was lean and tasted slightly sweet, the kind you’d find braised in a sweet soy sauce. The rice buns were moist and sticky as they soaked up the juices from the beef. From eating this at face value, I learnt that sticking your face into the plastic bag and emerging with rice stuck to your cheeks was not a nice look to take around Oxford Street – but try this – crumbling the rice bun in the bag to make Beef Donburi. I am a genius!
3 steps to making Taiyaki
The price? 10/10
Big portions, great price. There are special lunchtime deals available for £6, £5 and £4 Check it out here.
The service? 10/10
The service was fast and friendly. The whole meal was prepared within 5 minutes of ordering. *Please note, it might take longer during the lunchtime rush ~1PM, where the queues are much bigger. I was equally impressed by how fast the waitress managed to duck in and out of all my pictures whilst making my fish waffles - the girl has some reflex.
Yes that’s right. This may be my biggest carb binge before midday yet.
I’m already planning my next trip for the Doriyaki, Takoyaki and have heard good things about the pumpkin croquettes.
I should enquire about the loyalty card scheme if this is going to be a regular thing.
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 11:00 – 18:30 / Thu-Fri 11:00 – 21:00 Sat 11:00 – 18:00 / Sun Closed