Happy bank holiday Friday everyone. Welcome to Friday Finds. I'll be honest it is not really a find, more like a favourite. Kyle and I found this little Japanese restaurant, Tomoe, in Putney about 18 months ago. You know it is good when all the Europeans are next door in the big chain, Pan Asian restaurant and the Asian community are in this place. Tonight there was a family of three. The little boy stole my heart with his long eye lashes and his determination to feed his mum her sushi. He loved his steamed rice, miso soup and fresh cucumber. He was so excited by the fresh fish and kept pointing to it in the counter fridge deck. We generally believe if going for authentic food choose the place that is frequented by the community. I know that this may sound a bit ridiculous but trust me it works every time.
Tomoe is a small family owned restaurant. The chef in the kitchen in very tall and silver haired. I would guess a good 6ft 4in but I tell you now he makes the most delicate dumplings (gyoza) and beautiful fried chicken wings. This evening we had the deep fried soft shelled prawns and gyoza. So good. I get a bit excited and they know this.
We then moved on to our sushi course. There is a Zulu exclamation that sums up the sushi in this restaurant... "Eish." we have eaten sushi all over London and I kid you not when I say this is possibly the best I have ever eaten. Nothing fancy but it is fresh, tasty and care is taken. We always sit at the counter and watch the chef. The sushi chef is a wisened looking gent and yet he shows so much emotion when making the sushi. His fingers are deft and precise. He has cottoned on to the fact that we are foodies and whenever he has finished a platter presents it to us, so that we can have a look, and then passes it on to the waiters to take to the table. This evening I tried Ootoro, tuna belly sashimi, for the first time ever. I have always heard it is a delicacy and the most sought after piece of tuna but never understood why until tonight. It was thinly sliced, the flavour delicate, the texture meaty. Now I know why it is so sought after. It was a pale pink which is so different to the deep red that I am used to seeing when tuna is served as sushi.
I am one of those customers when I hear someone umming and ahhing I will lean over and give them a recommendation. I am not shy when it comes to good food which the chef appreciates and always acknowledges my suggestions with a nod or a bow and smile. Tonight I recommended the Dynamite roll to a couple behind us. Again one of our favourites and they agreed.
I could continue this post with many descriptive words and harp on about how amazing they are but it wouldn't do Tomoe justice. What I can say is we get a smile of welcome every time we go. The Sake selection is extensive, the wine list simple but well selected. There is space downstairs for larger groups. Don't expect speedy service because sushi is an art and they are proud of it. Decoration is minimal but I love the origami strategically placed around the room. The platters and bowls reminiscent of Andrew Walford, a famous potter from Shongweni in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. http://www.andrewwalford.co.za/ Have a look, his art and functional art is gorgeous.
Anyway, please excuse my photos as they are not fantastic and do not do the food justice. All I can say is if in London please visit this little gem. 292 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 6TH. Send us your reviews if you do visit.
Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend.
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain