Abeno, WC1A 1LY
- 020 7405 3211
- 47 Museum Street, WC1A 1LY
A Japanese restaurant in Bloomsbury, not far from the British Museum. They have a sister restaurant (Abeno Too) off Leicester Square, which has much the same menu, and a third (Abeno San) is opening in Hampstead.
The speciality here is the okonomi-yaki, which are a sort of pancake/omelette. The website has details about how they're made, but the hook is that they make them in front of you, on a hot plate which is in the middle of the table.
On a visit in February 2008, Ewan and Sarah had the okonomi-yaki and were extremely pleased with them — one was the Osaka Mix and the other Kiso Mix (set lunch meal at £10.80, including miso soup). The basic mix for the pancake was similar, but the topping on the former was slices of bacon, while the latter had a mix of mushrooms, lotus root and garlic (very carefully fried by the waitress) and melted cheese photo. When the pancakes are made, they offer various sauces, dried seaweed or bonito fish flakes and then you can tuck in. All of these are left by the table so that you can add more. Kat had rice with pork and chicken. The menu is keen to point out the organic provenance of the meats. These are cooked in the kitchen and brought out, but the pork in particular attracted very positive comments. On a return visit in August, the okonomi-yaki were every bit as good, though unfortunately the green tea was unavailable that day.
Service was attentive, and they were happy to bring out tap water. The roasted green tea was also very fine, not too bitter at all.
Verdict: The food here is excellent value and extremely tasty, if somewhat filling. Ewan would be happy to visit again if in the area.