As a wannabe vegan (who’s more realistically a flexitarian) with a weakness for good tuna ceviche – when I do indulge my pescartarain tastes, I try to ensure it’s sustainably sourced. I mean, I can’t even bring myself to watch ‘Blue Planet’, I’m so devastated by how we’ve plundered our precious ocean. So when I heard that the first restaurant chain in the world to obtain the Friend of the Sea certification had just opened in London, I booked in faster than you can say Flipper the Dolphin. And not only is Temakinho certified sustainable, it is also offers a rare fusion of Japanese and Brazilian cuisine. A delicious hybrid that makes sense, considering Brazil has one of the biggest established Japanese communities.
With queues round the block…for the Eat Tokyo next door, we strolled straight into Temakinho. Which was surprising quiet for a Thursday evening in Soho. (Perhaps word is not out yet, as it’s only been open a few weeks?) The kitsch pink exterior leading the way into a tropical cantina style interior, complementing the fruity flavours to come…
Zealously attentive staff were keen to talk us through the menu options, ranging from Petiscos (Brazilian nibbles) to Temaki (Japan’s answer fast food) and cocktails such as Caipirinhas and Sake Sours to Vitaminas – exotic smoothies. We opted for the latter, and started our feast with Tacos De Floripa, a light dish of cassava chips with sashimi and a zesty lime dressing with Pastel do Dia, a savoury fried empanada filled with tomato, turmeric and fish served with a sauce of green apple, parsley and chilli pepper. The ceviche was not served how I usually like it (wafer thin, ‘cooked’ in lime juice – FYI) but chopped, in a retro seafood cocktail glass. It was still excellent though. Fresh as the sea, with a good zing. As was the Poke bowl, a dish still having its moment in hip eateries. While the sushi rolls are a must, especially the Siro Completo, with soft shell crab and flying fish roe.
Overall Temakinho is a laid back yet colourful dining choice – in more ways than one. Ideal for small groups to share a lively mix of taste and flavours, with a cocktail or 10. Or even a quick dive-by for some clean eating.
My only criticism was that my dining companion’s gluten free request had them fetching out a piece of paper from the kitchen, for us to cross reference the menu with. Something easily remedied by adding another stylish little icon, alongside ‘Vegetarian’, ‘Cooked, and ‘Spicy’, to the well designed menu. And anyway – a little gluten neglect is forgiven considering the philanthropic work of Temakinho – including charity projects with youth in the slums of Brazil. And did I mention it’s conscious consumption philosophy… #SaveTheOcean
Temakinho London Soho
10 Old Compton Street
London W1D 4TF