Japanese Canteen, Aldgate, London
The only downside of working in a spot like Aldgate, is that the (near) lunch options aren’t that numerous. As such, I find myself clinging to the places that are the most reliable and the most efficient. When it comes to canteen-style Japanese cuisine that pick is Japanese Canteen.
Enter the canteen
It’s a very transactional-looking restaurant and the clientele is all corporate and no cool. The food that the Japanese Canteen rustles up is fair, and especially fast. This makes it a perfectly practical choice. Most of the menu is Japanese-inspired with a few Korean things here and there, because screw cultural borders. Most of the dishes come as either a donburi (with noodles or rice, in a bowl) or as a bento box. The latter includes miso soup and some salad.
I had the bento on my first visit but didn’t think the salads and soup was that worth it. The teriyaki chicken was the less memorable of everything I’ve had from Japanese Canteen. Nothing wrong.
So far everything I’ve had from Japanese Canteen has been solid. Nothing was terrible and it all helped me clear out a lunchtime appetite with haste. Dishes have some individual strengths and weaknesses but on the surface of things, you can’t go wrong.
Udon know a thing
There’s two versions of the Korean fried chicken. This one is in a more spicy sauce, so it took my tastebuds by a little surprise. The chicken had a nice crunch and everything is whipped out on order even though in comes in mere minutes.
The second time I got it with the udon noodle. This felt like less pieces of chicken this time so wasn’t quite as filling, but the noodles are nice enough. And this time it wasn’t firey at all. The sauce on the noodles and chicken is a little safe.
My most recent adventure with Japanese Canteen was with their chicken katsu curry. I like this sauce, there’s mushroom, root vegetables and pickles. There wasn’t enough of the curry sauce, that felt quite scarce in the bowl. The chicken is all chopped up for you here, I’d prefer it have been a fillet myself.
Whilst Japanese Canteen is not even close to destination dining, I like it a lot. It’s deals with a queue so well, and the food is well priced and well portioned. I’ve tried a variety of what they offer and everything is passable.