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Mio Yatai (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Mio Yatai in Hackney, London

129A Pritchard's Road, Hackney, London, E2 9AP
Cuisine: Japanese
Tel: 020 7739 2540 | Email to Mio Yatai | Transport: London Fields | Write review

Mio Yatai Review

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Top 10 things to know about Mio Yatai:

(1) While the website for Mio Yatai makes its dishes and look like they’ve come from an episode of Chef’s Table, fear not fair hipsters, the Japanese Soul Food offering stays true to its fuss-free, chilled roots while still totally impressing you with every bite.

(2) On the edge of Broadway Market and steps away from the Regent’s Canal, Mio Yatai is situated at a bit of a fork in the road – meaning there are many meandering ways to get here: bus or cycle is usually your best bet. Unless you’re lucky enough to walk over. If that’s the case, this place will become your new favourite local.

(3) While they don’t shout “Irasshaimase!” at you as you enter (to our deep, noise-loving disappointment) the welcome is still incredibly warm, with attentive staff managing the intimate – and usually fully booked – space without breaking a sweat. The restaurant is a charmingly bustling red-orange tonal escape from busy London into a portal of Japanese chilled dining. If you want to enjoy a private conversation, you’re just going to have to speak a little louder.

(4) You want lanterns? Check. Anime-covered walls? Check. Ornately shaped Japanese-style plates and bowls? Check. All of the visual and artful stimulation you need is right here.

(5) Founder Ihsan Tuncay has conjured up a menu that’s expectedly Japanese but wonderfully fresh because of a few twists: starters are inventive and even sculptural including the soft-shell crab tempura tacos – leggy, crunchy and packed with delicious avocado.

(6) Mains follow a reassuringly familiar format of ramens and curries but again, with surprising little twists that rely on thoughtfully-sourced ingredients. The Tonkotsu ramen was a garlic-y dream with noodles that were both Udon-y thick yet Vermicelli-y thin (it was mind-blowing). The Yuzu Mushroom Ramen was silky and citrusy, the yuzu adding that “what-is-that” kind of zest.

(7) Mio Yatai is all about presentation and even though it offers a down-home, comfy street food vibe, they are serious about flavour and form. Whether you’re going for maki or nigiri, ordering a couple of rolls is totally worth your while here. The Tuna Nigiri came plated gorgeously and deliciously fresh.

(8) Word is getting around that this place is a great one and it’s getting busier. We and other foodies might be to blame for that. And so even on a slightly muggy mid-week day, it’s packed after 8pm. Drop-in if you like testing fate even though wait times aren’t too long. Or better yet, activate your adulting and book ahead.

(9) If you like beer, there is Kirin Ichiban and Asahi aplenty. And if you like cocktails, this place ticks that box too. Or if you’re into Japanese craft vodka, aged whiskey or sparkling sake, you’re in business. You can easily enjoy some nice concoctions. It’s incredibly easy to make camp at the bar chairs facing Pritchard's Road and people watch while you knock back one (or a few).

(10) Dessert is simple – we chose the mochi balls in sesame, coconut and yuzu – but it’s the simplicity that makes this place an easy win for any time and occasion is laidback is what you are after. ...read more

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