Restaurant review: Taro, Victoria

Dining at Taro has become somewhat of a tradition for my friend Tamara and I over the years. We usually frequent the legendary Soho branch which consistently delivers exceptional Japanese cuisine, and recently decided to check out their newer Victoria-based offering.

The iconic Taro journey traces back to 1979 when Mr. Taro first set foot in London Town. Inspired by a dream to make Japanese food popular and share the rich culture of Japan with the food-loving city, he embarked on a mission that would lead to the creation of the beloved Taro restaurants. In 1999, his dream took its first step towards reality with the opening of his very first (and iconic) restaurant on Brewer Street. The success was remarkable, prompting the launch of a second branch on Old Compton Street in 2002, now situated in Balham. Since then, Taro has continued to flourish fabulously, with the third restaurant in Kennington and the fourth in Finchley Central in 2021. In December 2022, they welcomed the fifth addition in Pimlico, which we were jubilantly excited about visiting.

Simple, yet glorious tasting sushi platters at Taro

As we entered the bustling restaurant, we were greeted by a warm and inviting ambiance that exuded authenticity. The traditional Japanese decor, punctuated by subtle contemporary touches, set the stage for an exceptional dining experience. The attentive staff immediately made us feel at home, and we were eager to dive into Taro’s culinary delights.

Our culinary adventure commenced with a classic favorite, chicken gyoza. These succulent parcels of perfectly seasoned minced chicken, encased in delicate dumpling skins, were served with a tantalizing dipping sauce. The balance of flavours and textures was impeccable, and we devoured them with relish.

Next up, the tempura prawn arrived, a hearty nod to Taro’s commitment to perfection. The prawns were enveloped in a light and crispy batter, fried to a delightful golden brown. The accompanying dipping sauce added a delightful zing to each bite, making this dish a sheer delight.

Taro also introduced us to tako yaki, a deep-fried octopus ball that we had never tried before. The unique combination of octopus, seasoned batter, and exciting sauces created a little flavour party in our mouths. And when it comes to flavour parties, we’re all here for it.

For our main courses, we decided to go for classics that never fail to impress. The chicken katsu curry was a soul soothing dish that oozed rich and hearty flavours. The crispy chicken cutlet, paired with a velvety curry sauce and fluffy rice, was pure comfort food joy on a plate. Then came the showstopper of the evening – the Spider Roll. This deep-fried soft shell crab roll, drizzled with mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce, was a masterpiece in every sense. The soft shell crab was perfectly crisp, and the combination of creamy mayo and sweet teriyaki sauce added depth to the flavour profile.

Our dinner at Taro in Pimlico was nothing short of exceptional. The restaurant’s commitment to preserving the traditions of Japanese cuisine while innovating and surprising diners with exciting new dishes is truly commendable. As we left with pleasingly full bellies into the dark London night, we both agreed to return sooner rather than later. The reasonably priced, incredible food concept of this renowned restaurant chain continues to draw in the crowds night after night and we could certainly see why.


Mitra Msaad

Editor in Chief