Really good Miso soup

Restaurant, Tajima Tei, London

Miso soup seems like such a simple thing. You can buy it everywhere, and it’s usually nice. But you forget what it’s like when it’s really good.

It’s a traditional Japanese soup, made from a stock called ‘dashi‘, which is mixed with miso paste. According to customs, the other ingredients in a miso soup reflect the seasons. I’ve read you can get Miso soup with potato or mushroom in, but I’ve only ever experienced tofu and/or wakame seaweed.

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Anyway, back to really good Miso. Last night we visited one of my favourite restaurants, Tajima Tei on Leather Lane. It’s a proper hidden gem, and I suspect is one of the best, underrated Japanese eateries in London.  They run a different menu for lunch and dinner, but both menu’s have the amazing Tajima Tei Bento box – which comes with a miso soup.

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The soup was rich and almost creamy, served piping hot in miso soup bowls with lids. It was very moreish and comforting. The only additional ingredient was seaweed – it didn’t need anything else. Perfect start to the bento experience, which features a range of hot and cold dishes including tempura, as well as sushi and sashimi. It’s plentiful and filling and everything tastes lovely. Especially when washed down with delicate warm sake.

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Words and pictures by @ladylavish

Aviyal Coconut & Cauliflower

Takeaway, Nusa, Farrindon

Aviyal Coconut & Cauliflower. It’s based on a Keralan dish, which according to Wikipedia ‘is supposed to have been invented by Bhima during his exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima’s name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, he did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut.‘ 

IMG_6182IMG_6181It was a lovely rich soup which packed a real punch of coconut flavour and had plenty of cauliflower and green beans. It’s vegan, vegetarian, dairy and gluten-free so pretty much suitable for anyone, and as I’m on a low-carb eating plan it fitted in with that too. You can have it with brown rice and bread, but I just went for straight soup.

Really enjoyable, would definitely have it again. A little bit of sunshine on a grey windy day.

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Words and pictures by @ladylavish