Update 24-06-2009: Taro in Knightsbridge has now closed! We went yesterday to get bentos for lunch and the place was stripped and boarded up. No more cheap bentos for us. Sigh…

There are few good and cheap lunch places around where I work in South Kensington so when a new place pops up on our radar, we’re all over it. That latest place is Taro in Knightsbridge. You may be familiar with the two branches in Soho (Brewer Street and Old Compton Street), you know, the ones with the cartoon faces? But what differentiates this branch are the lunchtime takeaway options.

In front of the restaurant is a refrigerated display case full of packets of sushi and edamame. A large at £2.50 gets you a variety of maki sushi while a small at £1.50 will procure you two nigiri sushi. £1.50 will also get you a packet of ready to eat edamame.

My Sushi Lunch

It’s not very clear in the photo but this was some thickly cut maki sushi – I got a few California rolls and some avocado and quite a few avocado and salmon hosomaki (the little rolls). The two packets filled me up nicely for lunch. The California rolls were a bit heavy on the rice but I couldn’t fault the rest. It’s nice finding affordable sushi!

If you’re not in the mood for sushi, walk into the restaurant and ask to see their takeaway bento menu. There’s a list of about 10 choices for the main dish and each comes with rice and a few accoutrements. They’re priced right too, with most running at £4 and a few at £5. An extra 50p gets you some miso soup on the side.

Here’s my fried chicken (chicken katsu) bento (£4).

Fried Chicken Bento

The chicken is freshly fried and most pieces remain crisp by the time I get around to eating it. It came with some Bulldog sauce to drizzle over the fried chicken and a delicious sweet soy sauce on the rice, in case you feared that the meal would be too dry! I hear the tonkatsu (pork instead) bento is also very good!

And here’s Mirna’s eel bento (£5). Notice the different side dishes. Her reports indicated that it was great!

Eel Bento

These aren’t just for weekdays either – my friend Rach picked up a bento on a Saturday too! The restaurant’s location makes this a good lunch time option for those working in the area or the many tourists visiting Harrods or any of the three big museums nearby (Science Museum, Natural History Museum, V&A).

136 Brompton Rd
London SW3 1HY

Taro Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon