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The perfect leaping-off point for a night out in Soho, Taro’s Old Compton Street branch (the other is on Brewer Street) is regularly packed with a mixed crowd of office workers and students. Though the dining room is at basement level, it’s surprisingly light and spacious with sunshine streaming down from the street-level window above.

Curry rice, fried noodles (yakisoba) or donburi all make filling choices, and they won’t break the bank at £7-£10 each. A spicy fried pork dish could have had a bit more pep, but agedashi tofu was crisp-coated and ample in size.


Venue name: Taro
Address: 10 Old Compton Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-10pm Mon; noon-10.30pm Tue-Thur; noon-10.45pm Fri; 12.30-10.45pm Sat; 12.30-9.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
Price: Main courses £1.50-£14.90. Set lunch £6.90 incl tea. Set meal £9.90-£14.90 bento box

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:3
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Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

The staff are stern and the food is nothing life-changing but I am very fond of Taro. There's always a table, it's quick, it's cheap, it's reasonably healthy – that's a truly rare combination in the heart of Soho. The bento boxes are great value (though look out for the cheaper version of them which is cunningly hidden further back in the menu) and allow you to be indecisive and try everything. I also really like the takoyaki, which are fluffy little balls of batter with octopus in.

Stephen F

Inexpensive, adequate Japanese food. It's hardly authentic and they'll get you in and out in double-quick time but it's not a bad shout for a quick lunch. Plus there's usually plenty of room so it's an easy option for busy Soho.


Went there on Thursday to get a Katsudon. Awful quality. Wasn't spiced properly, lacked texture. The egg tasted old. Will never go again.


I want to like this place but the food is not that carefully made. The rice was a bit dry. And such a rude waitress - not what one expects in a Japan restaurant where normally they take service seriously.


May I firstly say I am just a normal customer and not linked to any companies or individuals. I am always skeptical when I read reviews of places thinking the best reviews are close friends of the owner or the owner himself and the bad reviews are their competitors. This is actually the first review of a restaurant Ive ever done and its because I feel so strongly about the food I got from Taro that I am writing this. In other words I am a very angry customer and feel I should write this whilst its all still fresh in my head. I went into Taro on Saturday just gone and ordered £132 worth of food to takeaway. This consisted of starters, sushi and main dishes. The Karaage had hardly any meat in them and was mostly just flour. The meat used for the Gyoza didnt smell very nice. The Edamame was cooked for too long. As for the main dishes, Salmon Teriyaki consisted of extremeley thin layers of salmon served with vegetables that were not fresh at all. The Chicken Teriyaki was burnt (microwaved too long). The taste was also not of Teriyaki at all (I should know as Ive been to Japan many times). The egg nigiri should be a nice bright yellow colour but these were whitish/greyish which I think comes from mixing the eggs with something in order to make more. I also had Beef Teriyaki which was okish but my main problem with all the main dishes was that they were obviously prepared already and just microwaved quickly to warm them up. They didnt smell, taste or look fresh at all. The sushi I ordered was ok as was the Tenpura Udon. My friend and I were so disapointed with it and I felt very guilty as I chose the restaurant telling him it would be really good (id been once before a few years ago and I cant remember the food being bad so this may be a recent thing). To sum it all up, overall the food was the worst 'Japanese' Id ever tasted. I couldnt eat half the stuff and I felt like I had been ripped off. It may be that the food served to eat in the restaurant is better quality but even so its unacceptable serving microwaved food with obvious short cuts taken in making it just for takeaway customers as we are paying the same price! If I had been served that level of food in the restaurant I would have left it and walked out without paying. I am writing this review because I am angry but this is a truthful account and I hope the owner/manager reads this and does something about it as in the long run it wont get away with serving such terrible food and continue to make money.


Had a very nice meal at sunday lunch, not too expensive and nice place. Not too posh but not dingy either, we really enjoyed it!


Very disappointing. Bland westernised food. Cheap, but poor quality means still not good value.


Really good, cheap food. Their bento boxes and unagi dishes are superb!

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