Restaurants, Japanese Bloomsbury
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Some Japanese restaurants try to impress with swanky decor and fine tableware; some just focus on providing decent, well-priced food. This little spot, tucked down a side road off New Oxford Street, is all about soothing workaday staples. Despite the bright orange façade, it’s easy to miss and the narrow dining room is also far from overstated.

Capacious bowls of ramen are top of the lunch crowd’s list. Filled with rich, earthy broths, such as thick, amber-hued miso or milky, pork bone-based tonkotsu – finished with black garlic oil (mayu) –  each comes with an assortment of rolled pork belly slices, crisp shallot pieces, beansprouts and sweetcorn. A nearby table of Japanese salarymen slurped theirs approvingly.

While the ramen rivals any that you’d find in a no-nonsense eatery in Japan, our sweet soy-based beef and vegetable hot pot (sukiyaki) was a little disappointing. Serving it with pre-cooked beef took away all the fun of doing the job ourselves on the portable brazier. Service, though friendly, was a little absent-minded, but there’s no complaining about the array of Japanese beers, spirits and fruity liqueurs.

By: Celia Plender


Venue name: Cocoro
Address: 25 Coptic Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Meals served noon-5pm Sun
Transport: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Main courses dinner £9-£15. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £45
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saif A

I'm generally a reserved person.

I'll tolerate poor service in favor of good food.


Cocoro was just unbearable.

I walked in at 5 pm.

Restaurant was empty because it's too late for lunch & too early for dinner.

I asked for a table for 1.

The head waiter ushered me to the sushi bar table. Where its you sitting facing a little wall.

I said since it's not busy, I'd prefer a table. Also, because I knew I would be ordering more than usual.

There was only one table occupied out of the ten empty ones.

So the head waiter gave me this look, as if I asked them to move mountains for me.

Anyways, he reluctantly moved me to a table for 2.

So I put my bag (bought perfumes from Liberty) on the table & asked where the restroom was.

I was barely in the restroom 5 minutes and when I came back, I found they'd seated 2 people where I was seated.

I was shocked. There were several other tables for 2, why did they have to seat someone at my table?

It's not like it was a prime table or anything. By prime I mean by the window or with a view. It was just a regular table.

So when I asked , very politely, what was going on. They seated me somewhere else.

At this point I'm fuming on the inside.

Out of the ten tables, 2 were occupied & it wasn't dinner time.

Why did they seat other people where I was sitting? They know I went to the bathroom. It makes no sense.

Then when I come back, Why make it a big deal?

Poorest service and for what ?

I was dressed appropriately and spoke politely.

I walked in with a huge smile & was very polite & eager to enjoy a good meal.

Just to clarify,I was dressed nicely.

Not that it should matter, but I had a Louis Vuitton messenger bag over my shoulder.

It takes a lot to upset me.

So I lost my appetite & decide to leave.

I've never left a restaurant a before.

I politely said thanks & leave.

Five minutes later I realize I forgot my liberty perfume bag at the restaurant.

I forgot it because it wasn't at the table they forcefully relocated me to without my consent.

So I hurry back. They pretend not too know where my bag was.

Then the manager opens a closet & asks if it's that one.

I'm going to be complaining to the London Better Business Bureau. 

London city doesn't accept this poor business standard.