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Tokyo Diner

Restaurants, Japanese Chinatown
3 out of 5 stars
(14user reviews)

Time Out says

Set over multiple floors, every nook and cranny of this café in Chinatown is regularly packed with crowds of youngsters after a bargain bite. Katsu curry with a crisp-crumbed, fried pork cutlet is a regular crowd-pleaser, as are donburi dishes such as sweet, salty braised beef and onion.

If you’re still not full after one of these, the staff will give you extra rice for free. And you won’t incur any extra cost for service either as Tokyo Diner has a traditionally Japanese no-tipping policy. Instead you’re simply asked to come again – and bring your friends.




Address: 2 Newport Place
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square
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Users say (14)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening
2 of 3 found helpful

10 years ago I used to study around the corner and treat myself to Tokyo Diner when I was rich. This USED to be a nice place to go to. I went there yesterday and I was shoked by the repelling quality of the food and the rudeness of the staff! When a young girl (with a date) asked if she could have something replaced on the menu the waitress loudly laughed at her??! she was still stupidly laughing at this when I left 10 minutes later.. Of course the girl was too shy to do the reasonable thing which would be to walk out with a gesture. On top of this ridiculous behaviour the sashimi salmon that came with my lunch special was barely eatable! It stank of fish and I suspect wasn't proper sashimi meat! I had to leave most of it because I almost gagged eating it!! I went to Japan and realise that raw fish doesn't taste the same here but this is absolutely outrageous! There are plenty great, professional Japanese restaurants to go to in the area so keep your money! I feel sorry for all the unsuspecting tourists who flock into this fraud. Pathetic staff and frankly if anyone should visit this place it's the food standards agency for hygiene!!!

2 of 3 found helpful

Been there three times in total, and it got worse every time I went. First time was fine, nothing much going on. The food was OK, but not too terrible. Definitely too small for such a price. Second time was fine at the beginning, I asked for the free bigger portion and it was slightly bigger, but still not worth the price that they are charging. It was around 9 o'clock and there was not many customer to be honest, but the staff just shove in the bill on our table after we finished, as if she wants us to go immediately, and it did not feel nice. Third time was the horrible dinning experience I ever had in my whole life, and that causes me never visiting that place ever again! We were asked to sit at a joint table, but we saw there was another empty table at the corner and asked if we could sit there. A male staff said NO strictly. We were stun and was like OK and just sat down. later when we ordered, my friend asked if it was OK to not put onion and peppers in, the male staff again said NO strictly again, and did not even ask if we wanted any drinks. And when the food finally came, that male staff stared at us as if he had put something in the food and laughed when we ate it. He also did not say thank you when we paid. and also, in my opinion, he was really racist. So unless you want to be mistreated and charged for expensive food that only tastes OK (assuming nothing 'extra' would be put in), I would suggest to avoid this place. I have been to so many japanese restaurant, and this is by far the worst one. I have always had positive image that japanese are all nice and kinda, and clearly they are not one of them.

2 of 3 found helpful

It may have nice staff, but this is quite possibly the worst "Japanese" food I've ever encountered. If you know and love Japanese food, avoid avoid avoid.

1 of 2 found helpful

If you value your health, avoid. Questionable kitchen practices, frequent admonitions from the authorities regarding health and safety. Raw fish and perishable foods badly stored in conditions prone to vermin. You may see the odd cockroach on the stairs. Manager is more often than not absent and takes no part in daily running of the establishment. Tokyo Diner has a high turnaround of low-paid, untrained staff. some of whom work without NI numbers or suitable visas.

I have worked in a few of London's Japanese restaurants and this is by far the worst. Do not be fooled by all the stickers in the window, the decor or its popularity. Tokyo Diner is only after your money


This is a handy restaurant if you want your sushi hit prior a show. Service is quick and no nonsense. It's not outstanding - (by that I mean not bad) ramen and salads are as you would expect and there is nothing unusual in their sushi selection. Still it is ok. The seating area is nice, and quiet - so great for chatting with mates.  For me it's more of a functional restaurant - to fill my stomach before moving on - it's not one to delight the senses. 


Tuesday night... we were sat quickly as the table was available & served green tea with rice crackles! Nice touch... we ordered the rice wine to be authentic but unfortunately not what we expected (could be our ignorance in not knowing good rice wine). Tastie aubergine was the highlight followed by the ambience.


I think this is one of those places that you neither love nor hate, you just feel comforted that it's there.....

Having lived in Japan, I can confidently say that Tokyo Diner feels pretty authentic. The simplicity of my Udon dish was exactly how it would be in Japan, and the sushi maki tasted really high quality as well. I just don't think the price is such a bargain and the portions as big as they make them out to be.

I do remember well in Japan wishing they would put more veg in their dishes, but it's just not the Japanese way. However I do know that other Japanese places in London do pack out their soups a bit more generously, or charge less for such a simple dishes (noodles, broth and two thin slithers of tofu with a few think pieces of veg for £8.50) so you can afford to order more sides.

As others have said, the free tea, nibbles and no service charge policy do make up for this, so you can eat very comfortably for £12-15 per head - reasonable in zone 1. However it's not overly exciting or generous enough for me to make a bee-line here but I'd definitely come back if I wanted somewhere quick, easy and healthy, confident in the knowledge that my food will be tasty, served with a smile and pretty quick.


Came here before a show and was really happy with my meal. You've likely walked past this restaurant a dozen times but never gone in or given it a second look. I recommend you do! 

Aside from the fact that the food and service is authentic in its Japanese origin, they don't charge service, serve free green tea and just ridiculously nice and polite. Oh, and they also let you add more rice to your dish if you want it, FREE as well. 

I had the Tofu Katsu which was a huge portion and lovely, really good tofu and katsu sauce, and had been fried perfectly in its crispiness. My girlfriend had the veggie sushi which she loved, especially the wasabi which was punchy and nose clearing! 

All in all, Tokyo Diner is a good solid choice to eat in Chinatown that offers great service and pretty good food. It's not the best Japanese food in London by any means, but there are few I think that offer as typically traditional a menu as theres and definitely one of the few places in London that are so friendly and welcoming.

Plus, there's a live camera feed on their website. Seriously, check it out! It's amazing/creepy


We've walked passed this place a number of times with queues outside and jumped on the opportunity to grab a table last night in the absence of the queue. The entrance is a bit tight, but we were able to get in after line-dancing with other diners on their way out, Once seated, it hit us that it's not really a "cheap-eat", however the no-tipping/service charge rule and free Japanese Green Tea soften the blow. After a Tofu Donburi and Nagiri Set for a total of around £23.00 with numerous cups of green tea, we were stuffed to our eyes. Definitely worth a try but we won't be going back in a hurry.


I really like this place - it's basically my go to restaurant, when I want to be reasonably sure that I get a table quickly, with good food at a reasonable price.

The sushi is tasty and freshly prepared - carful with the wasabi, it's the real deal! My favourite dish is Oyako Don, which is a large bowl of rice, topped with an omelette (containing pieces of chicken and onion) that has been cooked in a Japanese stock. Really filling, moreish and absolutely comfort food for me!

Oh and I love that you get free Japanese nibbles and tea!

I have been to Tokyo Diner approximately 3 times in total since I moved to London, and once after the refurbishment. 

Personally, I find the quality of the food OK - for this price, you can definitely get better quality Japanese food in London.I've always tried different dishes when I visited - the first time i had sushi (now no longer on the menu), the second time chicken katsu and finally Okyakodon. I also ordered their Agedashi Tofu on all occasions. Nothing was particularly disappointing, but nothing was particularly mind-blowing either. However, given the proliferation of poor Japanese food (a.k.a Wagamama, Itsu and Wasabi) in recent years, I find this of acceptable quality, and definitely more representative of Japanese food.

The charm of this place however is not in it's food, but rather the location, interiors and staff. I love how friendly the staff members are, the wooden/cozy japanese interiors and the free flow of green tea. Although extremely popular, this place still feels like a calm place to be in the middle of central London....particularly if you get a seat on the first floor. 

I would go back again - for sure - not for the food, but simply because...I like being there, it's easy to get to and it's certainly a crowd pleaser. 


Nestled in the back streets of Leicester Square on the tip of China Town sits this eaterie. It's not bad,it's not great either. Pluses- quick service and traditional Japanese food. I liked that you get a free green tea and rice crackers to have whilst you choose your meal,a nice and unexpected touch. Another plus is that they are quick and give you the bill when serving your meal,which means Theatre goers can munch and go!

They do Bento Boxes and they are a good size and value for money-I think a must for the indecisive eater. I liked my meal but the rice was a bit too fluffy and the sushi didn't melt in the mouth like good sushi does. That being said,I finished mine and I wasn't unhappy with it. 

It has a good trade and that is because you get value for money and an easy menu of all the favorites is available.Also it really does sit on the edge of Charring cross road,which means you can make a quick dash to whatever show you are seeing!

Reasonable and edible. 


Went to Tokyo Diner after a PCC event, and happily was seat right away. I was a bit saddened that they are no longer serving sushi, as good sushi chefs are hard to find at the moment. Never mind, I ordered the Salmon Don and my husband had the beef don. A portion of chicken kara-agé to split as well.

I personally found my salmon don a bit tasteless, but to be fair it is pretty much just salmon pieces atop of rice with cucumber and tomago for flair. I definitely had to add some soy to give it a kick. I also felt that the portions were pretty small (my own fault as you can get extra rice for free, but that would not have helped the flavour).

My husbands beef don however was bursting with flavour, and I cursed myself for making the wrong food choice again 

The kara-agé as always was delicious, with big juicy pieces of fried chicken chunks really hitting the spot. They don't need to be served with a sauce, but I can imagine them tasting wonderful in a type of ginger-chili sauce. 

Getting the bill was prompt (served with the meal) and simply going up to pay makes for a quick getaway. And no tipping. Although I give my food choice this time a three-- I give the restaurant 4 stars as its no fault of it own. 

A lovely little gem in Chinatown.


I have always enjoyed my meals here. The portions are big so careful with your ordering. I really like their chicken kara age and their age-dashi tofu. The queues outside get crazy long so pop along early if you are feeling peckish. 

0 of 1 found helpful

This place is a little gem and one of my favourite restaurants in London. Food is delicious, staff very nice and polite, and there is a cozy Japanese atmosphere . No wonder it's always packed with Asian people! They have a good selection of sushi ,veg and meat dishes and things like a complimentary cup of tea, makes me feel welcomed at every visit. Definitely a great value for money and absolute respect for their no-tuna policy!

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