At moments like this, we need restaurants that can lift us out of our world and take us somewhere more affable
On the way from Bond Street in central London to the quirky new Japanese tapas and sushi place Taka, to eat pillowy mochi cloud bread with nori seaweed butter, I noticed Marylebone High Street was near-empty. Well, aside from the occasional resident gathering supplies from Waitrose; masked-up, head down, heading back for an evening of telly. It felt comforting to reach Taka, the second London branch of this upmarket sushi and small plates joint, and to spy glowing lights and human life bustling. Taka was definitely open; folk were waiting to greet us. Back in July, I balked at temperature guns held to my person, but these days I rather enjoy it. It is a moment of human contact when one can share gallows humour with a stranger, and how often these days can we do that?
It has long been my view that restaurant columns do not sell restaurants, but instead sell readers a glimpse of another world, which they may not take my advice about, but enjoy the ride nevertheless. For this reason, I’ve tried to steer my weekly epistle away from being one long Edvard Munch screaming session with occasional nods towards panna cotta. But it is increasingly hard because I love restaurants and I love restaurant people; and now winter is coming, and I cannot guess what will be left of this landscape by spring.
Taka, W1: 'Playful, odd and heartwarming' – restaurant review