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24 Lower Marsh, London United Kingdom,SE1 7RJ,Tel: 020 7928 2311

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      24.06.2009 10:05
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      A non chain far eastern style restaurant, that should be good, let down by appalling service.

      Inshoko, near Waterloo Station on Lower Marsh, should have everything. Slightly austere, it nevertheless is clean and nicely laid out. Upon entering you see a counter/bar, and then clean kitchen type tables (as opposed to dining room type) of varying sizes, spaced reasonably well apart (considering the inexpensive nature of the establishment). The prices are reasonable, with individual sushi items at around £1.50 and mains (such as Singapore Noodles) at around £7.00 or cheaper. There is an extensive menu with both Chinese and Japanese options (sushi, sashimi, bento boxes and noodle and rice dishes), and the restaurant is fully licensed.

      A group of us (all Doctor Who fans...yes, I am a geek) went to see Watchmen at the IMAX at Waterloo. Inshoku seemed an ideal place to meet and eat for such a group - it is inexpensive, has a range of choices suiting both fish eaters and vegetarians, served beer and wine, and should be quick (given the nature of both the restaurant and the cuisine). Sadly, this turned out not to be so much the case.

      Upon arrival, I was greeted by the staff in a friendly manner, and pointed to the large table we'd reserved (as there were potentially twelve of us.) Then things started going wrong.

      Although only three of us were there at that point we were peckish and thirsty, and so wanted at least a drink and a sushi snack whilst waiting for the others. The restaurant was empty, nevertheless, we had to go up to the cash register area to get someone to help us - they were all too busy chatting amongst themselves.

      When the rest of our group arrived, we once again had to walk to the front of the restaurant to get service. We ordered, and then waited. And waited. And waited yet some more.

      Twenty minutes later, a waitress informs us that they'd run out of sushi rice, and they'd not prepared anything else we'd ordered. No apology was offered. We told her to forget it; she tried to argue with us. Eventually, we paid just for the drinks and the two small plates of sushi we'd ordered and eaten an hour previously.

      It is therefore difficult to judge the standard of the food served. The sushi we did get was good, though not outstanding. The fish was fresh, though the presentation was bland and uninspiring (compare this to a 'proper' Japanese run sushi place, where the appearance of the food is as important as the taste). Yes, it is inexpensive, and, had the service been up to scratch, for the price, it was more than adequate. However, the service was such a letdown, I will not be returning to sample either more sushi, or the main courses (for the record, I'd ordered, and was looking forward to, Singapore Noodles).

      When we walked out, the man I presume was the manager told us he hoped we enjoyed our meal; he was totally oblivious to the disaster that was our visit.

      Not recommended.

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