...there lurks a well-kept secret. A fantastic Japanese restaurant, in what initially looks like a particularly grotty bit of station back-end. Inshoku is just behind Waterloo station, at 23/24 Lower Marsh. Its also very close to Lambeth North tube, so its pretty easy to get to and handy for those stuck-at-the-station-knowing-it'll-take-a-good-hour-for-the-mess-to-be-sorted- out moments. Its open 12-3 and 6-11 on weekdays, and 6-11 on Saturdays - this reflects the fact that its surrounded by offices, and so the area is pretty dead at weekends. So, the food. Well, I'm a fan of raw fish (don't knock it if you haven't tried it!). But it has to be high quality - there are few things nastier than sushi that isn't perfectly fresh. My rule of thumb is, if its smells fishy don't eat it. But I've never had a problem at Inshoku - the types of fish change according to what is available and I think that helps them to ensure that its absolutely fresh. For the wimps (sorry, conservative eaters ;-) ) there's the normal range of Japanese food - teriyaki salmon/ chicken, various types of curry (Japanese, Indian or Thai style), yakisoba (noodles) and rice dishes (such as oyako don). There are also some interesting vegetarian options - I have a friend who is practically addicted to their deep fried tofu. Possibly because anything that makes tofu taste of something else has to be a good thing... The prices are around £6-£8 for a main meal, but you'd probably add on a few pounds for drinks (they serve Japanese beer plus all the normal stuff), side dishes such as extra rice etc. The raw fish dishes (nigiri, sashimi etc) are more expensive, with the biggest box of nigiri coming in at £12.50. But I find the smallest box, at a cost of £6.50, is plenty for lunch. And, in fact, Inshoku do a restricted lunch menu where everything is £6.50 and you get a free bowl of miso soup thrown in. This is a very good deal
, and I frequently take advantage of it. ;-) To sum up, if you're in Waterloo and wondering where on earth to get some food that isn't MacDonalds, then try Inshoku. The service is pleasant and quite fast (though you do need to wave wildly for the bill, on occasion), the food is gorgeous and the prices are reasonable. DETAILS Inshoku can be found at 23/24 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, London SE1 7RJ. Their phone number (which can be used to order food for delivery) is 020 7928 2311.