14-16 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PH.
Telephone: 020 3405 1151
I’ve always found that wandering around supermarkets – especially when abroad – provides me with a state of calm that I find nearly impossible to achieve in any other pursuit. I am not sure if it’s the strange vegetables: like the Durian in Hong Kong or the weird Europop music (Italian supermarkets provide THE best soundtrack to shopping) or the quirks that you never see in Waitrose or Sainsburys on a Sunday (like the time I saw a flock of brightly coloured songbirds in a Carrefour in France) but street markets make me too giddy, too hyper, and sometimes only a cool, refrigerated aisle-ridden shop will do. If it’s been a while since I’ve had a holiday then I have been known to pop into an Aldi for a nose about or if I’m feeling very lucky then I’ll head to the Japan Centre, a tiny Japanese supermarket in the centre of London (what Alan Partridge would call a scaled-down Japanese mini-mart) and boy does it provide me with calm happiness.
Full of amazing and beautifully packaged goods it’s home to all kinds of teas, strange and fantastic Wonker-y sweets, every kind of noodle, rows of Sake and jelly cakes. Then there’s the take-away sushi, the cakes shaped like Hello Kitty, the hot miso soups and curries. It’s like being on an amazing vacation but seconds away from the 159 bus to Streatham.
The sushi packs are very tasty: a few pounds for about 6 rolls and great washed down with a Banana soya milkshake. I’ve never eaten in the restaurant but the takeaway sushi does me fine. If you’re missing your travels, want a scrummy lunch or a peek at bento boxes and awesome ceramics and chopsticks then look no further!