Omar had been there before. Of course he had. Ever since he moved into the new offices, The Mailbox was just a short walk down the canal for lunch. A few times on his own, once or twice with Chloe who he shares the new space with. Apparently, it was the plants that sold it for them. The new office, not Kawataku, I have no idea how they ended up there. I assume it was the dirge of the bars or restaurants local to their office that that are so basic bitch you have to make the finger peace sign to successfully enter through the doors. I’m meeting Omar – at Kawasaki, not the office – and he’s told me to order something for him as he is running late. He wants a green tea with it. I leave the wine section of Harvey Nichols and do as I am told.

It is not what I expect. Firstly, it is a Japanese supermarket, or konbini if we’re to be pedantic. Filled with everything from the curry sauce cubes to frozen gyoza and cans of fizzy pop flavoured every-which-way possible, it’s very much a konbini first and restaurant second, given that the three or four tables are dotted about across the space. We find ourselves in the corner between the crisps and the chocolate debating what to take home. Secondly, and somewhat more importantly, as I order the food – specifically Omars Beef curry udon sanuki – they start to cut strips from a very special looking tail fillet. Blush red and heavily marbled with creamy white fat, I am guessing it’s Japanese, and it’s absolutely way above the quality of beef you’d usually find on an eight quid main, including soft drink or tea.

The food is uncomplicated and homely; as if these are dishes from a repertoire of memory. The udon sanuki has chewy yet silky thick strands of udon noodles underneath a curry sauce loosened with dashi. The beef is treated beautifully, soft and buttery. It’s proof that the tastiest food can also be the simplest. My main is chicken curry with rice, the meat cooked without fear that it may be underdone, resulting in chicken thighs that are soft and delicate. The curry sauce has a hint of crustacean, likely from fried shrimp, and is full of umami notes. It’s excellent. I really enjoy it.

And that is about as much as I have to offer on Kawataku. It’s cheap and tasty and the menu changes frequently. It’s probably all you need to know. I head to the till to settle a lunch bill of just over fifteen pounds armed with a few curosity items that take it to about double that. On the way to meet my Dad for a pint I open the watermelon flavoured pop and shake with cold trying to drink it. Kawataku is a great spot for lunch, no wonder people take the walk to it frequently.