Hare and Tortoise information

Hare and Tortoise in Bloomsbury is within the modern Brunswick Shopping Mall. This popular restaurant serves a variety of Japanese and Oriental dishes.

Ranked #1429 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Hare and Tortoise reviews

By G.

You’d never guess it from the name, but Hare & Tortoise is a noodle bar. I was expecting a gastro pub or something, but it’s one of those quick noodle-type places. Hare & Tortoise is super cheap and just the thing if you’re in a rush.

By H L.

I went for the Brunswick branch for dinner and had the worst service of my life. The waitress rolled her eyes at my table after we ordered tap water with our meals. The nerve! Honestly it was because we couldn't decide what to drink yet but really for a waitress to be so outwardly rude is disgusting. I've been there a few times and I think their service is getting worse. They're always cranky and mean and unhelpful. Yes the food is still pretty good but they've started raising the prices without improving anything. The prices are no longer value for money.

By Maria P.

Very good food and quite bug portion which is quite unusual for Chinese restaurants. I have really been impressed with the taste of the food: never eaten in such a good chinese restaurant before. The service is OK, not the best ever but, still, they are OK and the food is really good. And last but not least, it's really cheap, if compared with the quality and quantity of what you eat.

By Alex K.

Oh, Mother of God. Food poisoning from bacterial overgrowth and toxin production in something that sat on a service counter for 15 minutes. What an ignoramus you are. Complain about the food being shrivelled and tasteless, but until you understand something that requires three interconnecting neurons, don't complain about food poisoning -- at least not in THIS context.

By Stella S.

Although I have previously enjoyed going to Hare and Tortoise for many years to socialise with friends, I have noticed that over the years the standard of the staff has lowered considerably and seems as if they no longer care for customer satisfaction and are most interested in generating money. Service is appalling. They bring the mains before the starters which is disgraceful. The staff are very rude and threatening. They usually push us in the worst seats possible and put us under pressure at the end of the meal to make room for customers wishing to dine. This irritated me very much as I wanted a full restaurant experience and they neglected me and countless others of this. Perhaps more cheerful and willing waiters needed.

The food however is very good and served in very big bowls and of very high quality. The food is reasonably priced but the drinks are very expensive - do avoid! Possibly a take-out is recommended as the staff are just horrendous. The atmosphere used to be lively but has now deteriorated - management must take into considerations all my comments and do something about it. Hence I no longer dine here.

By Jade K.

Me and a couple of mates went to hare and tortoise the other day and the atmosphere was electric.

We arrive at eight and had to waiting for about 15 minutes, considering where we were in the line, i say that was quite a decent time.

Also we got the soft seat so that was good. The food is amazingly cheap and the servings are massive, more then what a girl can handle but we got through it in the end.

The starters and sushi are to die for. I didn't get a main but my friend got the tori katsu curry and it was great.

To drink we had a 2 litres of Asahi super dry. It was great, they give u this big massive silver can soooo COOL.

The atmosphere was buzzing, they were soo busy and the staff were soo friendly to talk to, we have a little chat with one of the staff it was jokes, he told us the funniest joke.

One of the staff was kind of rude but its understandable considering how busy they were. The toilets were clean, that's a big plus.

And what was funny to see was that the staff were laughing and having fun too which was cool to see, it kinda adds to the relaxing atmosphere

By Deidre L.

We had an appalling dining experience at Hare and Tortoise on the weekend! They first brought out the mains before our starters. When we said we'd asked for the starters first they took back the mains but then proceeded to place our mains at the service counter and left them there while we ate our starters. When we finished our starters (after 15 minutes) they then offered us the same mains that had been sitting at the service counter for over 15 minutes. When I asked whether they were going to re-cook the mains the waitress offered to reheat them for us. We said no and asked that the mains be freshly cooked again. They took back the food and then brought them out again after only 5 minutes and it was quite clear that the dishes had merely been reheated! When we asked the waitress whether the food had been re-heated she flat out lied and claimed that they had been freshly cooked. When we asked to speak to the Manager she didn't even apologise for the incident but proceeded to tell us not to disrespect the staff and to lower our voices! We will never be returning to this establishment again. It's quite clear that they have no consideration whatsoever to ensure customer satisfaction and have no qualms at all about being rude to their customers or are concerned about customer welfare because of potential food poisoning from eating reheated food!

By Georgina C.

Much like the Brunswick Centre itself, the Hare and Tortoise endured years in an inexplicably grotty setting, considering the wealth that surrounds it. But now both have emerged triumphant on the other side of regeneration.

The Venue
The Brunswick Centre has finally realised its sparkling white potential and so has the Hare and Tortoise, occupying a brand spanking new unit opposite to its original home right beside the Renoir cinema. The restaurant is modern and utilitarian – with a glass frontage looking onto groups of cherry-wood tables inside and the occasional booth, surrounded by as many chairs as is feasible. Walls are white and unadorned. At the front, sushi chefs beaver away in the open view kitchen, though the real kitchen is below stairs. The space may be relatively big for a restaurant in Central London, but it’s still not big enough for all of the Hare and Tortoise’s clients. Queues form outside day and night.

The Atmosphere
Given its constant popularity, it’s no surprise that this restaurant is noisy, rushed and busy. Clientele are mixed, though the majority are students drawn in by the low prices and huge portions. It’s not romantic or somewhere to linger, but it is certainly somewhere to grab a quick bite with friends, to catch up on the week’s gossip and to refuel.

The Food
The food is predominantly Japanese, with the odd Asian fusion dish thrown in for good measure. Starters include the fresh and delectable steamed Chinese greens with oyster sauce and edamame beans to the more indulgent pan fried dumplings – or gyoza – that come in chicken or prawn and chive variants. In all, the freshness of the raw ingredients is palpable, from the green bite of the edamame to the ginger and chilli discernable in the chicken gyoza. The sushi menu is long and exceptionally good value and comes with a horseradish sauce strong enough to blow your head clean off.

Main courses are divided into ramen, noodle and rice dishes. A Malaysian chicken curry with rice is beautifully warming, the spice just enough to conquer the unbearable sweet richness that can sometimes result from the use of coconut in a curry, the lemongrass bringing a citrus freshness that’s welcome. The chicken comes on the bone, therefore retaining much of its flavour – a bold move in a market used to the blandness of rubbery chicken breast.

Salmon teriyaki is great for a summer choice, or for those watching their waistline – the portion is large, but the constituent ingredients largely untampered with. However, this dish could certainly benefit from extra teriyaki sauce to conquer the vast mound of rice – make sure you ask when ordering, as the serving philosophy here is brief and to the point – that’s not to say it’s unfriendly – more that, at a fiver a dish, you get what you pay for and smiles are extra.

The Drink
Jasmine tea or some of the fresh juices on offer (carrot, apple and orange) are perfect accompaniments for those looking for a holistic experience. For the more alcohol-inclined, the wine list is brief and to the point. A couple of whites, a couple of reds, available by the bottle or the glass. The white isn’t firewater, but it isn’t a gourmet experience either. They also serve enormous 2-litre cans of Asahi that have a screw-top so you can take the drink away with you when you leave.

The Last Word
When it comes to Japanese food, the Hare and Tortoise is a strong contender in any race.

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