Taking the FWM out for lunch is always a bit of a challenge as she lives in a village in Lincolnshire that is a virtual desert when it comes to local pubs (at least that sell decent food) and restaurants. In fact such a dearth is there that unless one is prepared to drive into Lincoln and take your chance on finding a parking space anywhere near where you want to be, or settle for a sandwich at the local garden centre, there is pretty much nowhere to go. So when I spotted a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar existed on the Doddington Road (the Lincoln Bypass, essentially) that also had parking, we decided to give it a go.
If one is to imagine a setting (or even a name – Ethan’s) that looks less likely to host a Japanese restaurant I can’t think you could conjure up anything quite as unlikely as this. It is essentially on a garage forecourt abutting the ring road located in a rather odd (or quirky if you prefer) circular building with exposed iron scaffolding on the roof, which it shares with a BBQ grill and cocktail bar called Damon’s.
The menus are extensive and the place runs a myriad of offers, reductions for students, the over 60s and other combinations. You can choose from any number of sushi dishes, starters, mains and sides.
FWM was a bit whelmed. I think, and went with the prawn tempura (which she then concluded was “too large” when it arrived). FWD and I went with the Teppanyaki set lunch offer.
This consisted of miso or beef broth, sushi, noodles and beansprouts, egg fried rice and then a choice of salmon, beef, chicken, scallops, prawns and pork. I scanned the menu for a price. (FWM muttered something about there can’t possibly be that much food for a set lunch). £9.95. Yep, £9.95 a head for lunch. Hard to comprehend. Must be small portions, we concluded.
The communal table around the teppanyaki plate was shared with another family and the usual performance of clanking knives, juggling eggs and setting fire to stuff that accompanies most teppanyaki cooking, began. FWM seemed mildly entertained, which is a result of not insignificant note.
My miso soup was perfectly nice, and FWD enjoyed most of her beef broth (think Bovril – but nicer). The sushi dish was good, and generous, and the veg and beansprouts were really well seasoned and very nice. Oh, yes, we also had a side salad, which was fresh and very pleasant (unlike the brown, tired thing I was served up at Ginza in Nottingham).
My steak was beautifully cooked and delicious, really tender and the FWD’s salmon was superb. Couldn’t fault any of the food, nor the Chef’s endeavours to entertain (although throwing egg fried rice from his spatula for customers catch in their mouth was perhaps a stunt too far and one I declined to take part in – FWM was mortified at that one, so it did have a good side….).
This food was as good, if not better, than anything I have had recently at Ginza in Nottingham, it was fresh and well cooked and the restaurant was smart and clean (if vaguely like a mix between a hotel lobby and a snooker hall). Service was good and there was so much food we couldn’t quite finish it all. And it was only £9.95 a head for lunch. I mean, you cannot complain at that, I am astonished they can make it work at that price, they must get very busy in the evenings, and that wouldn’t surprise me as this must be the only Japanese in Lincoln, certainly the only one on the ring road, and it was bloody good.