Tokyo Nights at Night Tales, London

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Night Tales is part of the phenomenon of “pop ups” happening in London at the moment, where temporary installations are set up to house food, drink, and dance venues.  For their most recent venture, Night Tales is bringing Tokyo to London with Tokyo Nights.  It runs from 19 October to 19 December. So how does it measure up?

Let’s start with the queue for entry.  Unless you’ve purchased advance queue-jump tickets from their website, you’ll likely wait in a queue for at least a half-hour.  Not the place to go if you are starving!  So get a few drinks in and have a snack before you head down.

After waiting in the queue and growing an unjustified aggression at everyone who thought ahead and purchased queue jump tickets, you finally make your way in.  Quick note – it says nowhere on their website, but the price for entry at the door is £5 per person.

Hello Kitty greets you as you walk in.

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After making your way past the pay-desk, the sights of various Japanese signs are all over.  It looks like the grungy Japanese equivalent of Shoreditch, and it’s a pretty cool sight.

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Winding your way past the alley of Japanese signs, you get to the  main area where music is playing in a seating area and dance floor surrounded by food vendors. The lighting and atmosphere is definitely one of the most fun parts of the experience.

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After being mesmerized by everything, Ashley had grown restless with hunger so we headed straight to the food vendors.  She managed to find a vegetarian option at Dorshi, which from what I can tell appeared to be a food truck of some kind.  There was another queue to get these dumplings but these are worth the wait.  I wasn’t expecting much for some reason but these blew my expectations of dumplings away.  Ashley won the food selection for the evening.

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Apparently there are eight different themed rooms you can pay to get into at various rates you can look up on their website if you want to have a private party. The Love Hotel is one of them.  Since we didn’t feel like paying £25 to gain entry to this place, here’s a picture of the outside.

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After spending £24 on entry and two smallish food options we decided to head out.

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Tokyo Nights by Night Tales is a unique pop-up that brings the alleys of Tokyo a bit more within reach.  The place is expensive, though, if you want to spend more than a half hour there so I would only really recommend going if you are: A) with a group B) bringing a lot of cash or C) know this going in and want to check out a unique and trendy pop-up.  Is this anything like Tokyo? I have no idea.  There are Japanese signs, so I guess in that respect yes.  Other than that, I’m kind of taking their word.  Quick note: is there sushi?  Not in the main area.  Could there be in a private room?  Quite possibly.  The Tokyo Nights site is pretty bad with information.

Since we were still hungry after eating there we decided to head up Kingsland Road for Vietnamese food.  It was no trendy pop-up but it was pretty good regardless.  Maybe if I could do it over again we’d eat somewhere else first then just go there for the cocktails and split some dumplings.

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