Hidden away behind behind some high rise buildings in East London is a little slice of Tokyo. Every Thursday to Sunday until 19th December the Red Market on Old Street has been transformed into a lantern-lit square that puts you in the mind of being in Japan’s charming back streets. Tokyo Nights is the brainchild of Night Tales – who are putting a whole new spin on ‘pop up London’.
The first stand you see when you step through the entrance is the neon-lit Coco Face and Little Moons mochi stand. Japan fans will already know that mochi are delicious Japanese sweets made by pounding steamed rice flour and delicious ice cream, but what you may not know is that they’re also made in the UK by Little Moons. If you head over to the stand, you can try four different flavours: coconut, mango, toasted sesame and raspberry (my personal favourite). Pretty much every time I go to a Japanese restaurant I’ll have mochi as a dessert, so it’s good to know Little Moons are also served at a lot of London restaurants (including Bone Daddies) – good news for my stomach.
It turns out that coconut water is the perfect accompaniment to mochi. There are four different drinks available at the Little Moons and Coco Face stand: coconut water (served in a young coconut), a cocoface cocktail (served with a shot of your choice), a coco spritz (coconut water with prosecco) and a coconut water hot toddy. Best of all, after you’ve finisihed drinking from your coconut, the staff smash it open so you can scoop out the delicious insides. We tried them all and I was fairly tipsy after a while, but I am now in love with this particular type of young coconut from Thailand.
The good news is that you can buy both Little Moons and Coco Face from Whole Foods Market and other retailers, which you can find on their websites. The mochi are perfectly sweet and chewy, and the coconut water is super refreshing and healthy! It doesn’t get better than that.
There’s also plenty of other food to chow down on at Tokyo Nights – there’s quite a few quirky pop-up stands serving hot food with a Japanese twist! Matt went for the katsu chicken bun from Nanny Bill’s and I stocked up on Walter and Monty’s irish beef picanha. There’s plenty of seating (all outdoor heated, fortunately) where you can also have more cocktails, and even some private hire rooms – one of which is a (not actually) love hotel!
There’s still time to make Tokyo Nights and you really don’t want to miss it! It’s the perfect night out in East London and is in the running for blog’s best event of the year…