Takeru used to be the old faithful for decently priced and tasty food. I haven't done take-away here, but the food comes out on the whole quite quickly but they can be a bit erratic. Service is non-existent but I can deal with that.
It's on the edge of Chinatown and only a few blocks away from the PWC building.
Mentaiko spaghetti is one of my favourite flavours in Japanese food. I usually am pretty obsessed with this pasta, which is done in a 'Japanese-does-Western-bistro-food' style, but to be honest, on this particular day it just wasn't that great. The flavour was a bit weak - I'm pretty sure the last few times I've ordered it, there hasn't been that excessive pool of thin sauce around the pasta. And after going there for four years, I've noticed their portion sizes are getting smaller and smaller.
The restaurant has other meals of course, so I wouldn't dismiss it completely; it's always busy and for dinner there's often lines - but unless you're incredibly close to this place, I'd give it a miss, for now.
Breakdown Cost: $11.70, eat in. Cash only.
Value: The serving size is pretty good, but I have been noticing it getting smaller and smaller. You can get a 'half serving' which is great in theory when you can't decide what to get (two half servings of two different meals? AWESOME) but I hardly do this because it feels more like a 1/3 of the serving for more than half of the cost, and my maths tells me that that's not cool.
Speed: There can be a line to sit down, so I'd say get there before 12.30pm. If you come for dinner, it'll most likely be packed out. Being a restaurant, and even a speedy little one that isn't really designed to while away your time chatting post-meal, you need about 40 minutes here. If you walk fast/work close by, this is do-able in an hour lunch break.
Take-away: Haven't exercised it to be honest.
Eating at your desk: Maybe it's just me but pasta or noodles are troublesome to eat at my desk. Still, the lack of soup would make it easier. Do-able.
Tip: If you're still hungry, the renkon chips (deep-fried lotus roots) are pretty amazing although feel a bit pricey for what your'e getting (around $5-$6 from memory for a very, very small pile - will double check on this price. The green tea shake is great too, but I can never order it because it is definitely filling.
Recommendation: Veering towards a no based on what I ordered, even though it's my old favourite. This is the sort of place that I take friends to who marvel at its pretty good money to food-taste ratio. But flavours are lacking, but hopefully it was a one-off - though as time has gone by, sizes have been getting suspiciously smaller. It hasn't affected its popularity amongst the crowd of predominantly students and the odd lone officeworker though. Maybe give it a shot if you have the time and you're not craving anything in particular, and go from there. I'll need to come back to Takeru a couple of times for a definitive recommendation.