Our quest to check out all the best Japanese restaurants in London continues and with Jugemu, we may have found one of our favourites.
Jugemu is located on Winnett Street in Soho and if you weren’t looking for it you’d walk right by without noticing. Inside it’s very authentic: it’s tiny, with just a few stools around the counter and a couple of tables and the day’s sushi menu is scrawled on oblong bits of paper and hung up over one wall. It even comes complete with some nonsensical rules, a hallmark of Japanese dining culture. You cannot, for instance, order certain sushi hand-rolls unless you are seated at the counter and if you want to have a jug of water on your table, forget it – apparently the owner hates it!
Charming quirks aside, the food is fantastic. Ordering is done via tick box menus and it’s a good idea to order quite a bit as dishes are all on the small side. Luckily, you can’t really go wrong but highlights for us from the main menu were the prawn dumplings, the takiyoki – chunks of octopus fried in balls of batter – the duck teriyaki, and the eel omelette.
Save room to order plenty of sushi too, the nigiri here was of a very high standard indeed and wasn’t even the priciest we’ve come across in London. The rice is freshly cooked, still warm and hand-sculpted into small pieces before being topped with the freshest fish. We had eel, yellowtail, tuna, and scallop all of which were fantastic. When we come again we’ll probably go for the chef’s omakase sushi menu up at the counter in fact, AND we can order those elusive hand-rolls.
3 Winnett Street, Soho London W1D 6JY