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Koya City, Bloomberg Arcade, London, UK

At it’s heart Koya is all about the udon noodles. You can choose from hot noodles in hot soup; cold noodles to dip into hot soup; and cold noodles with cold sauce to dip or to pour. Hot noodles and hot broth is the most popular and has the greatest number of options. We went for one of the day’s specials a spectacular kedgeree-inspired number that had a thick curry coup, flakes of smoked haddock, and an egg. Koya’s menu of small plates are no after thought either. The tonkatsu (available at dinner only) we had here was exceptional, easily the best we’ve found in London and even rivalled many we’ve had in Japan. Other highlights were the crispy prawn heads (a regular special from Soho that have found a permanent home here) and the marinated mushrooms.

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3 Winnett Street, Soho London W1D 6JY
Piccadilly Circus Leicester Square

Jugemu is located on Winnett Street in Soho and if you weren’t looking for it you’d walk right by without noticing. 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. You order via tick box menus and we really rate the prawn dumplings, the takiyoki – chunks of octopus fried in balls of batter – the duck teriyaki, and the eel omelette, and that’s before you’ve even got onto the sushi.


7a Artillery Passage, London, E1 7LG
Liverpool Street Liverpool Street Liverpool Street

At lunchtime, Yuzu has a conveyor belt system so city workers can grab a quick lunch but at night the belt is covered up with heavy wooden boards and the menu expands to offer a full dinner experience. There’s some of the best sushi in London here, rom tuna nigiri to salmon & avo tobiko and yellowtail sashimi with ponzu jelly. Then there’s the small plates: fresh prawn gyoza; black cod with miso sauce; and pork belly with miso aubergine. Desserts are no less impressive and we love the lemongrass creme brûlée topped with raspberry coulis and the bonsai-tree shaped chocolate with pear.

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114 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6PA, United Kingdom
Goodge Street

Sushi is very much the focus here – the clue’s in the name – with the most of the action centred around the long wooden sushi bar on the ground floor where you can see the chefs slicing, blowtorching and plating the fresh fish. The modern flavour combos like BBQ tuna with parmesan, razor clam ceviche with ginger and whisky jelly, and butterfish with a thin sliver of foie gras on each slice is what sets this place apart.


89 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB, United Kingdom
Dalston Kingsland

Jidori is inspired by yakitori joints across Tokyo, and it’s simple but bloody good. The small plates section includes crack-like addictive Koji fried chicken with nori salt and lemon, crab and corn croquettes and katsu scotch eggs and we loved the tskune minced chicken yakitori. Swing by at brunch time for a monster chicken katsu bun, dirty rice and bacon okonomiyaki.

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71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN, United Kingdom

Roka can be pretty spenny but if you head to the Aldwych branch on a weekend and go for their Han Setto brunch you can try a huge selection of dishes without breaking the bank. Designed for sharing, the menu kicks off with a selection of pickles, edamame beans, and a bellini. The brunch continues with eight sharing dishes, brought out in no particular order, including a selection of sashimi, prawn tempura, beef gyoza, and salmon and avocado maki. AND if you think that’s brunch done, then think again as you also get the choice of a main course followed by the HUGE dessert platter which is Instagram heaven. A boat containing everything from a chocolate Buddha to panna cotta, fruit, truffles and a whole lot more. Add in unlimited wine, you know it makes sense.

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102 Old St, London EC1V 9AY, United Kingdom
Old Street Old Street

Located on the Clerkenwell side of Old Street, Monohon serves just six types of ramen, including three soup-less ones, one of which is served chilled. The Spicy Tonkotsu – creamy pork bone broth with thin noodles, bean sprouts, spring onions, slow cooked pork belly and spicy miso pork mince – is a winner and you can customise it to your liking, choosing level of spice, how hard you want your noodles and how big you want the bowl to be. Slurping = essential.


8 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BU, United Kingdom
Piccadilly Circus

As well as serving authentic Japanese washoku (that’s cooking to you and us) Sakagura also boasts one of the largest selections of sake and Japanese whisky we’ve seen in the city. The menu has a good spread of dishes, including a tuna tartare served in a traditional fisherman’s tray – a true work of art – yellowtail sushi, short rib katsu curry, and charcoaled blackened lobster with moshio brown sea salt. If you’re new to sake, the sake tasting menu is a great way to learn about the different styles.


9 Chapel Market, London, UK
Angel King's Cross

Hot Stone Sushi

Hot Stone Sushi Bar on Chapel Market specialises in meat and fish dishes that you cook at your table on – yes, you guessed it – a hot stone. There’s also a good selection of sushi, sashimi, maki rolls and snacks as well as a bibimbap section. The restaurant is owned by two very friendly brothers; Padam the head chef is Japanese and trained in Japan before doing the rounds at London’s best sushi restaurants, so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff. With counter dining and a good sake list- with the option of a tasting flight – Hot Stone Sushi Bar has all the ingredients for a great little Japanese dining jaunt.

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22-23 Woodstock Street, London W1C 2AR, United Kingdom
Bond Street

Located just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street Kiri makes for a very cosy post-shopping stop off, where you can hunker down with some Japanese sharing dishes, beers and sake. Top picks are the thinly sliced octopus with ponzu cress salad; apple-smoked yellow fin tuna tataki; diver caught seared scallops with ponzu salsa; and the pork belly hirat


4 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1LB, United Kingdom
Bond Street

Cubé does things a little differently, with a mix of very traditional Japanese dishes plus some European influences – the bulk of the menu is arranged into Hot and Cold tapas sections, with one dish mixing Udon noodles with black olive and truffle pesto for instance. The fatty tuna and eel sushi were two of our faves and defo go for the small cubes of pork belly, really soft and tender and seasoned with a great big whack of rosemary – we’d go back for this alone.


23 Conduit St, London W1S 2XS, United Kingdom
Oxford Circus

Tokimeite is a high end joint from renowned chef Yoshihiro Murata, who holds seven Michelin stars across his three restaurants in Japan, and with wagyu beef tartare, soft shell crab sushi rolls and premium sashimi, it’s one to save for a special occasion, or for when you’re just feeling particularly flash.


Yamagoya Soho, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, UK
Leicester Square

Japanese ramen specialist Yamagoya is one of our favourite cheap eats in London. It’s smack back in the middle of town, on the border of Soho and Chinatown, and offers what is surely the best value ramen and katsu curry you can find in the capital. There’s always 5 hot ramens on offer and the most expensive is £9.50, way cheapers than the cheapest bowl you’ll find elsewhere. They don’t shirk on quality though; the noodles are freshly made and the broth is rich and flavoursome. Try the Yuzukara Ramen with wood ear mushrooms in a green tonkotsu broth. Yamagoya also does an amazing chicken or pork katsu curry at only £6.50! Take that Wagamama. For a quick bite in town that’s easy on the wallet, Yamagoya is a perfect choice.


15 Bury Street, St. James's, London SW1Y 6AL, United Kingdom
Green Park

It’s very Japanese at Ginza Onodera with some private sushi rooms hidden behind wooden sliding doors and a big open kitchen with counter seats and a robata grill on display. The menu also leaves you spoilt for choice; we love the tempura, melt in the mouth Japanese beef, chicken yakitori, and a lightly seared slab of fatty tuna cooked on the robata.


5 Panton Street Soho London SW1Y 4DL
Piccadilly Circus

Machiya is run by the same people behind Kanada-Ya although there’s not a bowl of ramen in sight. Order the tsukune, grilled chicken skewers, to snack on before you get stuck into their grilled eel, which is one of the best in London, and their huge tonkatsu. Add a glass of Dassai sake and you are good to go.


101-111 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA, UK
Kensington High Street

If you’re looking for Japanese food, Japan House (aka the home of Japanese culture in the UK) is a pretty good place to start. Akira, on the first floor of the building, which is also home to a shop and gallery, from Executive Chef Shimizu Akira (also of Engawa) is all about showcasing the best in modern Japanese food, presentation and tableware. The space itself is very sleek, very minimalist, very Japanese, with wooden partitions separating the bar and restaurant, polished concrete floors and open kitchen and counter where you can watch the chefs working the robata grills and preparing sushi. There’s a pretty extensive a la carte menu to choose from but if you want to forgo all that agonising over what to order, there are also three- and five-course omakase sushi and robata set menus, which include a 15-piece bento box of sashimi, side dishes and vegetables plus daily special main courses.

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