Japanese

JUGEMU

3 Winnett Street, Soho, London W1D 6JY

Jugemu is one of those places that you’d walk right by without noticing if you weren’t looking for it. Inside it’s very authentic: 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. 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. Our faves are the prawn dumplings, the takoyaki – chunks of octopus fried in balls of batter – the duck teriyaki, and the eel omelette. You’re gonna want to save room for plenty of sushi too.

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HOT STONE SUSHI BAR

9 Chapel Market, London

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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BLACK ROE

4 Mill St, London W1S 2AX

Black Roe Poke Bar & Grill has a menu inspired not only by Hawaii – the home of poke – but also by Japan and Southeast Asia. The menu is divided into three parts and as they’re all small sharing plates you can order a good amount from each without overdoing it. From the poke, go for the super fresh and zesty marinated chopped ahi tuna and yellowtail; from the appetisers, the confit duck leg salad with rocket, pine nuts, pomegranate, diced pineapple is a must; and from the mains the Cajun-style blackened seabass is a definite winner. Take our advice and grab the table in front of the open kitchen right by the window as you walk in – that’s where the action’s at.

TONKOTSU

382 Mare St, London E8 1HR

Tonkotsu is the best of the ramen wave that swept London back in 2013 and testament to that, they’re still going strong and opening new sites all the time. The signature Tonkotsu ramen, with its thick creamy broth, fresh noodles (made in house), and slices of pork is a thing of beauty and has got us through many a day and night. One to come back to time and time again.

WAGAMAMA

180-182 Earls Court Road, London SW5 9QG

When Alan Yau founded Wagamama back in 1992 it was a bit of a game changer, with its cool minimal design and strange exotic dishes. Now we all know our soba from our udon and even though you can find it all over the place, from shopping centres to airports, it still dishes up reliably tasty Japanese grub in super quick time. From chicken katsu curry to firecracker prawns, Wagamama should have a place in every Londoner’s heart.

TOKIMEITE

23 Conduit St, London W1S 2XS

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.

YUZU

7a Artillery Passage, London, E1 7LG

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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GINZA ST JAMES

15 Bury Street, St. James's, London SW1Y 6AL
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM

It’s very Japanese at Ginza St James with some private sushi rooms hidden behind wooden sliding doors and a big open kitchen with counter seats, and a robata grill and teppanyaki counter on display. The menu also leaves you spoilt for choice with dishes like spicy tuna tartare, lobster tempura, Chilean seabass with mustard miso, lamb chops with yuzu miso and aubergine, king prawns with ume and a range of sashimi and sushi rolls. If you’re feeling indecisive in the face of all those options, go for one of the set menus, which range from £60 – £125 per person, and come with optional wine and sake pairings.

MACHIYA

5 Panton Street Soho London SW1Y 4DL

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.

SUSHI ATELIER

114 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6PA

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.

MONOHON RAMEN

102 Old St, London EC1V 9AY

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.

CUBE

4 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1LB

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.

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