Fine-tune your chopstick technique with our pick of the best Japanese restaurants in London
Words Julia Krupska
The capital is no stranger to celebrating culture and Japan is no exception. Whether it’s an authentic miso soup or creative sea bream sashimi, check out the Japanese restaurants who’ve won our hearts.
Sumosan Twiga, Knightsbridge
Sumosan Twiga is one of London’s newest Japanese restaurants and has fast become the most popular this winter. Although this could be down to an established 14-year fan base, it’s no doubt a testimony to the quality on offer. Especially since Italian influences merge with eastern cuisine to create an inventive selection. Think rice pizzas topped with cucumber and salmon.
Issho-ni means ‘together with’ in Japanese, a fitting name for a restaurant that encourages both sharing dishes and pairing courses with different wines and sakes. Highlights include the the seared butterfish sashimi and the wagyu kushiyaki.
Aqua Kyoto, Soho
Aqua Kyoto boasts ultra-stylish dining with stunning rooftop views. Set in London’s west end, the diverse menu sees seasonal tempura, sashimi and Hoji cha octopus on offer. Wash food down with a sizeable wine, sake and cocktail selection.
The Araki, Mayfair
With ten seats available at £300 per head, securing a place at The Araki is like landing a golden ticket. Founding head chef Mitsuhiro Araki prepares a set feast before you and with three Michelin stars under his belt, the man has talent. Whether it’s grilled yellowtail or otoro tuna and truffle, this is Tokyo’s best sushi counter in the heart of London.
Jason Atherton’s first Japanese restaurant has been moving sushi mountains as of late. Creative dishes stem from authentic techniques to create a cutting-edge spread. Finish your meal with a secondary feast (this time visual) and visit the 7 Tales cocktail bar in Sosharu’s basement. Its interior inspires the vibrant tale of Tokyo nightlife.
Step into ancient culture with a modern twist at Zuma. Rainer Becker’s world-class restaurant has so far launched in six countries and it’s not hard to see why. Their sake-based cocktails and sharing platters such as roasted lobster and miso marinated chicken, don’t disappoint.
With gold surfaces and rustic stools, Uchi is Instagram’s dream. Food is just as heavenly. From seaweed and tofu miso soup to chicken yakitori and vegetable tempura. Additionally, you can choose whether to eat in or get it delivered. (For those lucky enough to live in the Borough of Hackney catchment area, that is.)
After 20-years on the London dining scene, there’s no doubt Nobu has made a mark. Having trained in sushi-making, Chef Nobu Matsuhisha is expert but it’s his South American influence that’s most noted. This has created an array of ‘new style’ cuisine such as lobster wasabi and sweet shrimp sashimi. On the other hand the interior is modest and elegant, where light woods and natural stones reflect a pure East Asian design.
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