That dream trip to Tokyo to see the 2020 Olympics in action might have been cancelled, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all of the action and culinary delights right here in the city. 

London is abrim with plenty of great Japanese restaurants, from Michelin star favourites to more affordable options, all bringing the authentic flavours of traditional Japanese cooking across the continents. Read on to find out where to visit for a taste of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 


Transporting the flavours of Japan across the globe and to the heart of the West End is ROBATA. The restaurant, located on Soho’s Old Compton Street, prides itself on using the age-old Japanese techniques of preparing, cooking and serving, specialising in robata grilled charcoal cooking. It’s a tradition first introduced by ancient fishermen who used boxes of hot coals with them on their adventures to warm their food when out fishing. 

The theatrics of the coal-fired kitchen is well in eye-sight for diners, offering a truly spectacular show-style dining experience. A few of our favourites from the menu include chilli pepper squid with yuzu and coriander; J.fried chicken bao with a sweet spicy glaze, kimchi and pickled daikon; and their signature wood flamed iberico pork pluma with black pepper and sweet pickled green apple.

Where: 56 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4UE

Nobu London Old Park Lane

Known internationally for being the first European venture from renowned Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu London Old Park Lane remains one of our favourites when it comes to Japanese dining in the capital. The menu brings traditional Japanese techniques and Peruvian flavours to play.

Choose a selection of dishes, from lobster quinoa ceviche to vegetable hand rolls, black cod miso to beef toban yaki, or delight in one of their signature bento boxes for a real authentic treat.

Where: 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB

Heddon Yokocho 

While we might not be able to nip off to the Tokyo Olympics right now, we can enjoy the next best thing at Heddon Yokocho. Found on Heddon Street, the restaurant is inspired by the ramen bars dotted around Tokyo in the 1970s, and brings the sights and sounds of the retro bars to London. 

Famed for their signature ramen menu, head here for dishes such as kumamoto tonkotsu, a rich based pork broth with garlic oil and fried garlic; sapporo miso, a miso based chicken and pork broth with beansprouts, bbq pork belly, minced pork, corn, pak choi, egg, butter, nori and spring onion; or go veggie with the vegan napoli, a tomato based veggie broth with grilled tomatoes, grilled mushroom, basil and vegan cheese.


Sexy Fish

One restaurant that needs little introduction is Sexy Fish locked in the heart of Mayfair. As the name suggests, the food takes its inspiration from the seas of Asia, with an emphasis on Japan. And, if whisky is your tipple, wander over to the bar to feast your eyes on the world’s largest Japanese whiskey collection – there’s a staggering 400 bottles (at least!).

In terms of fishy wonders, the menu is brimming with the finest maki endeavours, golden gyozas and miso hits that score seriously high on the flavour front.

Where: Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, MAyfair, W1J 6BR


If you know anything about London’s Japanese cuisine scene, it’s that Ichiba is the place to go to grab yourself Japanese staples and kitchen essentials, as well as freshly prepared food. 

Part of the Japan Centre franchise, it’s home to Europe’s largest Japanese food ball and houses over 3,000 Japanese products that’ll inspire your cooking, hard to find confectionery and sake, fresh homemade sushi, noodles and curries. Explore the space and make sure to stop off at the Japanese bakery and cafe to sample one (or ten) of their dorayaki pancakes. Expect fluffy pillows of goodness.

Where: Ichiba 0220 Relay Square Westfield, W12 7HB

Sumosan Twiga

We know nothing would maki your day more than diving into a bucket load of sushi, and at Sumosan Twiga you can do just so. 

A Belgravia favourite, a visit here will see you feasting on maki rolls of albemarle, salmon, avocado and orange tobiko; prawn tempura, green lollo biondo salad and sweet soy; and spicy tuna with spicy mayo and wasabi tobiko.

We know nothing would maki your day more than diving into a bucket load of sushi, and at Sumosan Twiga you can do just so. 

Where: 165 Sloane Street, Belgravia, SW1X 9QB


Soy you think you hate tofu? Umu will certainly change your mind. This Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant prides itself on producing innovative Kyoto influenced dishes, and boy, do they succeed! Executive Chef Yoshinori Ishii has brought his 20 years of experience to produce delightfully elegant dishes that Umu is so wonderfully famed for.

Where: 14-16 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6LX


Jidori, taking its name from the special breed of free-range chickens known for their intense flavours in Japan, is a Dalston favourite. They are renowned for their freshness, using local ingredients and regularly changing their menu to fit the season’s produce. 

Bringing the fiery and fun atmosphere of yakitori-yas to London, their menu is made up of dishes cooked on their custom made Kama-Asa Shoten grills.

Where: 89 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, E8 2PB


Bridging together Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine delicately together is Handbook favourite, SUSHISAMBA. 

Known worldwide thanks to its Las Vegas and Dubai branches, SUSHISAMBA also plays host to two London locations in Covent Garden and Heron Tower. Tropical vibes to ornate bamboo ceilings, no expense was spared when designing their interiors, and the same can be said for their food. Using fine, top quality ingredients, their menu boasts stunning dishes of wagyu gyoza; tuna seviche; traditional pork belly with butterscotch miso robata; and samba rolls.

Where: Heron Tower & Covent Garden

ROKA Mayfair

Escape the mayhem of Oxford Street and wander over to ROKA Mayfair to enjoy an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine. The timeless restaurant is famed for taking its guests on a culinary journey through the tastes of robata style cooking, sushi, rich wagyu and tempura delights. 

Menu highlights include suzuki namero, a sea bass sashimi with white miso yuzu and chilli; gyuhireniku no pirikara yakiniku, beef sirloin with chilli, ginger and spring onions; and the chocolate and green tea matcha pudding with crunchy jivara and pear ice cream.

Where: 30 N Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6HP

Aqua Kyoto

For Japanese fine dining at its best, it’s got to be Aqua Kyoto. Located on the fifth floof of the former Dickens & Jones building, the restaurant boasts stunning views overlooking the city and serves up some timeless favourites. 

Munch your way through tuna tataki with karashi zuke and kyoto dressing; soft shell crab tempura with a yamo gobo slaw and katsuobushi floss and tentsuyu broth; and robata-style chicken with yakitori and truffle teriyaki. Or, go all out with one of their omakase sushi sets.

Plus, to celebrate the Olympics they’ve added an exciting offering to their menu. Available Monday-Friday lunchtimes, Aqua Kyoto is offering a free Asahi beer with every bento lunch box! Choose between chicken, salmon or deluxe, each served with rock shrimp tempura, maki, rice and miso soup – yum. Available until 8th August.

The restaurant boasts stunning views overlooking the city and serves up some timeless favourites. 

Where: 30 Argyll Street, W1F 7EB

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