A trip to Japan sits right at the top of the travel bucket list for a lot of people, and its dynamic, creative and delicious cuisine is a big reason why. While you may not have that trip booked just yet, thankfully London is full of brilliant restaurants that can take at least your tastebuds on a journey from Tokyo to Osaka.

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.

ROBATA

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 on their adventures to warm their food when out fishing. 

The theatrics of the coal-fired kitchen are 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

Website: www.robata.co.uk

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

Website: www.noburestaurants.com

Taku

This high-end omakase sushi counter in Mayfair offers fresh fish and fine dining. The 16-seater omakase experience is one must-visit for any foodie, and received a Michelin star just four months after opening.

For the most adventurous, the signature omakase features over 20 courses of pure culinary heaven.

where: Ground Floor, 36 Albemarle St, London

website: takumayfair.com

Taku

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 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.

Where: 8 HEDDON STREET, W1B 4BU

Website: www.ramenyokocho.com

The Aubrey

Aubrey Oriental
Aubrey Oriental

Delicious food is combined with late-night fun at the Aubrey, as the space transforms from a restaurant to an Izakaya complete with late-night DJs and Japanese-inspired cocktails. There is also a two-hour cocktail tasting experience that takes place in a secret six-seater bar, where guests are taken on a deeply immersive and interactive ever-changing experience through the expansive world of Japanese spirits. 

where: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

website: theaubreycollection.com

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

Website: www.sumosantwigalondon.com

Umu

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

Website: www.umurestaurant.com 

Jidori

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 comprises dishes cooked on their custom-made Kama-Asa Shoten grills.

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

WEBSITE:WWW.JIDORI.CO.UK

SUSHISAMBA

Sushisamba

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. From 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

Website: www.sushisamba.com

Shiro Sushi

Located in Liverpool Street, restaurant and bar Shiro is contemporary but true to the roots of Japanese cuisine, right in the heart of the City of London. 

From its signature Crystal Sushi, invented by Shiro’s chefs, delicious ramen made with a 50-year-old family recipe, and being one of few restaurants to serve edomae sushi – the menus are reflective of contemporary Japanese cuisine true to the traditional root.

where: 100 Broadgate, London EC2M 2QS

website: shiro.co.uk

Roji

This 10-seater omakase counter restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife chef team, which prioritises locally sourced fish and traditional Japanese culinary techniques. There are two sittings at dinner, which features an 8-course menu including a nigiri and can be paired with handpicked Sake and wine.

where: 56B S Molton St, London

website: ro-ji.co.uk

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 perikarya 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

Website: www.rokarestaurant.com

Aqua Kyoto

For Japanese fine dining at its best, it’s got to be Aqua Kyoto. Located on the fifth floor 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.

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

Where: 30 Argyll Street, W1F 7EB

Website: www.aquakyoto.co.uk

Ginza

Located in St. James’s, Ginza offers a culinary journey through the flavours of Japan with a modern twist.

The menu features a range of meticulously crafted dishes using the freshest and finest ingredients sourced locally and from Japan. Our Editor recommends the sashimi platter and tempura prawns for seafood lovers, with a creatively themed cocktail offering to complement the menu.

Where: 15 Bury St, St. James’s

website: ginza-stjames.com

EDO Izakaya

EDO Izakaya is based on embodying the traditional Japanese izakaya and the communal joy of tapas-style dining. Featuring a blend of authentic techniques and modern interpretations, the menu is curated into six sections, encouraging guests to share and savour the diverse flavours of Japan. 

Take a journey through sashimi and Nigiri, small plates, signature rolls, bao buns, and hearty Izakaya large plates.

where: 154 Old St, London

website: edo-izakaya.co.uk

Sushi Kanesaka

When the Dorchester Collection decides to do Sushi, you know it’s going to be really good,  and Sushi Kanesaka at 45 Park Lane lives up to the billing. The London outpost of the 2-Michelin Starred Tokyo restaurant, this is some of the highest quality sushi you’re likely to find in London or anywhere else in the world. 

The menu changes every day depending on seasonality and availability, but what is assured is quality, creativity and the freshest of ingredients from a master chef. 

where: 45 Park Ln, London

website: dorchestercollection.com


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