Opening next month, but with the soft launch next week is den, in Kings Cross. The name may conjure images of a hidden speakeasy, but actually this 45 cover restaurant is a minimalistic, Japanese restaurant which will focus on authentic udon dishes.
It’s taking its inspiration from the idea of ‘umami’ -for those not up to date on their Japanese dishes, that’s the traditional flavours that people associate with familiar tastes that have made up their cuisine. It also has less calories than ramen, soba or pasta, which is handy when we seem to be drowning in a sea of mince pies and chocolate.
They’ll be making their own noodles in house as well as their Dashi broth and diners can choose from two Dashis. White Dashi which is made with bonito flakes, dried seaweed and a touch of soy sauce or Black Dashi which is White Dashi but with more soy sauce to produce a richer flavour. Alongside udon dishes den will also be serving up smaller plates known as Tsumamis including red wine stewed pork belly and crispy mackerel.
With a sound track of Japanese music, relaxed seating, a simple design and even an electric washlet loo – they’re the super fancy ones with showers and heat sensors all manner of things you didn’t know you needed on a loo, but do – you’ll feel like you’ve just step into Tokoyo.
Heading up the kitchen is Emi Machida, a Japanese Chef who during her seven year stint in the UK has worked at Koya and Bone Daddies, and she’ll bring her in depth knowledge and Japanese cuisine and innovative ideas to den.