Japan Foodie News Autumn 2017

Ronin Vegan Dining

Read on for all the latest Japanese foodie and restaurant-related news from London and the UK this autumn, from wagyu burgers and hirata buns to vegan Japanese food and sake galore...

There are three common sayings about autumn in Japan: ‘dokusho no aki’ (an autumn of reading), ‘supotsu no aki’ (an autumn of sports - due to the cooler conditions after a roasting hot summer), and ‘shokuyoku no aki’ (an autumn of eating). 

Make your autumn this year an ‘autumn of eating’ with an appetising visit to one of these Japanese restaurants or foodie events in our latest round-up below. Highlights include a YO! Sushi in Glasgow, Asian-inspired bagels, vegan Japanese dining opportunities, and sake tasting events aplent.y

Ichibuns Wagyu Burgers, Now on Soft Launch in Soho

Ichibuns Wagyu Burgers
Although one reviewer has commented that it sounds more like a medical complaint you’d take to the kindly doctors on Embarrassing Bodies, Ichibuns is actually a new Japanese restaurant that has just opened its doors in Chinatown, Soho. Don’t miss the soft launch promotion, with 500 free Ichibun burgers to eat-in or take-away from 5pm on 8th September! 

Promising ‘Japanese-inspired soulful food and drink’, Ichibuns will be based in a three-storey venue in Wardour Street with an eclectic Tokyo rock-and-roll interior and space for up to ninety diners. It will specialize in burgers, but its menu will also cover ramen, maki sushi rolls and other Japanese-inspired dishes. The drool-inducing beef burgers will be made with a mix of grass-fed British beef and Australian wagyu, but there will also be chicken katsu, fish finger and panko meatball options available.

The non-burger options have us drooling already, too. How about ramen with wagyu beef and king crab? Wagyu cheeseburger spring rolls? With green tea profiteroles for dessert? And to drink, the Sakura Blossom milkshake, with milk and cherry ice cream, marinated cherries, marshmallows and cherry sauce? You want to try all of them? Yes, we thought you might say that...

There’s also good news for all those night owl Londoners out there - Ichibuns will soon be your new go-to place when those late-night and takeaway cravings strike, as it’s opening daily from 11:30am until midnight, and until 2am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And for those who are wondering, its name is actually a pun on the Japanese word for “number on” (ichiban) and “buns”. Whet your appetite by taking a look at the menu on their website.

Address: 22 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QH

YO! Sushi in Glasgow

Yo! Glasgow Fort

Following on from the launch of its flagship Glasgow location in the form of YO! Glasgow Central, YO! Sushi has opened a new outlet in Glasgow named YO! Glasgow Fort. Located at the main entrance of the Fort shopping centre, and with an outside seating area for al fresco dining, the new store is the fourth addition to the YO! family in Glasgow.

The new store’s menu will include a mix of YO! classics as well as new dishes including katsu curry, ramen, yakisoba, gyoza, tempura and sushi. And good news for vegans in Glasgow too - in keeping with the city’s status as “UK’s Most Vegan Friendly City”, the menu will also offer an impressive 16 vegan options, as well as 29 vegetarian dishes. Find out more on YO! Sushi's website.

Address: Units K8 - K14, Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, Provan Walk, Glasgow, G34 9DL

Melt Room Founder to Open Japanese Restaurant in Mayfair

Taka, Mayfair
TAKA, a new Japanese restaurant, will open in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market Square during September. The brains behind the venture is Andrey Datsenko, the man behind Melt Room, London’s first gourmet grilled cheese cafe, which opened in Soho in 2015, and his sister Anastasia. Inspired by the success of the duo’s Tokyo restaurant of the same name, TAKA promises to serve up high-end Japanese food at ‘affordable’ prices.
The new restaurant will open for both lunch and dinner and will serve a menu of traditional sushi, sashimi and tempura handmade by chefs specially trained in Tokyo. It will also be home to a basement bar dishing out a banging menu of inventive, original sake and whiskey cocktails - why not try a courgette and sake refresher, or a plum and thyme prosecco smash?

K10 to Expand Sushi and Beer & Buns Concept

K10 Platinum Platter

London-based Japanese restaurant group K10 will open a takeaway sushi restaurant in Farringdon and expand their Beer & Buns izakaya brand this autumn. The conveyor belt sushi group, which takes its name from ‘kaiten’, meaning ‘go round’ or ‘rotate’ in Japanese, will open a new site on Farringdon’s Fetter Lane (the former Tsuru site near Mansion House) dedicated to takeaway sushi.

There are also rumours afloat that it intends to grow its Beer & Buns brand with the opening of a new outlet in the heart of the City just down the road from the Gherkin - the chain is believed to be in talks to open across two floor of 20 Bury Street. The Japanese izakaya brand, which focuses on serving craft beer and hirata buns, was said to be born out of the founders' frustration at not being able to find a decent bar serving great beer and authentic Japanese food. Find out more on K10's website.

Ronin Dining: Vegan Japanese Pop-up Dinner in Reading

Ronin Vegan Dining
The Vegan Ronin arrives in Reading on 30th September with this four-course vegan Japanese meal held in collaboration with Nomad Bakery. Focusing on authentic Japanese food that you can’t get in ordinary restaurants, this time Ronin Dining has created a special autumn menu to showcase Japan’s best autumnal cuisine - that also happens to be 100% vegan!
For £35.64 per person, you will get to chow down on the following multi-course vegan Japanese menu (dishes are subject to change due to availability of seasonal ingredients):
First Course
Gomadofu savoury sesame custard with wasabi
Second Course
Mixed dishes including:
apple & young ginger teriyaki seitan
simmered daikon radish with miso & yuzu
sesame taro
kabocha pumpkin croquettes
Japanese turnip steaks & fried greens
chilli garlic matsutake mushroom pickle
and more!
Third Course
Onigiri with mixed pickles and a traditional meal ender of miso soup
Fourth Course
The dessert course! Mixed seasonal petit fours
The event will be held from 7-10pm on 30th September at Nomad Bakery. You can buy your tickets through Eventbrite here. Check out drool-worthy photos on Instagram @theveganronin and @nomadrdguk to get you in the mood, or read the reviews at www.eatwith.com/.

Address: Nomad Bakery, 10 Prospect Street, Caversham, RG4 8JG

Drink and Dine in Style at Nobu Shoreditch

Nobu Shoreditch Sushi Platter

Two worlds - Nobu’s luxury and Shoreditch’s hipster - have collided to produce Nobu Shoreditch, Nobu’s third London venue. Come here to enjoy the gorgeous architecture and interior design and for quieter weekend brunches and lunches in their spacious restaurant, which has tables for a whopping 240 diners. 

Early morning dishes to keep an eye out for include matcha waffles with chicken and smoked maple ponzu and eggs benedict with crab, sauteed spinach, crispy tofu and shiso bearnaise. Elsewhere, a menu that’s about half the size of Nobu London’s summarizes the best of the brand’s big hitters, from black cod with miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño to rock shrimp tempura with a creamy jalapeño sauce and Hokkaido scallops with foie gras and sauteed Japanese mushrooms.

While you’re there, make sure you don’t miss the Shoreditch specials, including lip-smackingly good pork belly with a spicy miso caramel sauce. For an after dinner tipple, the hotel’s bar is reportedly the only place in London - other than Nobu’s other London restaurants - to stock sought after Hokusetsu sakes. 

Address: 10-50 Willow Street, London, EC2A 4BH.

Meet the Maker: Kochi Sake Tasting at Sushi Atelier

Sake tasting, Nada Brewery

A meet the maker sake-tasting evening will be held at newly opened Sushi Atelier from 6:30-8pm on 13th September, 2017. The makers in question will be visiting from Tedorigawa brewery in Japan, giving you the rare opportunity to meet the producers of some of the world's finest sake in person. On this night of sake and sushi, you will get to taste 4 premium sakes - all paired with Sushi Atelier’s exquisite sushi dishes.

Tedorigawa Iki na Onna Daiginjo - Yellowtail with sea salt and yuzu juice
Tedorigawa Kinka Nama Daiginjo - Smoked butterfish
Tedorigawa Yamahai Daiginjo - Prawn with tomato salsa
Tedorigawa Yamahai Junmai (warm) - Tuna BBQ oshizushi with parmesan
 Edamame, miso, mini dorayaki
Tickets cost £35 with a £2.75 booking fee and can be purchased through Eventbrite here. The ticket price includes all food and drinks. For further information, get in touch with the hosts at hello@sushiatelier.com.
Address: 114 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6PA 


Tiger Under the Yuzu Tree: More Sake at Sway Gallery

Yuzu (citrus fruit) tree
This colourfully-named sake tasting night will see you test-driving the best of Kochi (Tosa) sake, typically light and dry to taste, as well as the sunny flavours of Kochi prefecture in the form of a selection of refreshing and zesty Yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit)-flavoured canapes. The sake will be provided by artisan labels Minami, Bijofu, and Akitora, who chose the image of a tiger (tora) as the perfect representation of their charisma and brewing philosophy.

The price includes cocktail on arrival; sampling of 5 sake (25 ml x 5) with additional rounds available for £5 a pop; a selection of Yuzu inspired canapés; sake raffle ticket and more. Tickets for the event can be purchased on Eventbrite here. There will also be a Japanese Sake Pop-Up Shop in place at Sway Gallery from 11-23 September 2017 (Mon- Fri). For further information contact events@samsake.com or info@sway-gallery.com.
Address: 70-72 Old St, London EC1V 9AN


Little Ghost: Asian-inspired Bagels Pop-up

Little Ghost Asian Bagels

Hot on the heels of their early summer residency at Birthdays in Dalston, Asian-inspired bagel vendor Little Ghost will be popping up again, this time at Brother Marcus cafe in Balham on Fridays and Saturdays nights in September.

As before, they’ll be dishing up Asian-inspired bagels, loaded fries, and Taiwanese-style and squid ink fried chicken wings. And while the bagels are made the traditional New York way, the fillings are decidedly non-traditional, as are the colour - they come in two varieties, using either charcoal or beetroot to dye them either shocking pink or inky black. Make sure you try the Japanese-inspired fried chicken katsu bagel and the to-die-for katsu curry fries! For more information, visit Little Ghost’s website or follow them on Twitter @littleghostldn.

Address: Brother Marcus, 9 Chestnut Grove, London SW12 8JA. 

Sakagura Sake Journey (10th October)

Gekkeikan sake
Celebrate World Sake Day this October by joining Sakagura on a journey of sake discovery. The event will revolve around several sake ‘stations’, each hosted by one of the best Japanese artisan sake breweries around - from Gekkeikan and Choya to Keigetsu and Urakasumi.
Let your senses be guided from station to station, as you sample sakes from each of the breweries, and take the opportunity to glean insider tips about pairings and the production process straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Expertly paired canapes by Sakagura will accompany the sake tastings at each station, perfectly complementing your foodie adventure. 

And once you’ve completed your sake journey, take a seat at the bar where you can prolong the experience by ordering Japanese bar bites, expertly crafted cocktails, sake flights and ice cold beer to round off your night of gastronomic discovery.
The event will be from 6pm-10pm, 10 October 2017 and costs £30 per person. Each ticket includes: sake samples at each brewer’s station; a mini appetiser to complement each brewery’s sake; a complimentary Ochoko ‘cup’ to use throughout the evening; and a take-home ‘sake passport’ containing information about each brewery. Book your sake journey now at www.sakaguralondon.com/

Address: 8 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BU

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