Japanese Restaurant News - Winter 2017

Sasuke Ramen Gyoza

Catch up on all the latest news in the world of Japanese gastronomy in the UK with our regular roundup of Japanese foodie news and restaurant openings.

Good news for all those out there dashing around the bedecked streets of London in a frenzied attempt to conquer the New Year shopping sales - if you fancy taking a break from the mayhem at any point, then you’re in luck!

A bevy of the capital’s Japanese restaurants - including Sakagura, Aqua Kyoto and Miyako at Andaz - all have great limited edition food offers on until the the end of this year, so should you wish to you will have no problem finding somewhere to take a break and enjoy a tasty, relaxing bite to eat, Japanese-style.

Squeezing into the tailend of 2017 are a few more noteworthy restaurant openings, including Japanese street food at Spitalfields market, Shoryu Ramen’s eagerly awaited new branch in Oxford, and the soft reopening of Sasuke Ramen - it’s clear that the UK’s obsession with ramen isn’t going away any time soon! 

Plus, newly announced are a second branch of Brazilian-Japanese fusion chain Temakinho set to open in 2018, and early news of Ichiba, a giant new Japanese food hall by the same people behind the Japan Centre, slated to open at London’s Westfield Shopping Centre in March 2019.

Shoryu Ramen Oxford Now Open!

Kotteri Hakata Tonkotsu

Just like Shoryu Ramen, the city of Oxford combines modern lifestyle with rich heritage, making it the perfect location for Shoryu’s second venture outside of London. Shoryu Oxford brings Shoryu’s authentic Hakata tonkotsu ramen to Oxford city centre’s newly expanded Westgate Shopping Centre, feeding students, residents and tourists alike with big bowls of steaming hot noodles. 

If you want to scratch your Japan shopping itch further before or after slurping up your noodles, then there’s also a Uniqlo and a SuperDry just around the corner in the new shopping centre, too. You can find Shoryu Oxford at 134 The Westgate, Queens Street, Oxford, OX1 1PB.

We’re teaming up with Shoryu Ramen to offer one lucky SeeJapan reader and their friend the chance to dine out on a three-course meal for two people at Shoryu Oxford - Shoryu are even throwing even a complementary cocktail, too! To find out more and enter this giveaway, see here.

Seasonal Offers from Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu Ramen is the place to be this season, with multiple seasonal offers available over the festive season at several of their branches, including Regent St, Carnaby, and Liverpool Street. It’s your last chance to get in on the bottomless ramen brunch or weekend bun action, as both these offers expire at the end of this year! 

Bun Saturday - £4.50 per person

Purchase one bun and get one free with any ramen every Saturday - that’s twice the fluffy goodness! Choose from BBQ pork belly, chicken, tiger prawn tempura or grilled halloumi and shimeji mushrooms. Altogether now - mmm…
Availability: 22 November 2016 - 31 December 2017

Bottomless Ramen Brunch - £38 per person

Only available Sundays - Bottomless Ramen Brunch with unlimited red & white house wine, sparkling wine, Kobai plum wine with soda, green tea and Calpico. With starters, choice of four sides, unlimited selected ramen & dessert - what more could you want (or need)?
Availability: 23 July 2017 - 31 December 2018

New Year Detox Menu - £18 per person

Choose two starters, a choice of healthy ramen and finish off with a Zen Detox mocktail - the best New Year’s hangover cure there is! Available at all Shoryu branches except Carnaby, Go and Westfield Stratford City.
Availability: 2 January - 31 January 2018

Find out more about all of the offers on Shoryu’s website here.
 

Japanese Food at The Kitchens, Spitalfields

The Kitchens Spitalfields

The first phase of Spitalfields’ revamp has now been completed, revealing The Kitchens, a collection of fab new restaurants serving a variety of lip-smackingly good street food. 

Opened in October this year, The Kitchens is a collection of some of London’s best restaurants, serving street food on the market floor in Old Spitalfields Market. The Kitchens’ founders’ vision is that ‘the new market becomes a hub for creative and entrepreneurial talent, serves the local community and celebrates its East End origins’. What this lofty vision translates into in actuality is the installation of ten traders inside the same number of full working kitchens in units around the market - and this includes a couple of noteworthy new Japanese offerings.

Yum Bun Spitalfields

Steamed buns are the latest Asian-inspired food craze to sweep London, and Yum Bun were some of the first to serve them. Japanese soul food fans will flock to their new stand at the market to tuck into their array of fluffy hot ‘bao’ sandwiches. A new dish has been designed and launched especially for Spitalfields, too: wrap your eager lips around their delectable spiced fried chicken, salted celery slaw and Szechuan mayo bun.
 
Meanwhile, Thousand Knives is a new venture from the people behind Brilliant Corners, an effortlessly stylish little Japanese restaurant in Dalston known for its fresh sushi, crisp cocktails and quality sound system showing off jazz artists and funky DJs. They’re replicating their successful menu at Spitalfields, offering more great Japanese food - including vegan and non-vegan options - served with natural wines alongside.
 

Sasuke Ramen Will Reopen in 2018

Sasuke Ramen

Sasuke Ramen will reopen in early 2018. Ahead of their official reopening next year, Sasuke have been holding pre-opening on several days in December. As well as miso flavour ramen and tsukemen - both still a relative rarity in London compared to their more common tonkotsu, shoyu and shio brethren - Sasuke also serves izakaya-style Japanese pub food.

For those who aren’t in on the secret yet, tsukemen are cold ramen noodles served with a separate bowl of dipping sauce just bursting with umami flavour. (If you’re not instantly wholly convinced by the idea of chowing down on a bowlful of cold noodles then all we can say is don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)

Follow Sasuke Ramen on Facebook or Twitter.

Seasonal Offers from Sakagura

Sakagura sashimi selection

Sakagura are offering not one, not two, but THREE limited time offers this autumn/winter until the end of this year. The following offers are all valid from 17 October until 30 December 2017.

Sakagura Barbecue Lunch Set - £20

Tender yakiniku meat served with traditional charcoal shichirin barbecue to cook yourself at the table (a great way to keep warm in winter!). Served with rice, miso soup and wafu salad. Maximum of 10 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

Yakiniku Barbecue Dinner Set - £30

Tender yakiniku meat served with traditional charcoal shichirin barbecue to cook yourself at the table. Served with rice, miso soup and wafu salad. Set includes ice cream. Must be ordered by a minimum of 2 guests at the table. Maximum of 10 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Served either alfresco in our outdoor terrace or inside in their sake cellar.

Bottomless Brunch - £45

Three courses and unlimited champagne, Japanese bloody mary and house wine. £45 per person. Must be ordered by all guests at the table. Unlimited drinks are served for 1.5 hours only, with one glass at time served to each guest. Maximum of 10 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

 

Miyako at Andaz Offer

Miyako at Andaz

Miyako at Andaz is offering 20% off between 2pm-5pm from 29 November until 31 December 2017 (valid for dine-in and takeaway; maximum number of diners 6 people).

Take a break from your sales shopping spree and stop off at Miyako inside Liverpool Street’s sprawling Andaz complex for a Japanese-style late lunch. Choose from over a dozen types of sashimi and sushi - including their perennially popular inside-out rolls - or go for something more substantial, with one of their bento box set lunches, such as salmon teriyaki or tonkatsu (breaded meat cutlet).

Or pop into Miyako during the post-lunch lull for afternoon tea with sweet Japanese delicacies. Relaxing and unwinding amongst Miyako’s calming clean lines and dark-wood furniture, you may find yourself embracing the Christmas spirit a little early and ordering one of their excellent chilled or hot sakés or a bottle of Japanese beer to go with it...

 

Zen Lunch at Aqua Kyoto

Aqua Kyoto

Fancy a pre-Christmas treat? Splash out on Aqua Kyoto’s Go Zen lunch from £25 per person. The offer is available until 31 December 2017 (subject to availability, includes VAT but excludes service. Maximum number of diners: 6 people).

Second Temakinho to Open in mid-2018

Temakinho

Founded in Italy, Brazilian-Japanese fusion restaurant Temakinho opened its first London outlet in Soho a year ago, but has already announced plans to expand. Arriving in the middle of next year, the second London branch of Temakinho will open at the new One Tower Bridge development, which is already home to a slew of brand spanking new restaurants, including The Ivy and Tom Simmons - but of course, our SeeJapan readers will only have eyes for Temakinho’s unique blend of South American and Asian fusion.

The chain specialises in fresh, sustainable seafood, so eager diners can expect plenty of fresh-from-the-sea sushi and ceviche dishes in addition to their trademark temaki handrolls, all washed down with a shedload of refreshing caipiriniha cocktails.

Temakinho’s first ‘temakaria’ in Soho has just launched a new menu especially designed to counter colder London winters, so if this tactic is carried over to the new branch then diners can also expect to enjoy hearty, warming dishes such as Pastel do Dia, a savoury fried empanada stuffed with fish, turmeric and tomato and served with a tropical sauce of green apple, parsley and chili pepper.

Ichiba - Giant Japanese Food Hall at Westfield Announced for March 2019

Ichiba Westfield

Who doesn’t love a good food hall? If the success of Bang Bang Oriental Plaza is anything to go by, then the citizens of London do, that’s for sure! We’re foaming at the mouth along with everyone else after discovering that London’s Westfield is set to become home to an enormous new 17,400 sq ft Japanese food hall delivered by the team behind the Japan Centre.

Named Ichiba, the new food court will offer around 200 seats for eats. For those choosing to dine in, Ichiba will offer a head-spinningly broad array of Japanese food, from street food such as takoyaki (octopus balls) and veggie tempura to noodle dishes such as tonkotsu ramen, udon and yakisoba, plus sushi, sashimi and hearty katsu curry.

For sugarholics and alcoholics wandering in among Ichiba’s tables there will be pinpoint offerings to scratch the itch as well, with a Japanese bakery and cafe selling dorayaki pancakes, matcha brownies, rainbow lattes and more, and a fully-stocked kaku-uchi sake bar complete with in-house sake sommelier, should you require any guidance when picking your poison.

As well as the food stalls, visitors will also be able to watch live cooking demonstrations and workshops at Ichiba’s specially installed “theatrical kitchens” and stock up on Japanese staple cooking ingredients for the cupboards back home, plus sake tastings, regional food popups and a host of other events are all rumoured to be in the pipeline.

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