Japanese Restaurant News - Spring 2018
Catch up on the latest Japanese foodie news in and around London with our seasonal round-up of the capital's recent and forthcoming Japanese restaurant openings.
New year, new you? If you haven't discovered Japanese food yet then now's your chance! New openings aplenty this spring include the welcome addition of standalone restaurants such as sushi restaurant Kazu on Fitzrovia's Charlotte Street and Franco-Japanese fusion Bistro Mirey in Fulham.
There are also new outposts for many of the heavy hitters on the London Japanese food scene, including Tonkotsu Battersea, Jidori and Kanada-Ya's second branches in Covent Garden and Islington, respectively, Ippudo's third outlet in Charing Cross, and Sticks'n'Sushi's fifth branch in Nova Victoria.
Seasonal Offers - Sake no Hana and Mommi
Sake no Hana - Umai Sushi Saturday and 4 Course Tasting Menu
Make your weekends even more delicious than they already are with Sake no Hana’s Umai Sushi Saturday: 7 course lunch with complimentary cocktails and half bottle of champagne all for only £49 per person. Vegetarian option also available at £42. (Maximum of 10 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service)
From: 31 August 2017
To: 20 August 2018
Alternatively, try Sake no Hana’s four course Tasting Menu for just £29. Choose the dishes you want to taste-test from a set menu. Got a sweet tooth that just needs to be tickled? Add dessert for £5! (Maximum of 6 diners. Includes Tax, excludes service).
From: 19 February 2018
To: 19 April 2018
Address: 23 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HA
Mommi - ⅓ Off Food Bill and Bottomless Bubbly Brunch
Enjoy 1/3 off your food bill at Mommi from this February until June. Mommi table turn times and T&Cs apply. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offers. Date exclusions applicable. (Maximum of 7 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service)
From: 01 February 2018
To: 06 June 2018
Bottomless Bubbly Brunch: £32.50
Wine and dine on unlimited prosecco and tasty treats from the chef's specially selectedBoozy Brunch Set Dining Menu. Bottomless lasts 1.5hrs from time of booking. Whole party must partake. Proof of age may be required. (Maximum of 7 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service)
From: 06 January 2018
To: 06 June 2018
Address: 44-48 Clapham High Street , London, SW4 7UR
Curry House CoCo Ichiban Comes to London Spring 2018
What’s better than the deliciously moreish taste of Japanese curry? Japanese curry with almost any topping or side you can think of, that’s what! Those who love their Japanese food pure and simple, and fans of Japanese curry in general, will be overjoyed to hear the news that Japan’s beloved curry chain, Curry House CoCo Ichiban (or CoCo Ichi, as it’s usually affectionately known in Japan), is coming to London this spring.
Beloved of construction workers, truck drivers, delivery people and other manual labourers in Japan and all over the world (they already had stores in the USA and several other Asian countries), CoCo Ichi’s success is down to a great balance of taste, price, and sheer volume. It’s reputation (at least in Japan) is as the go-to place for when you want to fill your belly and satisfy your taste buds without putting a dent in your wallet - kind of a like a Japanese curry version of McDonald’s or Burger King.
Details of what the London installment will offer are thin on the ground as yet, but a website has been launched: www.ichibanya.uk/ It’s little more than a holding page at present, but keep your eyes peeled for the latest news and updates as CoCo Ichi’s mission to bring Japanese curry to the masses in London progresses!
In the meantime, get your juices flowing in preparation for CoCo Ichi’s arrival by taking a look at their multilingual menu here: www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/info/multilingual.html
New Sushi Restaurant Kazu To Open on Charlotte Street
Expectations are high for the newest sushi and sashimi restaurant to hit the streets of London’s FItzrovia. Newly opened Kazu is the brainchild of Chef Kodi (properly known as Dham Kodituwakku), who was formerly the Head Chef at Chisou for over a decade.
Diners can expect the very best of Japanese cuisine made with the highest quality ingredients, all served within a modern, calm and peaceful environment. The 65-seat restaurant, which opened early this year on 8 January, 2018, also includes a private dining room with space for up to twelve guests.
On the menu guests can expect to find a carefully curated selection of handmade sushi, sashimi, and other dishes such as:
Seared Fatty Tuna with Pickled Wasabi
Black Cod with Miso
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab Sushi Rolls
Rock Shrimp Tempura
Drinks cover a range of traditional Japanese sakes, an extensive wine list and a selection of spirits on offer.
Address: 64 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QD
Bistro Mirey Goes Permanent in Fulham
After a stint roving around London, founders Gerald and Ko have decided to settle in Fulham, where they’ll continue to whip up seasonal dishes from a short menu that’s nevertheless big on flavour. Gerald Mirey (from Gordon Ramsay’s The Narrow) and partner Ko Ito will continue their successful partnership, delivering classic French cuisine with a Japanese twist as they work from a simple, seasonal menu that’s generously populated with ingredients from many of London’s local markets.
Address: 98 Lillie Road, London, SW6 7SR
Fifth London Branch of Sticks’n’Sushi in Victoria Nova
The latest restaurant to join Nova, Victoria’s huge new food and drink development, is
Danish yakitori and sushi chain Sticks’n’Sushi. Opening its doors on 8 December, 2017, the new branch is the fifth installment in Danish-Japanese brothers Jens and Kim Rahbek’s slowly expanding empire.
The new venue sees the brothers continue to bring their innovative take on traditional Japanese food to the table, offering yakitori and sushi plus a whole host of other creative Japanese cuisine. Menu-wise, nigiri and yakitori are the stars of the show, assisted by a supporting cast of maki rolls and chirashi bowls. They’re also catering for those who want to try sushi but aren’t keen on fish with a special Wagyu beef tartare sushi.
Scallops in kataifi (Greek-style shredded filo pastry) with miso aïoli, trout roe and cress
Daikon (Japanese radish) with greens, coriander, and chilli
Beef tataki, smoked cheese, chives, almonds, yuzu kosho (black pepper) and spicy goma (sesame)
The new venue is generously sized, with two open-plan dining areas spread across two floors, all artfully decked out in Scandi-style interior design. There is also a standalone bar offering a great mix of cocktails and coffee, and a large private dining room that can accommodate up to 16 people.
Address: 3 Sir Simon Milton Square, London SW1E 5EB
Jidori Lands in Covent Garden: Yakitori, Sake and Karaoke
From London’s hipster hinterlands of Dalston to its beating heart of Covent Garden, Jidori’s new venture, opening on 28 February, 2018, sees them upsticks and land slapbang in the centre of the capital with an irresistible combination of Japanese food, drink and singing.
Anyone who knows even a little bit about Japanese culture will probably have some inkling that karaoke is quite popular in Japan (and that’s putting it mildly). That fact hasn’t passed by Jidori, who have opted to install a special karaoke booth in the basement of their new Covent Garden branch, enabling them to offer the magic triumvirate of yakitori, sake and karaoke.
Exciting new dishes have also been developed for the new branch, including tuna belly, shiso and daikon hand roll; green tea noodles, yuba and kikurage mushrooms; vegan smoked tofu tsukune; grilled onion salad with red shiso and ume dressing; and mussel tamago-don. The new Jidori can accommodate 50 people while its private dining karaoke room can also be booked for groups of up to twelve.
Address: 15 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JZ
Tonkotsu Battersea Now Open at Battersea Power Station
Tonkotsu Ramen is the latest in an impressively long line of restaurants to open up at the iconic Battersea Power Station, making it an increasingly attractive proposition for dining in the Clapham/ Wandsworth/Battersea area. Opened on 16 February, 2018, the new Battersea branch has seating for 26 diners inside and a further 26 people outside on the terrace.
On the menu you can find gyoza and chilli chicken wings as well as Tonkotsu’s trademark filling and delicious ramen. And for those living in the nearby area, good news - they are offering takeaway and delivery as well as dine-in options, meaning yourproblems are solved if you’re feeling lazy on a Friday evening (or any other day of the week - we don’t judge!).
Address: Arch 755, Battersea Power Station Arches, SW8 5BN (entrance off Queenstown Road)
Kanadaya Islington to Open in March 2018
Queues speak for themselves, and when Kanada-Ya opened their first, flagship restaurant in Covent Garden the queues of ravenous diners snaked all the way around the block. Now the process is set to be repeated as the hugely popular ramen joint opens their third restaurant in Angel (where Fig Tree used to be) in March this year.
Fans of Kanada-Ya will already know the deal: big bowls of comforting, creamy rich tonkotsu broth packed with their trademark springy ramen noodles cooked to your preferred level of softness or hardness. Alongside all the old favourites such as their classic Tonkotsu X and Pork Chashu, they’ll be mixing things up by throwing in a handful of new menu items such as gyoza, as well as an extended sake menu and a new list of Japan-inspired cocktails.
The new venue will have space for 55 diners, making it similar in size to their second venue in Piccadilly, and will be open for both lunch and dinner, so if you are lucky enough to work or live in the area, then this will be an excellent choice to satisfy your ramen cravings whatever the time of day.
Ippudo Now Open in Charing Cross
Opening its doors in mid-January, the new branch is international ramen chain Ippudo’s third London restaurant. It’s the latest in a long line of openings for the globally successful ramen giant, who already operate a staggering 240 outlets in 13 different countries, including the USA, Singapore, and of course their homeland of Japan.
The bill of fare at the Charing Cross branch is a repeat performance of the menu at their other two London restaurants, in Central St. Giles and Canary Wharf, dishing out classic Ippudo tonkotsu ramens such as their Akamaru and Karaka-mem, plus a la carte mains. However, there are some new additions to keep things interesting even for die-hard regulars who already know the menu back to front.
New for the Charing Cross branch is the Hakata Niku Ton ramen, comprising an original tonkotsu broth topped with sweet and spicy pork and enhanced with a secret tare sauce melted into the broth - add optional tabasco for those who like it hot! The branch also offers an array of “Japan-inspired appetisers” such as hirata buns, available stuffed with a choice of chashu stewed pork, crispy chicken, or vegetable croquette.
Located in Charing Cross’ busy Villiers Street, the new outlet also offers takeaway until the evening - perfect for overworked and underfed London office workers based nearby (at least they can solve the underfed part). Takeaway is offered until 8pm, after which only the eat in option is offered, with space for 38 diners to sit and slurp in unison.
Address: 31A Villiers Street, London WC2N 6ND