Best Japanese Restaurants In London

7 Best Japanese Restaurants In London

What makes Japanese food so special and popular around the world?

Japanese food is one of the best in the world, known for its fulfilling taste and the use of fresh seasonal ingredients that serve you right, often referred to as simple but elegant. It has become a favorite in every part of the world. With different options to choose from, Sushi is probably the best and the most famous Japanese food you can see around.

However, In London, there are other Japanese foods you need to explore for maximum customer satisfaction that your heart desires in London. Therefore if you love Japanese food, London is the best place to explore Japanese food.

Here’s a list of restaurants where these special mouth-watering delicacies can be found:

7 Best Japanese Restaurants in London

1. Koya Ko

2. Wa Cafe

3. Angelina

4. Kanada-ya Covent Garden

5. Sushi Kanesaka

6. Aubrey

7. Sushi Tetsu

Best Japanese Restaurants In London

1. Koya ko

It’s hard to find something more comforting than a hearty bowl of udon, and this casual, counter service-only noodle bar on bustling Broadway Market is sure to hit the spot.

A smaller outpost of Koya which also has locations in Soho and the City the quality of the delicious handmade noodles, which are crafted daily in a workshop close by, and the delicious dashi, feel more comfortable at home in this environment, It’s reminiscent of train station noodle bars found throughout Japan, where some of the most reliable bowls of udon can often be found.

If noodles aren’t your thing, they have extensive offerings of donburi rice bowls too, and some of the best fried chicken karaage. Go for the constant stream of quirky, imaginative specials, and some of the best Japanese breakfasts you’ll find in London made up of traditional grilled fish, pickles, miso soup, and a side of rice.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday: (Lunch and Dinner)

Prices range from £5 – £25.

Location: 41 Lexington Street in Soho, London

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2. Wa Cafe

The selection of gorgeous Japanese-baked creations from the WA Cafe looks like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. While it might be the glistening display cases of yuzu cheesecakes, matcha crepe cakes, and Mont Blancs that lure you in.

It’s the more visually unassuming options such as kare-pan (curry bread), melon pan (melon bread), and pan (sweet red bean buns) that will keep you hooked. The patisserie offers plenty of drink options for tea lovers, perfect for sipping on while you satisfy your sweet tooth. With additional locations in Covent Garden and Marylebone.

It’s a popular place to get your hands on the beloved strawberry shortcake often enjoyed in Japan around Christmas time.

Check out the yakisoba pan (fried noodle bun), the matcha version of the melon bread, and the cream buns.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday:  Lunch and Dinner.

Price range:  £10-£15.

Location: Notting Hill, London.

3. Angelina

Dalston is teeming with some of the best neighborhood spots in London, but Angelina, a spectacular fusion of Japanese and Italian is the jewel in the crown. The seasonal, ever-changing menu is an homage to Japanese flavors and ingredients,

Although able to accommodate dietaries, Angelina does not do a la carte; you can opt for a 10-course kaiseki, or four-course omakase, both with the option to add a wine pairing. The latter in particular is excellent value, and while there’s not much that’s ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ about Angelina, it’s a place that reignites a sense of excitement around Japanese fusion cuisine, which can sometimes feel dated or tired.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturdays: Lunch and Dinner.

Price range: £20-£30

Location: 15 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London.

4. Kanada-ya Covent Garden

Nothing packs that pungent punch of umami flavor quite like a bowl of creamy, tonkatsu ramen at Kanada-Ya St Giles, the first UK outpost of the ramen-ya from the city of Yukuhashi.

Tonkotsu or pork bone broth ramen is prepared by boiling bones for a significant amount of time, and Kanada-Ya’s offering is incredibly rich and deliciously viscous. There are rice-based dishes like curry, or onigiri (filled rice balls) for those who are averse to noodles, but the original tonkatsu ramen, served at your desired noodle texture soft, regular or firm is incredibly hard to resist.

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The speedy nature of ramen and the sheer number of Kanada-Ya locations dotted around the West End make it ideal for a quick meal before catching a show. The black truffle salt and yuzu oil are a fun way of spicing up the basic bar snack of edamame, and toppings are taken pretty seriously at the chain – truffle oil and spicy yuzu featuring heavily throughout.

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday.

Price range: £5-£15.

Location: 48 Flora Street, Covent Garden.

5. Sushi Kanesaka

Bordering on Hyde Park in Mayfair, Sushi Kanesaka is purported to be the most expensive omakase menu in the UK.

For this hefty price, the intimate 10-seat restaurant provides a level of care and consideration that evokes a sense of omotenashi or artful compassion.

A meal at Kanesaka evokes a sense of Ichigo ichie, the ephemeral, unrepeatable, and once-in-a-lifetime concept of every living moment. This comes through subtly, in the explanations of each course where it was sourced, and how, as well as the symbolism of the particular piece of cut edo kiriko glass you have chosen to drink your sake pairing from.

 The experience at Sushi Kanesaka has the power to transport you. An omakase meal served in the Edomae style will leave you feeling elated and a little bit dazed as you leave, armed with your menu, printed as a keepsake on delicate washi paper.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday

 Lunch: 12 pm-2 pm

 Dinner: 5:30 pm-10 pm

Price: £150 per person.

Location: 16b South Audley Street, Mayfair London.

6. The Aubrey

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel by Hyde Park is every moment a diner.

The Aubrey’s feels extraordinarily decadent, thanks to gorgeous wood-paneled rooms and Victorian-inspired furnishings.

 Chicken kara-age, a fried chicken dish that is a staple on many Japanese menus, is given the little black dress treatment, marinated in charcoal and elevated almost beyond recognition.

In addition to the beautifully presented nigiri and other classic dishes given a luxurious twist, lobster fried rice, the team at The Aubrey pushes boundaries by using surprising and unusual ingredients, such as passionfruit in a maki roll, or ants as a topping for some hamachi (yellowtail).

 It’s also home to the UK’s only female sushi master, Miho Sato. While the pumping sounds of a live DJ next to the dining room might not be to everyone’s taste, the team will win you over with their charm and attention to detail.

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The Aubrey is one of the best bars in west London to have a cocktail in, be sure not to miss out.

Black cod karaage, the deliciously marinated fried fish is incredibly moreish.

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 5 pm-10:30 pm

Location: 73 Brasserie, 26 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London.

Price ranges £60- £100

7.  Best Japanese Restaurants In London: Sushi Tetsu

Arguably the most sought-after seat in London, Sushi Tetsu is a seven-seat sushi bar in Farringdon headed up by ex-Nobu sushi master Toru Takahashi. In this tiny restaurant, he prepares every single dish himself, while his wife Harumi serves drinks. For the full experience, diners are recommended to opt for the omakase (which translates to ‘I leave it up to you’).

In this format, the chef essentially makes you whatever they want. This usually comes as lots of tiny courses, like a single piece of nigiri.

While the omakase changes along with the seasons, you can expect a mixture of sushi and non-sushi dishes.

You might start with a mini selection of fresh sashimi, perhaps including sea bass or bream with a light ponzu or soy dressing. A non-sushi starting dish could be raw squid and noodles in cold dashi broth.

This would likely come topped with a sprinkle of chives and nori. Later sushi courses will most likely feature richer entries like fatty O-toro tuna belly or snow crab. These could arrive with a heavier, miso-based sauce.

On to the proper sushi, where each course is one piece, you will likely be given almost every type of sushi you can think of. Salmon, tuna, prawn, and all the other usual suspects will likely come as nigiri, splayed over a small blob of rice. Less common ingredients, such as salmon roe (or ikura), might come as gunkan, basically a loose seaweed cup with some rice, then the main ingredient.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday (Dinner)

Price range: Omakase menu is £120 per person.

Location: 7 Charlotte Street, London.

Conclusion:

From sushi to ramen, there are so many reasons to love Japanese food. It’s fresh, healthy, and full of flavor. And with so many different types of cuisine to explore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So next time you’re in London, make sure to try some of the city’s best Japanese restaurants!

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