Anzu, St James’s Market

I’ve been a fan of Tonkotsu for a while; this cheap and cheerful ramen joint (now with 7 spots in the UK) consistently delivers if you’re after a quick and delicious bite to eat. It’s easily the best chicken karaage I’ve come across too FYI. So, it was good news to hear owners Emma and Ken were opening a more grown up ‘Japanese brasserie’ in … Continue reading Anzu, St James’s Market

Sushi Tetsu, Clerkenwell

Getting a seat at Sushi Tetsu is pretty much impossible – seriously. I’ve been trying for yonks now and as soon as they open for bookings (on the first and third Monday of each month for the following month) they’re engaged and then gone. The fact Sushi Tetsu has just 7 seats doesn’t help. The fact it’s bloody brilliant, doesn’t much help either. But luckily, … Continue reading Sushi Tetsu, Clerkenwell

Sosharu, Clerkenwell

Jason Atherton has got himself a nice little collection of restaurants now (still not sure about Social Wine and Tapas though). Sosharu, in the old Turnmills building near Farringdon station, is his latest and it’s rather lovely. Described as an “izakaya-style restaurant”, it has the feeling of Hakkasan; there’s lot’s of wooden partition walls everywhere, dark lighting and clubby music. There’s a long bar, no … Continue reading Sosharu, Clerkenwell

Shackfuyu, Soho

I first visited Shackfuyu (from the guy behind Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns) back in 2015 and loved it, but it was only a pop up then. It has since undergone a refurb and the lease has been extended meaning it’s a permanent fixture on Soho’s Old Compton Street. Gone is the previous owner’s pizza oven and there’s a new bar at the front … Continue reading Shackfuyu, Soho

Kanada-Ya, St Giles High Street 

Based near Tottenham Court Road, opposite what was once Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks (before it unsurprisingly closed), Kanada-Ya is a tiny little restaurant which specialises in ramen. They’ve got an outpost in Hong Kong and Japan so you’d expect them to know what they’re doing – and they really do. Whenever I walk past there always seems to be a huge queue and on our … Continue reading Kanada-Ya, St Giles High Street 

Koya Bar, Soho

It’s always sad when a restaurant closes down (perhaps not the case for Bo London), but it’s even more of a shame when it’s as much loved as Koya on Frith Street. Next door, however, is its sister, Koya Bar, which ain’t going anywhere and I finally got round to popping in for lunch. We arrived at 11:50, which was the cross over between the … Continue reading Koya Bar, Soho

Umu, Mayfair 

Umu is a Michelin starred Japanese restaurant that has been around for over ten years now. It’s owned by the same group who run The Greenhouse and Morton’s members club. It was a slightly stern welcome from a chap who could have easily been a headmaster as opposed to a maitre d’; certainly not rude but not forthcoming with the lovin’ either. The room was … Continue reading Umu, Mayfair 

Kouzu, Victoria

Kouzu is a swanky Japanese restaurant in Victoria which is housed in a grade-ll listed mansion from the 1850’s. As you might expect from such a restaurant in such a location, it ain’t a cheap affair, but the food was really rather good. We started with the beef fillet tataki (£17.50) which was thin strips of lightly seared beef, delicately flavoured with a light soy … Continue reading Kouzu, Victoria

Shackfuyu, Soho 

Shackfuyu is Ross Shonhan’s latest venture (he also owns Bone Daddies and Flesh and Buns) and it’s based on the end of Old Compton Street in Soho near La Bodega Negra and Bar Termini. It’s housed in a former Italian restaurant where the original pizza oven is still in the front, which is quite unusual for a Japanese restaurant. It’s a far bigger area than … Continue reading Shackfuyu, Soho 

Kurobuta, Chelsea 

Kurobuta, which is the creation of chef and owner Scott Hallsworth, has become so popular that he’s moved his Chelsea outpost down the King’s Road to an even bigger site (he’s turning the old one into Joe’s Oriental Diner). We rocked up on a Wednesday evening, having not booked and the place was rammed to the rafters. All they could offer us was to perch on the … Continue reading Kurobuta, Chelsea 

Sticks n Sushi, Covent Garden

After the success of their first UK restaurant in Wimbledon, they’ve opened another Sticks n Sushi in Covent Garden. It originates from Denmark (where they have quite a few in Copenhagen) and if all goes well, I imagine that’s the plan for over here. As it recently opened, I was kindly invited down to try it out. It was a deceptively large space; the restaurant … Continue reading Sticks n Sushi, Covent Garden

Aqua Kyoto

What with the hugely successful openings of Aqua Shard and Hutong in the Shard building it’s easy to forget that Aqua also have two existing restaurants on the fifth floor of the former Dickins and Jones department store opposite the Palladium theatre. There’s Aqua Nueva, a contemporary Spanish restaurant and Aqua Kyoto, which offers Japanese fare. The latter has recently acquired a new head chef … Continue reading Aqua Kyoto

Flesh and Buns

Flesh and Buns is a new Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden and is the creation of Ross Shonan who also owns Bone Daddies ramen bar in Soho. It’s based on the Japanese Izakayas (I’ve never heard of them either) which are bars that serve food to accompany the drinks – which are really popular in Japan apparently. It was a fairly large restaurant situated in … Continue reading Flesh and Buns

Bone Daddies

My first ever taste of the Japanese noodle broth called ramen was at Tonkotsu and what a way to lose my ramen virginity – I loved it! Since then London has become rather obsessed with the stuff and its popularity has rocketed, meaning ramen bars are opening left right and centre. Somewhere that always seems to have a queue outside is Bone Daddies so my … Continue reading Bone Daddies

Yauatcha

I was a little apprehensive about our visit to Yauatcha for two reasons. Firstly, because whenever we go somewhere serving Chinese food my gentleman companion seems to order everything on the menu irrespective of price or stomach size. The second being that Yauatcha is owned by the same people who own Hakkasan Mayfair which we found so disappointing; it was expensive and totally style of … Continue reading Yauatcha