The Best Japanese Restaurants
The best Japanese restaurants in London will no doubt do some very good sashimi and sushi, but they also know that there is a lot more to this diverse and delightful cuisine than just raw fish and rice. Noodles immersed in spiky hot broths; pan-fried gyoza dumplings; lines of yakitori over a robata grill; bento boxes; tempura – the list goes on. Thankfully, amidst all those venues masquerading as authentic Japanese restaurants are some genuine gems, able to knock up delectable examples of just why this cuisine is held in such high esteem. So take a look at this list of the best Japanese restaurants in London and you'll be saying Nihon ni ikitai in no time.
Yashin Sushi and Bar
1a Argyll Road, Kensington, London, W8 7DB
Pretty widely regarded as the best place in London for sushi (if you can afford it), Yashin doesn’t rest on its sushi laurels, instead offering a few unbelievably good hot dishes (the deep fried scallops in miso batter are particularly good), some very pleasant salads and possibly the best miso soup in town. If you go, you have to have the sushi, but make sure you save a little room for all those other fine bits and bobs on a pricey, but brilliant, menu.
Our rating
****-
Zuma
5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DL
This very posh chain (with similarly plush spots in Hong Kong, Miami, Dubai etc.) offers a nod to tradition but then gives everything a very impressive contemporary tickle. The London branch looks stunning, but if you can, get a table at the sushi counter to watch the hands at work and the robata grill get going. Then get your credit card out and enjoy one of the very best Japanese restaurants in London.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
18 reviews
Sakana-Tei
11 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2QF
Another very popular Japanese restaurant, Sakana-Tei keeps things simple and is all the better for it. The prawn tempura is exquisite in its showcasing of the light hands at work in the kitchen, and even the ramen, that adopted dish from China, is brilliantly done – boasting the kind of depth seldom seen outside Japan.
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
4 reviews
Dinings
22 Harcourt Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 4HH
Billing itself as ‘Japanese tapas’, this excellent little restaurant in Marylebone knows how to source some really very impressive ingredients. Some are allowed to shine on their own but others get a little bit of Latin influence, with the salmon sashimi with caviar and onion pepper salsa and jalapeno dressing an example of when that works very well indeed.
Our rating
****-
User rating
****-
1 review
Roka
37 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1RR
Another contemporary one (or rather two – a second location is now open in Canary Wharf), Roka’s something of a rite of passage for those into their Japanese food. The robata grill plays a big part here, with the yakitori, the black cod and the lamb cutlets (admittedly with hints of Korea to the spicing) all being very, very good indeed.
Our rating
***--
User rating
****-
14 reviews
Curry Ono
Japanese Kitchen, 14bc Market Row, Brixton, London, SW9 8LD
These days, if you’re on Brixton’s Market Row then you have to be good and Curry Ono is certainly that – even if it is a little bit away from the main thoroughfare. It’s authentic and remarkably good value, with sublime curries (go for the kara-age fried chicken version) and a raft of superb starters, all of which can probably be bought with the spare change in your pocket or purse.
Our rating
***--

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