The top ten restaurants to try during Japan Week Festival
From 27th September to the 3rd October, Londoners are invited to celebrate the best of Japanese food, drink and culture across the capital. Japan Week Festival will see a series of city-wide events, one-off menus and limited-edition discounts at a huge range of restaurants, hotels, bars and venues. Whether you are looking for a specific deal or you just want to mark the occasion with some of the nation’s most iconic dishes, we have compiled ten of our favourite spots for an unforgettable Japanese meal.
Umu, the Kyoto-inspired two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair, is a fantastic option. Though this high-end joint does come with a price tag, their sushi may just be exceptional enough to justify splashing out. What’s more, there is a set menu at lunch that won’t break the bank. Book a table here.
If your idea of Japanese heaven is a bowl of steaming ramen, look no further than Shoryu. This Soho spot was founded by the team behind Japan Centre so it’s no surprise that their broth is one of the best. On top of their iconic noodle soup, they are serving up moreish sides and even a limited-edition cocktail for Japan Week Festival. Book a table here.
Nobu is perhaps one of the best-known and most highly regarded sushi restaurants out there, with outlets all over the globe. Their newest branch in Portman Square is planning an exclusive offer for the festival which is unlikely to disappoint, given the luxe chain’s world-famous attention to detail and commitment to quality ingredients. Book a table here.
Another Mayfair staple for Japanese food is Tokimeite. It’s not inexpensive, but for committed carnivores, it’s certainly not too expensive for a treat. They specialise in high-grade wagyu, the much sought-after marbled beef that often features on the city’s best menus. They also serve sushi, sashimi and tempura, seasonally sourcing their ingredients. Book a table here.
Sachi is one of those spots that’s worth travelling for. Tucked away on the bottom floor of the Japanese-Nordic-inspired Pantechnicon in Belgravia, this restaurant is an escape from the bustle of the city centre, with an incredible range of freshly prepared sushi. It’s also worth paying a visit to the four-seater bar upstairs, Sakaya. Book a table here.
While it might be hard to get a table at Endo Kazutoshi’s acclaimed restaurant Endo at the Rotunda, the good news is he also has another sister venture in Notting Hill. Specialising in all things sushi, Sumi (named after the chef’s mother) offers the same sensory experience but in a more relaxed, informal environment. Book a table here.
Zuma offer a pleasant balance between high-end dining and informality, delivering quality in every plate yet requiring minimal effort on the side of the diner. The restaurant, based in Knightsbridge, is inspired by izakaya, traditional tapas-style eateries, with a focus on achieving both authentic flavours and a laid-back atmosphere. Book a table here.
If you haven’t tried Bone Daddies yet, now is the time. The restaurant is one of those offering an exclusive deal during Japan Week, so keep an eye out for details on the website. They have sites in Soho, Bond Street and Old Street, all serving up their signature “rock ‘n’ roll ramen”. Book a table here.
Sushisamba is an Instagrammer’s dream, the iconic tree terrace set against a backdrop of the London skyline. But this place it more than just a view: the Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian fusion restaurant brings together these three cuisines and cultures for a unique culinary experience that you are unlikely to forget. Book a table here.
For Japanese food that comes with a buzzing atmosphere, it’s worth checking out Aqua Kyoto. This stylish spot in Soho offers a contemporary twist on classic dishes, and also has a stunning rooftop terrace to seal the deal. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to dress up and treat themselves. Book a table here.
We can’t resist this bonus mention of Jin Kichi, Hampstead’s hidden gem. This local spot is much more intimate, which is probably why it feels so much closer to an authentic Japanese food experience. The menu includes sushi, yakitori and traditional rice and noddle dishes, and there’s also a robata grill. Our absolute favourite. Book a table here.
The editorial unit
For further information visit the Japan Week Festival website here.