Fulham sushi spot Koji’s at-home boxes became a lockdown treat for many across south-west London. Now, it’s back open and serving its high-grade sushi and Japanese dishes face to face once more. Customers can expect to sample the likes of Japanese-style fried chicken, crispy rice with spicy tuna, yuzu squid and kitchen signatures creamy rock n’ roll shrimp and black miso cod. A great selection of wine and fizz is available, as is sake and Japanese beer, for those after a more authentic experience.
58 New Kings Road, Fulham, SW6 4LS
Taka serves a small plate-led menu, focusing on hot and grilled dishes as well as sushi. Dishes designed to be shared include a yakitori omakase, which comprises a whole Botterill’s chicken broken down into its different components and then grilled over hot coals to create a complete nose-to-tail eating experience, and a selection of sushi, which focuses on quirky adaptations of long-standing favourites, such as kagoshima A5 wagyu sukiyaki with onsen eggs and popcorn shrimp with daikon salad. Weekends sees Taka serve brunch, offering the likes of waffles and pancakes with a Japanese twist.
109 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, W1U 4RX
Dalston spot Angelina offers diners an exploration of Japanese and Italian cuisines, cultures and influences via a multicultural mash-up of ingredients and techniques. If you’re looking to try lots of new things, its new ten-course menu includes some of Angelina’s most popular dishes, like chicken karaage and unagi risotto alongside fresh dishes like tomato, seaweed and anchovy; and lardo with moromi sake and turbot. To complement dinner, wine pairings are available to order.
56 Dalston Lane, Dalston, E8 3AH
Bone Daddies, Various Locations
This lively ramen joint serves up 20-hour bone broths mixed and matched with decadent toppings. Look forward to the likes of tonkotsu pork belly, cock scratchings – that’s fried, crispy chicken crumbs – chashu pork and moreish chicken mince served alongside the kitchen’s signature noodles and topped with an oozing, golden egg and all the chilli oil you can muster. With six restaurants across London, Bone Daddies also offers Korean fried wings, frozen yuzu margaritas and bao buns.
Hot Stone, Islington
Japanese steak and sushi bar Hot Stone offers guests an authentic Japanese feast via its omakase menu. Served exclusively on Monday evenings, the menu changes every week and is made up of 14 courses, each pairing the freshest seafood, fish and Japanese wagyu beef with seasonal ingredients. With just three sittings each evening, and with only four seats available, guests will enjoy 90 minutes of kobachi small plates, sushi, sashimi and desserts. Thanks to the bijou restaurant space, every seat is at the chef’s table, offering guests an up-close view of all the action behind the pass and specialist sushi skills on show. Expect to sample hand-dived scallops with truffle ponzu sauce; seared butterfish sashimi in green jalapeno sauce; and quail’s egg with salmon ikura and wasabi, freshly grated for diners at the counter.
9 Chapel Market, Angel, N1 9EZ
Sumi, Notting Hill
From the team behind Michelin-starred Endo at Rotunda, Sumi is the casual yet elegant little sister to sushi master Endo Kazutoshi’s White City restaurant. Named after Endo’s mother, Sumi offers diners a sensory experience, with a menu that takes inspiration and direction from Japanese traditions while also paying homage to the many people and places that have inspired Endo on his journey. Head chef Yasuda Akinori (previously of Zuma) serves a refined yet approachable menu with must-tries including fillet of beef ‘kushi-katsu’; sesame seaweed salad; and Japanese A4 wagyu 100g striploin; alongside an excellent selection of handmade nigiri, sashimi and temaki.
157 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RS
Created by the founders of Bone Daddies, Shack-Fuyu celebrates Yoshoku cuisine, a Western-influenced cooking style that's popular in Japan. Offering cosy booths and intimate tables for couples, as well as a communal sharing table, casual counter dining and a private dining room seating 16, guests should make sure to order a selection of dishes to share, including prawn katsu sandos, tuna tacos and miso aubergine. Don’t miss its signature dessert, the kinako French toast with matcha soft-serve ice-cream.
14 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4TJ
Dotori, Finsbury Park
Finsbury Park’s Dotori is the place to go for a true take on sushi. Almost impossible to get into, once you’re actually through the door expect an authentic experience. With a fusion menu that’s split between Japanese and Korean dishes, we like to pair gyoza and dragon rolls with haemultang, a spicy Korean soup filled with cod, squid, prawns, mussels, tofu and vegetables.
3 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DQ
A sign proclaiming “We have no wi-fi, please talk to one another” sets the scene for this dining experience. In the same vein as Dotori, but located across in Islington, Tenshi gives its guests an original experience. The surroundings (particularly the presence of paper lanterns dotted everywhere) make you feel like you're in Japan. Offering Japanese ‘comfort food’, donburi and sushi, we love the pumpkin croquettes with tonkatsu sauce and fried soft-shell crab with teriyaki sauce.
61 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0NY
This yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) specialist recently opened in Marylebone. Here, chef Aman Lakhiani pairs fine-tuned butchery skills with his unusual grilling techniques to create delicious umami flavours. Menu highlights include shiso breast maki with ume; tebasaki wings; and sasami tenderloin with wasabi. For those who like a bit of everything, be sure to order the omakase menu, where the chefs will choose for you.
132 Seymour Place, Marylebone, W1H 1NS
Last month, Temaki launched in Brixton Village’s Market Row, with a menu that focuses on its Japanese namesake – handrolls. The lively handroll bar features paired-back oak interiors and industrial concrete flooring focused on a central communal chef's counter, set low and flat with nothing to divide the chefs and their guests. The chefs wrap fresh cuts of the finest sushi grade fish – from tuna to ‘unagi’ eel and marinated salmon – in vinegared red rice and a crisp piece of seaweed, handing it directly to guests across the counter. The menu also offers a concise selection of small plates to accompany the handrolls, such as toro sashimi with smoked salt and buckwheat and salmon skin crisps with chilli and salt.
12 Market Row, Brixton Village, SW9 8LB
Koya, Various Locations
Since co-founders John Devitt, Shuko Oda and Junya Yamasaki launched Koya on Frith Street in 2010, it has become renowned for its handmade udon and dashi. In fact, it’s still the only restaurant in London to make its own udon. The menu – also served at its newer site in Bloomberg Arcade – has evolved over time, but many staples have remained, alongside its blackboard of innovative specials that push the boundaries of Japanese cuisine, such as Asian kedgeree and an English breakfast udon, featuring noodles, egg, bacon and shiitaki.
50 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SQ & 10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, Bank, EC4N 8AR
Golden Gai, Soho
From the team behind cult Dalston restaurant Angelina, atmospheric bar Golden Gai offers innovative Italo-Japanese cocktails, from the ‘Tokyo Banana’ with toki, yellow chartreuse, ginger, black garlic honey, banana and Laphroaig to the ‘Negroni Al Fresco’, made with lemon verbena. When it comes to food, there’s a small selection of piadine flatbreads and a signature formaggio bento Italian cheese board – all served with Japanese accoutrements such as aged tofu, miso, wakame, seaweed toma and truffled soy.
16 D'Arblay Street, Soho, W1F 8EA
Nanban means ‘southern barbarian’, a term once used to describe the first European visitors to Japan centuries ago. Here, MasterChef champ Tim Anderson celebrates this ‘barbaric’ side of Japanese cuisine with new takes on traditional dishes that incorporate the international flavours of Brixton Market. Guests can tuck into ramen, gyoza and curries, burgers laced with gochujang, and matcha affogatos for dessert. The deep-fried ‘electric eel’ is a must-order.
426 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LF
Sushi expert Taiji Maruyama opened Maru in Shepherd Market last autumn. The second restaurant from the team behind Taka, Maru offers diners an immersive experience, serving a 20-course farm-to-table tasting menu, presented omakase style to guests seated around an intimate counter accommodating 10. Maruyama previously worked in Tokyo, as well as at Nobu, Beaverbrook and Taka, and hopes to introduce his guests to a new way of eating: the omakase principle is taken to the next level with the chefs behind the counter serving all aspects of the meal to their guests, including the drinks, which they also make. The menu combines British ingredients with classical training and techniques and changes daily, with dishes influenced by what Maruyama decides to serve and by what ingredients are seasonally and locally available.
18 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7QH
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Various Locations
This acclaimed Danish sushi house now has sites in Covent Garden, Victoria, Soho, Chelsea, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Wimbledon (plus spots in Oxford and Cambridge). Focusing equally on traditional sushi and yakitori sticks from the grill, there’s a selection of chicken, pork, beef and vegetable skewers for those not so keen on fish. Our favourite spot in London is the Henrietta Street branch – dim lighting and large round tables make it the perfect spot for getting a group together to devour one of its platters (we like the san-ban menu, which features scallop ceviche, wagyu maki and miso black cod).
Dinings SW3, Chelsea
A Grade I-listed mews sets the scene for this beautifully designed sushi restaurant. The izakaya-focused kitchen takes the tradition and heritage of Japanese cuisine and mixes it with modern European cooking techniques, creating an interesting menu that features the likes of tar-tar chips topped with Scottish native lobster and jalapeño mayonnaise; sea bass sashimi with tosazu jelly and fresh truffle; and Cornish spider crab and soft-shell crab sushi roll with yuzu. Live cooking demos and sushi-making masterclasses are available to book.
Lennox Gardens Mews, Chelsea, SW3 2JH
Roka Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
A Fitzrovia staple, Roka’s Charlotte Street site is our favourite of the group’s four spots. That’s mainly down to the fact that it’s a little more rustic and dressed down, plus we’re big fans of the downstairs Shochu Lounge, which specialises in cocktails made with Japanese plum wine (you can even book in to make your own batch). Centred around an open kitchen and the heat of the robata grill, the main restaurant serves the likes of octopus with seaweed and ponzu dressing; and wagyu tempura maki with oscietra caviar. When the weather’s warm, the glass walls open onto the street to create a semi-alfresco feel.
37 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RR
Given its location, Knightsbridge’s Zuma offers a surprisingly informal night out. Designed to be shared between groups its menu serves up authentic maki, sashimi, tataki and grilled meats from the robata grill. A selection of signature dishes includes the likes of crispy fried squid with green chilli and lime; crab salad with sesame dressing; and grilled Chilean sea bass with green chilli and ginger dressing.
5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, SW7 1DL
Located in an old pub on the Essex Road, Akari in Islington is great for a midweek dinner. A bit of a hidden gem if you’re not familiar with N1, the relaxed small-plates restaurant offers a prime spot at the bar to watch the chefs prepare fresh sushi in front of you. Our favourite dishes are the tuna tataki and its miso black cod.
196 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LZ