food & restaurants

Japan in… Dalston, London’s Vanessa uncovers 4 awesome Japan-inspired businesses in Dalston that you need to check out. Café OTO – Perched on upcycled wooden chairs and sipping flat whites, everyone in Café OTO is discussing Japan. So-and-so’s brother has just got back. French students exchange tips for dating Japanese women. Perhaps they’re trying too hard? But the Read more

‘Monocle Café’ Review – Marylebone

Why?  To meet the wonderful Susan for brunch. She works nearby at Daiwa, but rarely has the chance to explore Marylebone. I’d been doing some heavy googling to track down that elusive meal: the ‘Japanese Breakfast’ in London. Monocle cafe popped up with a selection of Japanese-inspired items – and a ‘Scandanavian Breakfast’ too. When?  11am on Read more

‘Sake no Hana’ Review: Mayfair

Why? Sake no Hana certainly must offer the most sumptuous-yet-sensible solution to London’s blustery and unpredictable ‘hanami’ season! Literally ‘flower viewing’ in Japanese – your springtime celebrations can be brought inside under the delightful display of ‘Sakura’ cherry blossoms in the bar area, enjoying the seasonal menu ‘Sakura at Sake no Hana’. On from April Read more

‘Kintan’ Japanese BBQ Review: Holborn

Why?  Date-night / hubby’s birthday.  Kintan specialises in ‘yakiniku’ literally ‘grilled meat’ & were we ever dying to get our chops round it. With branches in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Jakata, Kintan is a newcomer to the booming Japanese food scene in London – a welcome scene which now emphasises just one specialist dish, as Read more

Dan Rook: Chash Tea ‘Leaf Excutive’

“If ‘Tea Makes Everything Better’ shouldn’t we be drinking better tea?”.  Good point, well made.  Dan Rook of Chash tea has a clear mission. Sourcing and carefully selecting the world’s finest tea and infusions by  taking the time to talk to a wide range of suppliers, Dan brings better tea into British people’s daily lives Read more

Why? I’m particularly partial to a ‘kaiten zushi’ (conveyor belt) sushi restaurant. There’s still something curiously futuristic about the concept. Snatch tempting titbits within arm’s reach before they pass by, like some kind of hunter-gatherer Tokyoite: ‘LOOK, man!  I have brought you raw fish!’ When? A Friday evening in August at 6pm. The restaurant is Read more

HYPER JAPAN 2014 Round Up

Bringing Japanese pop culture all together into one fantastic festival, HYPER JAPAN 2014 (July 25-27) is a must for the Japan enthusiast!  The festival is held over three days at  Earls Court One, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA (nearest tube: Earl’s Court). For Japanfans who just can’t get enough, and there are not one, but Read more

‘Chotto Matte’ Review: Soho

Why? Chotto Matte (‘just a minute’ in Japanese) is a zingy, zesty newcomer to Frith Street, Soho. Opened by ex-head of Nobu (and founder of Ping Pong) Kurt Zdesar during fashion week last summer, this restaurant serves bold, fresh and invigorating ‘Nikkei’ fusion cuisine.  It’s heavy on the South American, with a tempering dose of Read more

Japanese Sweets ‘Wagashi’

  Minamoto Kitchoan, based at 44 Piccadilly, belongs to a smart international chain of ‘wagashi’ Japanese sweets shops, with branches in New York, Shanghai and other major cities.  Cheering seasonal displays in the window highlight the delectable delights of each time of year.  Step into the shop to feel like you’ve been transported to their Read more

Near South Ealing station a brilliant little bakery is tucked away. Tantalising smells waft from Tetote Factory Bakery; perhaps one of those secret places in London known only to locals (many Japanese ex-pats live in this area of West London)… and to those lucky few who have heard about it through word of mouth.  Based Read more

Sushi Slim by Makiko Sano, Quadrille 2013, £12.99, Photographs: Lisa Linder Ok, so we all know that Japanese people are slim, thanks to their healthy diet (yes, sumo wrestlers are an exception).  And Westerners have taken to sushi like a fish to, er, rice – sushi has been widely available in the UK for years.  Read more

Seated at the long wooden table in Yuki’s Kitchen, sipping steaming Japanese tea and admiring the high ceiling of her spacious classroom, I was delighted I’d made the journey to Crystal Palace.  Yuki does teach at a variety of other venues (Soho Kitchen Club, Battersea, etc.) but the leafy outlook from her bay windows on Read more

‘Otabe Kafe’ Review: Putney

Why? To try it! I’d heard about this cute Japanese café in Putney. So I went for lunch, by myself, on a weekday. When? A rainy Tuesday afternoon in August, at 2pm. First Impression: Cozy and welcoming on this grey afternoon! Small outside area tucked nicely around the side. Entering the café is a bit Read more

Earl’s Court is a hidden gem, able to provide a small but very authentic Japanese evening out.  Not known for being an area of London with a high Japanese population, or influence, Earl’s Court is home to a smattering of excellent establishments. Mai Food – has a distinctly cafe-like feel.  It’s even got those awkwardly Read more

Why? For a Japanese-y committee meeting, so we weren’t in the upstairs part of the restaurant, but rather downstairs in a private party room with typical bench style seating and cushions – quite nice. When? A Monday in July at about 6.30pm. The restaurant was pretty empty when we walked through at that time. When Read more