restaurant reviews

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

‘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

‘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

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

‘SO’ Restaurant Review: Soho

**Cheat’s Notes**:  SO is a compact restaurant located in Soho that offers great service and a surprisingly sophisticated, fresh and tasty menu.  Loads of room downstairs.  Lunch sets start at £7, and other evening offers are available when pre-booking (see SO’s website).  SO serves IPPODO Japanese teas and also offers popular sushi-making classes.  Important tip Read more

‘BINCHO’ Review: Soho

Why? This toasty hideaway is perfect for cold winter nights in Soho! As you enter the restaurant, you pass chefs labouring away to prepare dishes on traditional open charcoal grills. Bincho’s website explains the chef’s methods: ‘In Japan, the Ganko Ojisan are the keepers of the flame…’ and hey, in this weather, I want to Read more

‘Asakusa’ Review: Mornington Crescent

Why? My friend Kazu absolutely loves this place. He’s been raving about the Yudebuta Ninniku Miso. When? A Friday in September, 9.40pm. This was the earliest/only reservation available a couple days beforehand. We stayed until 12.30pm though! Impression: The place was really buzzing with youthful mixed-nationality groups when we arrived, rather dingy, with questionable décor Read more