The Best Japanese Restaurants In London

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Nobu London via Facebook

Whether you're looking to have a quick sushi lunchbreak, hearty ramen or a hunk of wagyu for dinner, when it comes to Japanese cuisine- London has it all...

Over recent years, Japanese cuisine has taken London by storm with restaurants popping up all over the capital. It's not just the quality of the ingredients that sets it apart, itls the variety on offer, delicate flavours and visual presentation. There's the classic to the adventurous, traditional to contemporary gourmet there's no shortage of styles and dishes to choose from, so we've whittled the list down for you to the top 5 Japanese restaurants in London right now!


Sushi Samba

Credit: Sushisamba via Facebook

Heron Tower: Heron Tower, Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Covent Garden: 35 The Mkt, London WC2E 8RF

If you've been thinking of eating Japanese food in London, it's almost certain you've come across Sushisamba. It's made a name for itself for it's top-tier sushi and fine dining experience alongside it's sky high location (and pricing) in Heron Tower offering spectacular views of the city. The global chain blends Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food offering a dramatic fusion of contemporary flavours. 

There's everything available here from ceviche to samba rolls, black cod to wagyu beef, butterscotch miso to Peruvian corn. The options on the menu are endless (you just might want to make sure your wallet is too). There's also a vegan and vegetarian menus available.

The dining rooms are decorated in a bamboo lattice ceiling with the Covent Garden location adopting a more garden-style aesthetic. Perfect for summer cocktails and sushi lunch breaks. It's even worth heading here for just a cocktail. Try the Shiso Fine for a fruity, fresh beverage concocted with vodka, shiso leaf and Thai basil syrup. 

It's absolutely advisable to make a reservation here and the popularity of this restaurant has the venues booked up for weeks, but it's worth it, especially if you opt for the panoramic view in the Gherkin.

The dress code might not be everyone's cup of saké, but there's nothing wrong with throwing on your glad rags for a good bite and exquisite service. 


Dinings SW3

Credit: diningssw3.com

Walton House, Lennox Gardens Mews, Walton St, London SW3 2JH

From the vibrant to the simplistic, Dinings SW3 is an elegant, low-key establishment that has a charming atmosphere and unassuming staff. It's essentially a modern interpretation of the traditional izayaka which is an informal Japanese bar.

But though subtle, informal is far from what Dinings is. The cuisine is a Japanese and European fusion allowing for innovative dishes that are not just beautifully presented by also delicious.

Signature meals on the menu include the black cod, roasted cauliflower and, of course, their infamous seared wagyu beef that is melt-in-your-mouth standard.

If you're looking for something a little outside-the-box, why not try their freshwater eel with truffle? The surroundings may be understated, but that's okay when the food speaks volumes. 

It's not cheap, but when you're looking at such high quality meals and service, it's well worth the treat. 

Check out more of their menu here, and make sure you reserve a table in advance, this place gets pretty packed.


Endo at the Rotunda

Credit: Endo at the Rotunda via Facebook

8th Floor, The Helios, Television Centre, 101 Wood Ln, London W12 7FR

Self-proclaimed 'sushi in the clouds' venue Endo is the brainchild of third generation sushi master Endo. Inspired by his heritage and ancestry he cultivated the art of omakase and now serves it to his patrons with a contemporary mixed with classic approach.

He was also head chef at Zuma once upon a time so this chef has definitely earned his stripes. The restaurant provides and immersive, intimate and memorable experience for all guests. Set in the unlikely location of the iconic Television Centre in White City, Endo is a home for all to explore their love affair with sushi. 

Guests can dine around a 200 year old hinoki wood counter on a Michelin Star 20-course menu that prioritises local ingredients with each element of the omakase explained in an engaging and charming way taking you through the journey of each dish. 

Nothing is overlooked here, with even the rice being imported from Endo's hometown to ensure the perfect PH. Book a table in advance to enjoy these beautifully crafted creations in this upscale establishment.


Nobu

Nobu London via Facebook

Park Lane: 19 Old Park Ln, London W1K 1LB

Portman Square: 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG

Shoreditch: 10-50 Willow St, London EC2A 4BH

Nobu is another well-known name in London when it comes to Japanese Cuisine, and though the hype may have died down since it's openings, the standard of the menu, quality of service and ambience of the interior has meant it's maintained its popularity nonetheless.

There's plenty to explore on the menu, but this establishment is most famed for its miso black cod, lobster and wagyu. The food is a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine (we see a pattern here) offering an intense combination of flavours. We do recommend grabbing many a small plate to share as there's so much to explore. So make sure you turn up hungry!

Kick the evening off with some Japanese style tacos and sushi before tucking into a hearty meal. Be warned, it's not cheap, but you're getting an entire experience that has been famed for decades, so treat yourself!


The Aubrey at the Mandarin Oriental

mandarinoriental.com

66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

One word: Dandyism. The Aubrey is nestled in the iconic Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge and is one of the more eccentric selections on our list.

The Aubrey is a frequented Japanese bar and restaurant offering an izayaka experience on the lavish end of the spectrum with an omakase cocktail experience, small plates of outstanding dishes and interior that will spell out fine dining to you like no other with plush velvet seating and a dusky red glow.

The menu offers an extensive amount of options made with the freshest ingredients from Wagyu to the more unique Yellowtail Nigiri sprinkled with ants- yes you read that correctly. 

The seasonal cocktails are worth exploring too with Japanese flavours, Asian ingredients and rare spirits taking you on the omakase journey (directly translating to 'I'll leave it up to you). Bottoms up!