Exploring London: The Best Japanese Restaurants Right Now

If there’s one thing I missed the most during lockdown (outside of seeing my family and friends of course!), it was hands down dining out! And top of the cuisine list was definitely Japanese food. So here is my list of London’s best Japanese restaurants to visit right now…

The Best Place for Sushi

I absolutely love sushi! I think it’s because I love all cuisine where you can have a little bit of everything. Be it tapas, dimsum or sushi – it’s really just a great excuse to try everything off the menu. And when it comes to sushi, there is one place that always gets it right for me – ROKA.

A touch more on the pricey side, but you definitely get what you pay for – both in flavour and quantity. I also love the presentation of their sushi platters as it makes for great sharing.

Sushi platter at ROKA

Maki rolls at ROKA

Wagyu sushi at ROKA

Location: Various

Website: https://www.rokarestaurant.com

The Best Place for Ramen

Ramen is often forgotten when I see other recommendations for Japanese food, but it’s a classic! And there are some great places that should definitely make the list for London’s best Japanese restaurants. Oddly enough, I never used to really like ramen, but maybe that’s because I never found a good one! Now, I’m obsessed… It’s usually the top of my list of choices when picking somewhere to eat.

I have a few regular ramen haunts, but my ultimate favourite is Tonkotsu. They have a few London locations to choose from and all have a great, easy dining vibe. But the real reason it’s my favourite is their broth. I always have to order extra broth as it’s just THAT good!

Their kimchi also makes a great side dish (although not really a Japanese delicacy), and I highly recommend their sando desserts if you fancy something sweet after your meal.

Visit their website for more details on location and menu.

The best ramen from Tonkotsu

The Best Place for Japanese Brunch

Japanese food and brunch are a match made in heaven! And there’s no better place than Issho-Ni in Bethnal Green. With prices starting at £36 for a varied range of options and choices, you can even upgrade to bottomless bubbles for the option of Prosecco or a Bloody Geisha (their take on a Bloody Mary) – although be warned; it’s spicy!

The bottomless brunch menu comprises of unlimited (yes, unlimited!) starters, including edamame, kimchi, sashimi, maki rolls and more. Follow with a choice of several tasty mains including; chicken Katsu curry, salmon teriyaki, as well as vegetarian options like the nasu dengaku (fried aubergine with a delicious sesame miso).

Japanese brunch restaurant in London - Issho-Ni

If it’s your first time, don’t be tempted to overload on the unlimited sushi and starters… You’ll need space for their tasty main options, which even includes a beautiful Wagyu steak. Their brunch menu offers a range of delicious choices, and even have some great vegetarian options too!

Unlimited sushi starters at Issho-Ni

Maki rolls Issho-Ni

Aside from their amazing brunch menu, their a-la-carte menu also offers a range of tasty Japanese favourites including the squid ink yakisoba, miso black cod, and fiery shrimp tempura. And for the sushi fans, you MUST try the o-toro!

Salmon sashimi from Issho-Ni

This restaurant also offer a fabulous cocktail menu. I recommend their lychee martini and miso-whisky sour. I’ve never found a martini so easy to drink – dangerous! So be sure to head over early and treat yourself to a cocktail or two. It’s a chilled, fun, and relaxed atmosphere. An ideal destination for date night, dinner with friends or even those days when you just want to treat yourself to some tasty food and fabulous drinks!

Tasty lychee martini at Issho-Ni

Another great reason to dine at Issho-Ni is it’s great location. Only a short walk from Shoreditch Overground station, you can continue your day exploring East London’s finest market stalls, independent stores, cafes and more.

Restaurant details: Issho-Ni – 185 Bethnal Green Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 6AB

Visit their website for their full menu and more information.

The Best Place for Something Special

If you’re looking to indulge, there’s no better place than Sushi Samba. With 2 London locations, you have the option of great views from The Heron Tower or being right bang in the heart of London’s Covent Garden Market. Both locations have their own charm, so the choice really depends on what mood you’re in.

Sushi Samba in Covent Garden

I find the Covent Garden venue more suited for date nights, as you can easily head to a bar or make plans to see a Westend show. Alternatively, The Heron Tower location is great for drinks and dining with friends or celebrating a special occasion as you can also make use of the outdoor terrace bar. Be warned – if you are afraid of heights you have to brave the glass lifts which thrusts you all the way up the building. The food is worth it though, so just close your eyes!

Wagyu steak cooked on hot stone

Maki rolls at Sushi Samba

Location: Liverpool Street or Covent Garden

Website: https://www.sushisamba.com

Spot any of your favourites in the list? Or have your own recommendations? Let me know in the comments as I’m always on the lookout for more great restaurants to try out!

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