Japanese Dining

Benihana

Part of an international food chain serving Japanese Teppenyaki. There are 3 venues in London, Chelsea, Piccadilly and St.Pauls. There is no conventional kitchen at this restaurant. The food is cooked infront of the diner on a hibachi grill. The chef performs theatrical skills with the knives he uses for the cooking.

Chotto Matte

Located in a colourful part of Soho, Chotto Matte’s dark exterior leads you into a vibrant quirky interior. The owner, Kurt Zdesar, has been attentive to detail from cuisine to décor to ensure the bringing together of both Japanese and Peruvian cultures in a relaxed setting.  A colossal UV-illuminated mural, created by a Japanese graffiti artist adorns the whole length of the back wall. The curved bar is cut from lava stone and home to unique Nikkei inspired delicious cocktails. The quirky cocktail listing has 3 sections, Off the shelf, Prescription only and Anti-depressants. The latter, are actually cocktails with a personality and from which Anomalous selected ‘Flor de Manzana’..Wow! This one you need to try to fall in love with this place…mango vodka, sake, elderflower and some fruit… highly recommended!

 

Eating at this venue is different, because there are four styles of cooking Sushi, Barbeque, Sautee and Tempura. It is recommended to order a selection to share with your dining partner. The philosophy of eating here is to start with the cold, lighter flavoured dishes, moving onto the warmer, fuller flavoured ones and ending with sushi.The menu can be quite daunting for first timers so please do ask the waiting staff who are well informed about the menu and can recommend according to your taste. For those not familiar with Peruvian cuisine,tasting the fusion dishes here will open up a whole new world to you.

The lobster ceviche with tasty Peruvian corn in citrus sauce was very tasty. As was the quirky spring roll and vegetable tartar which had an amazing blackberry salsa. If you like your spice, then definitely go for the options with the distinct Peruvian chillies especially the anticucheria barbeque menu which uses these fine spices and the meats and fish are cooked over hot coals. I can highly recommend the Pollo Picante. Dessert is a must as always and the Peruvian Chocolate Pot is the one to try - heavenly divine!  

The menu also features Nikkei tasting menus of seven courses and pre-theatre menus. Bento boxes are also offered at lunchtime.

 

Chotto Matte is by far the largest restaurant in London with covers for about 200 people. Offering affordable, high-quality Nikkei cuisine, this is one venue everyone must experience.  Spread over two floors, downstairs has fully retractable glass walls which is great in the summer. A spiral staircase to the upper floor leads to the infamous robata grill and sushi bar. There is also an in-house DJ in the evenings which brings the venue to life.

Sake no Hana

This modern, authentic, Japanese fine dining in St. James gives the diner the opportunity to actually eat Japanese style, which is by removing your shoes and slipping onto a tatami mat. It sure is a different experience to try out. The menu offers a variety of Japanese style cooking including charcoal grill, Toban and Kamameshi dishes and the popular sushi and sashimi which is prepared to order at the stylish sushi bar.

See Sushi

A hidden gem found in Paddington Basin, this contemporary Japanese restaurant has the finest selection of reasonably priced sushi in London. A big fan of 'maki rolls,' the spider maki roll with soft shell crab and Dragon maki roll with prawn tempura and eel were extremely tasty. If you like prawns definitely try the Chef’s deluxe 'Ebi Tempura' which has a vermicelli pastry. Not much selection for vegetarians as can be expected in a Japanese restaurant, there is however a small range of other Pan-Asian cuisines such as Thai and Malaysian. Waterside dining is an option in the summer months. Leave room for dessert as the Japanese ‘Mochi’ ice cream is worth a try. A great location with good service.