Breaking news

June 2019: Karabu, a cocktail bar with a snack menu, has opened within Dinings SW3.

Harden's says

Marylebone's innovative Japanese restaurant has opened a second branch in South Kensington this May. The brand is properly international these days, with noodle bars in Tokyo and a Dinings outlet in a Tel-Aviv hotel.

survey result

Summary

£101
£££££
5
Exceptional
3
Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Such is their similarity, that we continue to write up this Japanese duo in a single entry, even though the chefs who own them split the business a few years ago and now run each independently. Both provide “dishes to wow the palate” – and “a feast for the eyes” too: “each beautiful, tiny dish tastes as good as it looks”. If you’re looking for differences, SW3 receives more attention nowadays, but fractionally lower ratings and can seem “crowded”.

Summary

£101
£££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It feels like you’re in Tokyo at this tiny place” in Marylebone (‘Dinings Harcourt’) – the two-floor original of this authentic duo, which increasingly now trade as separate entities: “just trust the chef to get you the best sushi at the counter”. The odd reporter pronounces the Chelsea branch (‘Dinings SW3’) as “not as good, but still a strong contender”, but actually, although W1 inspires more feedback, there’s little to choose between them in terms of their ratings. One distinguishing feature – in summer you can eat outside in SW3, which has a small courtyard garden.

Summary

£87
 ££££
5
Exceptional
3
Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“An always-exciting menu, incredible food combinations and superb ingredients” remain points in common for this “fantastically inventive” duo of modern Japanese restaurants in Marylebone and Chelsea (“we thought the original was exceptional until we tried this one too…”). Branded in common, the owners – who formerly worked together in W1 – increasingly operate independently, with Tomonari Chiba in Marylebone and Masaki Sugisaki steering SW3. Both premises retain an aesthetic that some find “too cool”. The Marylebone original is on two floors, of which the bar upstairs is sometimes preferred. Chelsea is in a quiet mews, and has a courtyard garden that comes into its own in summer.

Summary

£79
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Crazy combinations, truly awesome at times” continue to wow all who taste the “meticulous” sushi and other modernised Japanese dishes at this duo of venues – an “awkward and tired-looking basement” in Marylebone (under chef Tomonari Chiba) and a “much-cooler-than-the original” setting in Knightsbridge (under chef Masaki Sugisaki). “I’ve wandered all round the menu with friends, and each bite was terrific”.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

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Dinings Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Dinings Restaurant in SW3, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Dinings restaurant.
Nat F
Nice al fresco lunch at Dinings SW3. The re...
Reviewed 7 days ago

"Nice al fresco lunch at Dinings SW3. The restaurant inside is slightly cramped, but the terrace is beautiful. Sushi and sashimi is of very high quality (with a price to match). Cooked dishes are excellent too, with Japanese influence. Service is good, but not exceptional."

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Opening hours

L noon-2.45 pm, Sun 12.30-2.45 pm; D Mon-Thu 6-9.30 pm, Fri & Sat 6-10 pm, Sun 6-9 pm
Last orders: 9.30 pm, Fri & Sat 10 pm, Sun 9 pm

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