Japanese Restaurants in Covent Garden
1. Sushisamba Fusion restaurant in Covent Garden Opera Terrace, 35 The Market - WC2
“Views are to die for” on the “glitzy” 38th floor of the Heron Tower, which – with its swish bar, outside terrace and vibrant dining space is “still a great place to see and be seen!” With “imaginative” and luxurious Japanese/South American fusion cuisine, the City branch of this US-based group should have it all, but enjoyment is blunted by the “exorbitant bill” and “service that seems like it’s ‘dialled in’”. The Covent Garden location, on the first floor of the market itself and with a large outside terrace overlooking the back of the Royal Opera House, also occupies a prime London site: feedback is more limited, but similar in tone.
2. Sticks'n'Sushi Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 11 Henrietta St - WC2
The “surprisingly delicious and wide-ranging menu” combines sushi with yakitori skewers (the so-called ‘sticks’) at this extremely popular Japanese-inspired group, whose “bustling” branches betray the Scandi style of their Copenhagen-based owners. It’s “a perfect choice if not everyone wants sushi” (even if it’s “expensive and portions are a bit on the small side”). A tenth branch is promised in late 2022 in Westfield W12.
3. Eat Tokyo Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 27 Catherine St - WC2B
“Spartan surroundings…”, “efficient service but can be stilted and without a smile…” yet “all is ultimately forgiven” at these “always busy” and “always reliable” Japanese canteens. “Given the price, you’d expect real mediocrity” and yet meals are almost invariably “acceptable and good quality (if somewhat formulaic)”. Top Tip – “lovely bento boxes”. (The ‘G2’ Golders Green branch specialises in Shabu Shabu – a variety of broths).
4. Flesh and Buns Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 41 Earlham Street - WC2
“Very busy and bustling” – these “vibey” izakayas are part of Bone Daddies group, and provide an “inventive” mix of dishes from a wide-ranging menu: sushi, filled hirata buns, ceviche (not all branches) and a wide selection of other dishes. In addition to those in Fitzrovia and Covent Garden, they briefly added a Kensington site in 2022, but it is set to be converted to a Bone Daddies after just a few months.
5. Curry House Coco Ichibanya Japanese restaurant in Westminster 17 Great Newport Street - WC2H
2021 Review: Near Leicester Square tube and need a quick bite? – maybe grab a meal at this simple two-year-old: the first London outpost of Japan’s largest (1,000-strong) chain specialising in kare raisu dishes – curry and rice: over 40 different rice toppings are available, including hamburgers, scrambled eggs and fried oysters.
6. Shoryu Ramen Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 35 Great Queen Street - WC2B
“Genuine Japanese-style ramen and dumplings” from Japan Centre owner Tak Tokumine hit the spot with “generous portions, excellent flavours” and “very good service” at his expanding group based in the West End. There are now seven venues in London, plus Ichiba food hall in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush and offshoots in Oxford and Manchester. The summer 2022 launch of a branch in Kensington High Street was expected to be the first of several under a new franchising arrangement.
7. Bisushima Japanese restaurant in Charing Cross Page8 Hotel, 8 Saint Martin's Place - WC2N
2022 Review: With magnificent central views from its two roof terraces, this big (6,000 sq ft with 190 covers) and glam new venue opened at the start of December 2020 and occupies the entire sixth floor of the new Page8 Hotel, just off Trafalgar Square. Sergey Men and Ruslav Ugarov run the operation, which features a wide range of sushi, sashimi, caviar and cocktails. No survey feedback as yet, but having poked our nose around the corner it certainly looks the part.
8. Tokyo Diner Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 2 Newport Place - WC2
2021 Review: “I just love it: it’s so cheap ’n’ cheerful” chorus the many fans of this down-to-earth Japanese canteen in Chinatown, which has been for yonks “a great place for the freshest sushi and yummy tofu”.
9. Ippudo London Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 31a Villiers Street - WC2N
2021 Review: “Top ramen with great broth and good combinations”, win fans for this genuinely Japanese chain (originating in Fukuoka), which has branches in Holborn, Embankment and Canary Wharf. Ratings, though, fall short of the top heights at the hands of those who feel its food is “not bad, but not memorable”. A fourth branch is to open in Fitzrovia in autumn 2019.
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Audrey Green by Daisy Green
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