Japanese Restaurants in Islington
1. Jiji Fusion restaurant in Islington 6g Esther Anne Place - N1
This Israeli-Japanese (it’s OK, you read that right!) sits at the foot of the swanky new Islington Square development (main entrance on Upper Street). It’s a mega £435m joint venture creating over 4.5acres of space on the site of north London’s former main sorting office (London Mail Centre built in 1904). Opened in July 2021, it features an outside terrace and stylish interior, serving the likes of roast cauliflower with jalapeno sauce; egg with truffle polenta; flamed aubergine with tahini jalapeno and a selection of sushi dishes – blow-torched scallop nigiri with crème fraiche and ikura, anyone?
2. Kanada-Ya Japanese restaurant in Islington 35 Upper Street - N1
“Truly outstanding ramen” – possibly “the finest in town” – have won a major reputation among the noodle cognoscenti for his small Japan-based chain, which has branches in Covent Garden, Piccadilly and Angel. “The tasty bowls are always more filling than they seem”, and fans put up with “so-so service and a hot, cramped venue” to secure their fix. The all-important 18-hour pork bone broth was developed to a secret recipe by former racing cyclist Kazuhiro Kanada, who opened his first noodle shop in his native Kyushu in 2009. A new branch in Ealing and a delivery-only kitchen for South London were scheduled to open in late 2021.
3. Hot Stone Japanese restaurant in Islington 9 Chapel Market - N1
“Exceptional food every time” and “high-quality and attentive service” inspire early reporters who have visited both of Padam Raj Rai’s duo of ambitious ishiyaki (hence the name), where the serving of certified Kobe beef is a highlight (only eight restaurants in the UK offer it). Also on the menu: top-quality sushi and sashimi and 48-hours marinated black cod. Islington’s Chapel Market branch launched first in August 2020, with a 14-course omakase chef’s table experience (for up to 4 people). Later in 2020, the branch closed and rebranded itself ‘Omakase at Hot Stone’, opening for just 2-3 days per week for 6 people at a time for an ‘Omakase’ (chef’s choice) experience. Despite the travails of the pandemic, in May 2021 Padam opened a second 50-cover sibling in Fitzrovia. The interior of the new branch boasts traditional wooden panelling, accent tiling and artwork by Japanese Edo-period ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai.
4. Sushi Show Japanese restaurant in Islington 28 Camden Passage - N1
“Tiny and friendly sushi cafe”, tucked away in the heart of Islington, where “the freshest fish are expertly prepared” (it’s “run by a local fish supplier”). “All the usual options are present on the menu, but there are also some interesting daily specials”. Take-away only during social-distancing times, but eat in is likely to return. There is also a spin-off in Shoreditch.
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