Japanese Restaurants in Marylebone
1. Bone Daddies Japanese restaurant in Westminster 46-48 James St - W1U
“Incredibly filling bowls of ramen” – backed up by “interesting menus of delicious food, served quickly with a smile” – attract an enthusiastic crowd to this small chain of hip Japanese-style fast-food bars, although feedback supports the view that “the original in Soho is by far the best”. The founder, Aussie-born, Nobu-trained chef Ross Shonhan, has spun off a series of “Asian-fusion” concepts – Flesh & Buns, Shack-Fuyu and his latest, Poke-Don.
2. Cocochan Pan-Asian restaurant in Marylebone 38-40 James St - W1
Between Selfridges and St Christopher’s Place – a “busy and quite noisy” haunt, where some reporters are very impressed by its Pan-Asian small plates (including sushi and dim sum dishes), but others feel that they’re “not exciting, but OK”.
3. Defune Japanese restaurant in Marylebone 34 George St - W1
“Perfect sushi” and other “top-notch modern Japanese” food has drawn a steady crowd to this “sedate” Marylebone veteran for over 35 years (it claims to be the ‘longest running Japanese restaurant in London’). No-one’s ever been that wild about the interior – the focus is very much on the (expensive) food: “you’ll leave happy but broke…”
4. Sushiology by Atari-Ya Japanese restaurant in Marylebone 20 James St - W1
Some of “the best (reasonably affordable) sushi in London” can be found at these supermarket/cafés operated by a Japanese food importer. But it’s all about the “fresh and addictive” plates – “service is a bit rough and ready when they’re busy” and the ambience “lacks soul”.
5. Sushi Atelier Japanese restaurant in Fitzrovia 114 Great Portland Street - W1W
“Really great sushi with a fusion feel” makes this modern Japanese, just north of Oxford Circus, from the Chisou group “a great place to become acquainted with Japanese food”. Sky-high ratings improved further in its second year – a good indication that the “friendly staff” are not resting on their laurels.
6. Tonkotsu, Selfridges Japanese restaurant in Marylebone 400 Oxford St - W1
“Healthy ramen bowls” and “the best karaage fried chicken in town” are the secrets behind the rapid growth of the cramped Japanese pitstops, of which there are now 10 in London – the most recent openings, in Shoreditch and Peckham, having followed a £5million investment in 2019. They provide “a meal that could fill you up for a day”, with “excellent service from a really friendly team who go the extra mile”.
7. Chisou Japanese restaurant in 22-23 Woodstock Street - W1C
“Marvellous, exquisite Japanese food”, including “super-fresh fish” and “the best sushi in town that won’t break your wallet”, is served at this “very professional” Mayfair outfit. Popular with Vogue staffers, who call it the ‘Condé Nast canteen’, it has a “cosy” offshoot buried in a luxurious corner of Knightsbridge.
8. Roketsu Japanese restaurant in Marylebone 12 New Quebec Street - W1H
One of 2021’s more ambitious openings – chef Daisuke Hayashi’s new kaiseki restaurant in Marylebone will draw on his 20 years under Yoshihiro Murata at the three-Michelin-starred Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto (his London CV includes Tokemeite and Chrysan near Broadgate). It offers a kaiseki-only menu, so the presumption is that you will need to melt your credit card to go...
9. Roka Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 30 North Audley St - W1
“I’ve never had a bad meal at Roka, and I’ve eaten there many, many times” – Arjun Waney and Rainer Becker’s small modern Japanese group delivers an “exceptional”, “all-round” package of clean-tasting fusion food served in stylish and “buzzy” contemporary surroundings. Dishes are “beautifully presented but also amazingly well-flavoured” – be it “fantastic black cod”, “fabulous sushi” or grilled tapas-y bites from the robata grill. Top Tip – in E14, the “weekend brunch menu is splendid value for money: especially the children’s menu”.
10. aqua kyoto Japanese restaurant in Soho 240 Regent St (entrance 30 Argyll St) - W1
“This huge restaurant above Regent Street” with a sizeable rooftop setting (from the Hong Kong-based group also at The Shard) serves “surprisingly good Japanese food” and “feels like a nightclub, with bouncers, red carpets, loud music, moody lighting and a sexily groomed, exuberant clientele”. It’s “very buzzy, very loud and great for people-watching”. A neighbouring rooftop sibling, aqua nueva, does similar things with a Hispanic menu but doesn’t inspire the same level of feedback.
11. Roji Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 56b South Molton Street - W1K
The team behind Chiou and Sushi Atelier are opening this intimate 10-seat restaurant in early 2022; accomplished husband-and-wife chefs Tamas Naszai and Tomoko Hasegawa will be in charge of the food. Preview nights from 19th January.
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