Japanese Restaurants in Mayfair
1. Umu Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 14-16 Bruton Pl - W1
Under “perfect chef and artist” Yoshinori Ishii (chef since 2010), this fairly small, hidden-away Japanese – in a quirky Mayfair mews, with little exterior signage – had been going from strength to strength and was head-and-shoulders the best property of Marlon Abela’s M.A.R.C. group. In early 2020, though – just prior to the first pandemic lockdown – it entered administration along with others in the group, although unlike The Square and Mortons Club it remained open. Details of its rescue are scant, but rescued it was and as of November 2020 it continued to trade.
2. The Araki Japanese restaurant in Mayfair Unit 4 12 New Burlington St - W1
“Sushi as an art form, with every piece designed to the last detail” is at the heart of an unforgettable trip to this illustrious Mayfair nine-seater, where Marty Lau is the new master after maestro Matsuhiro Araki returned to Japan in spring 2019. The place is “soooooooooo expensive”, but what’s been striking ever since its debut in 2014 is how few diners begrudge the mesmerising bill, instead appreciating the intense, personal theatricality of the endeavour; and the “exceptional quality and sourcing of the ingredients”. Early feedback on the new regime says it’s “not affected by the loss of Mr Araki, and still a very special experience” – whether Michelin maintain its three-star rating in autumn 2019 remains to be seen…
3. Novikov (Asian restaurant) Pan-Asian restaurant in Mayfair 50a Berkeley Street - W1
“A playground for oligarchs” – Arkady Novikov’s infamously glam, Eurotrash-magnet remains one of Mayfair’s most happening scenes, luring the fast crowd with its mix of light Asian bites, sushi, grills and noodles. It’s not exactly somewhere to go if you’re counting the pennies, but, actually, “dim sum at lunch is excellent and very reasonably priced”.
4. Kiku Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 17 Half Moon St - W1
2019 Review: Stalwart Mayfair Japanese near Shepherd Market, where a small but dedicated fan club continue to acclaim high quality, traditional cooking.
5. Yoshino Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 3 Piccadilly Pl - W1
“Good, simple Japanese food” has drawn a steady crowd to this offbeat, two-storey outfit for 35 years; its trump card is “location, location and location” – a little alleyway between Regent Street and Piccadilly. Cooking standards have “varied over the years”, but most reporters still approve the overall experience and “sensible prices for Mayfair”.
6. Nobu, Metropolitan Hotel Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 19 Old Park Ln - W1
“It no longer pulls the A-list celebs, it’s no longer difficult to get a table – but the food is still exceptional” at the Japanese-South American fusion chain’s original London flagship. It can be “hit or miss”, though – “some days it’s the real Nobu with the exquisitely prepared black cod signature dish, but at times it seems the chef has forgotten the recipe”. More than 20 years after its arrival in the UK, the global brand is still expanding, with a second hotel which opened in Portman Square in late 2020.
7. Tokimeite Japanese restaurant in Mayfair 23 Conduit St - W1
Owned by Zen-Noh, Japan’s agricultural cooperative, and specialising in high-grade Japanese wagyu, alongside sushi, sashimi, tempura and other more creative fare, this Mayfair four-year-old is centred around an open counter kitchen, controlled by chef Daisuke Hayashi. Fans are “keen for it to be better known” saying its ownership “really shows up in the superb food”, but it still has a surprisingly tiny following, perhaps because it’s “very expensive (probably too expensive)”.
8. Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill Steaks & grills restaurant in Mayfair 10-13 Grosvenor Square - W1K
2019 Review: If it were not one of the restaurants that propelled Gordon Ramsay to fame (and also its erstwhile chef, Jason Atherton) – and if it wasn’t at the heart of a posh postcode – we would have long ago dropped this hotel grill room in Mayfair: it attracts precious little feedback nowadays, all of it disappointing.
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