Japanese Restaurants in Covent Garden
1. Sushisamba Fusion restaurant in Covent Garden Opera Terrace, 35 The Market - WC2
“A fun night out” is not in doubt at this glitzy (if ever-so slightly “impersonal”) duo: be it on the 38th floor of the City’s Heron Tower (accessed via western Europe’s fastest lifts); or perched at the top of Covent Garden market, overlooking the back of the Royal Opera House. You get superb views in either location (particularly in the Square Mile, with its über-glam rooftop bars), plus “loud party music and great cocktails”. And, in fact, the Japanese/South American fusion food is yummy too. It’s just so “horrendously overpriced” that for a large proportion of folks it’s just “not really worth it”. The US-based group is an international one, with venues in Las Vegas and (scheduled for late 2021) Dubai.
2. Sticks'n'Sushi Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 11 Henrietta St - WC2
“Absolutely top-notch food” – “pricey but great!” – is the key to the steady growth enjoyed by this Copenhagen-based Japanese group, whose most recent (2019) openings in Soho and Chelsea join established venues across London. It’s “an interesting concept, well executed” – “fresh and delicious sushi”, yakitori skewers, and “colourful, almost art-directed salads”, delivered in dining rooms that combine clean, Japanese minimalism with Danish hygge.
3. Eat Tokyo Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 27 Catherine St - WC2B
This veteran group has served up “authentic Japanese food” – “always fresh, tasty and beautifully presented” – for four decades, at its half-dozen “basic” (ignore the “tired” decor) but “extremely reliable and good-value” London diners. They “never disappoint”, with “consistently excellent sashimi and sushi, using really high-quality fish”. Venues stretch from Hammersmith via Notting Hill to Soho, Covent Garden and Holborn, while the Golders Green branch adds shabu-shabu to the menu. The group also operates Tonkotsu-ya Ramen on Bond Street. Top Tip: “miso eel is very good”.
4. Flesh and Buns Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden 41 Earlham Street - WC2
“Delicious steamed bao buns with great fillings” are the star turn at these “loud” and dynamic izakayas (Japanese gastropubs) in Covent Garden and Fitzrovia, backed up by raw fish and hot-stone rice dishes. The newer, bigger Fitzrovia branch, near Oxford Circus, adds a selection of Peruvian-fusion Nikkei plates. They are part of the Bone Daddies group, whose Australian founder, Ross Shonhan, departed in 2020 for pastures new in Dubai.
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
“Quick, warm and tasty” is the verdict on Japan Centre owner Tak Tokumine’s “very busy”, “authentic ramen” noodle group, based in the West End but expanding fast via delivery-only kitchens. “The tonkotsu soup stock is a wonder” and the “side dishes are great, too”.
7. Bisushima Japanese restaurant in Charing Cross Page8 Hotel, 8 Saint Martin's Place - WC2N
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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