Makeover for veteran Japanese

img_3560One of central London’s longest-established Japanese restaurants, Matsuri in St James’s, has closed down after 23 years to be replaced by an updated new establishment from the same owner.

The teppanyaki and sushi bar has inspired pretty solid feedback for its “authentic” feel from the Harden’s Survey in recent years, but little in the way of excitement.

It is scheduled to reopen next spring after a make-over costing a reported £2.5 million as Onodera Japanese Restaurant, with a strong sake list and a broader range of modern Japanese cuisine.

The business is owned by Hiroshi Onodera, who heads LEOC, a major Japanese catering service company which appears to be flexing its muscles on the international gastronomic stage.

Sushi Ginza Onodera was launched to a fanfare in May this year on Fifth Avenue in New York, boasting fish flown in from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market and Koshihikari rice from Niigata prefecture. There are also branches in Hawaii, Los Angeles and Shanghai, while a Paris venue opened in 2014.


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