Greater London

The Best Japanese Restaurants in London

8 Restaurants
Japanese restaurants came quite late to the culinary party in the UK, but now every gourmet worth their bonito flakes knows just how extraordinary Japanese food can be. It’s not just the quality of the seasonal ingredients that sets it apart; it’s the sheer variety of styles on offer that makes it so interesting – and we’re now seeing more a much greater range of Japanese cuisine in London. Here is a selection of some of the capital’s most interesting Japanese restaurants.
Updated on 25 August 2022
Akira
Japan House, 101-111 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA London
Japanese
50 - 75 GBP

If you want to immerse yourself in Japanese culture before eating, then Japan House in Kensington High Street is the place to go. It not only hosts exhibits and events but also has a shop full of exquisitely designed goodies. You’ll find this restaurant upstairs, where the robata grill is used to great effect. Come for a bento box at lunchtime or enjoy a more extensive menu at dinner.

m
Endo at The Rotunda
The Helios, 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR London
Japanese
220 GBP

The iconic Television Centre in White City has hosted many treasured cultural moments over the years, so it’s fitting that it now provides a home in which to indulge our love affair with Japanese food. ‘Sushi in the clouds’ is how Yokohama-born Endo Kazutoshi describes his restaurant on the top floor, where guests gather round a counter to enjoy his beautifully crafted creations.

Ginza St James's
15 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AL London
Japanese
80 - 150 GBP

When eating out in Japan, you tend to decide what style of Japanese food you want and then go to the appropriate restaurant, as most specialise in just one type of cuisine, be it sushi, tempura, ramen, etc. This long-standing institution in St James’s offers, in effect, three restaurants in one, as it boasts three counters at which you can enjoy sushi, teppanyaki or robata.

=
Humble Chicken
54 Frith Street, W1D 4SJ London
Japanese
46 GBP

Soho may be a long way from Shibuya, but when it comes to kicking back after a day’s work, nothing beats meeting up with friends, heading to an izakaya and enjoying yakitori. Frith Street is where to come if you want to experience one of food's great pairings: nihonshu and skewers of chicken. You’ll soon realise just how many different parts of the bird there are to enjoy.

Maru
18 Shepherd Market, W1J 7QH London
Japanese
170 GBP

Anyone who’s tried finding a restaurant in a Tokyo side street will be familiar with the bewilderment induced when scurrying around Shepherd Market in search of Maru’s front door. There’s extra pressure from knowing that guests are all served together so you need to be on time. This counter restaurant comes courtesy of a Nobu alumnus and his omakase menu features plenty of Cornish seafood.

Nobu London Old Park Lane
19 Old Park Lane, W1Y 4LB London
Japanese
95 GBP

Go to any major city around the world and, chances are, you’ll find a Nobu. London’s branch was an early member of the international group, opening in 1997, and while it may not have the cachet it once did, it still offers a glamourous night out. Its much-copied style of Japanese food comes with influences from South America; the classic black cod with miso spawned a multitude of imitations.

SUMI
157 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS London
Japanese
114 GBP

Endo Kazutoshi features twice on this list, as SUMI is his de facto diffusion line; a baby sister to Endo at the Rotunda. His Notting Hill restaurant comes with a laid-back, neighbourhood vibe and a younger crowd. The cocktails are great and temaki is the highlight of the menu.

m
Umu
14-16 Bruton Place, W1J 6LX London
Japanese
60 - 300 GBP

The beautiful city of Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, is where many traditions are still faithfully honoured and that includes the art of kaiseki. Here at the impeccably run Umu, the subtlety of Kyoto cuisine is combined with top quality ingredients from around the British Isles. Tables and chairs may be preferred to tatami, but you’ll still leave feeling as though you’ve had a special Japanese experience.