Best-of Guides Greater London

The Best Japanese Restaurants in London

9 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 a much greater range of Japanese cuisine in London. Here is our selection of some of the capital’s finest Japanese restaurants.
Updated on 25 March 2024
Endo at The Rotunda
The Helios, 101 Wood Lane, Hammersmith & Fulham, W12 7FR London
££££ · Japanese

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.

Unit 1A, 3 Ravine Way Embassy Gardens, Wandsworth, SW11 7BH London
££ · Japanese

A trendy restaurant in a trendy area, this modern take on the traditional izakaya does a great job of marrying British produce with Japanese techniques and refinement. The two experienced chefs at the helm appear to have got everything spot-on, with plates designed for sharing and cooking that shows all the impressive craft of an authentic Japanese kitchen. A wine selection complete with sake and shochu just adds to the fun and authenticity.

Humble Chicken
54 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SL London
££££ · Japanese

There is a real creativity and theatricality to the consistently impressive tasting menu at this Soho counter restaurant. The ingredients are of superb quality and thankfully the chefs know what to do with them, as evidenced by the sashimi, the sukiyaki and even the shokupan bread. The look is dark and moody inside, with music playing over the speakers and an engaging service team on hand to assist.

18 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7QH London
££££ · Japanese

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.

56B South Molton Street, Mayfair, W1K 5SH London
££££ · Japanese

Husband and wife team Tamas and Tomoko own and run this intimate restaurant tucked away down a passageway in the heart of Mayfair. They’re together in the kitchen too, preparing an 8 course omakase menu, with plenty of dishes coming before the nigiri. Dishes are kept fairly traditional and pair Japanese techniques and flavours with mostly British seafood produce, including the likes of langoustine and hand-dived scallops.

157 Westbourne Grove, North Kensington, W11 2RS London
£££ · Japanese

Endo Kazutoshi features twice on this list, as Sumi is his de facto diffusion line; a baby sister to Endo at the Rotunda. This Notting Hill restaurant comes with a laid-back, neighbourhood vibe and a younger crowd. The menu is largely sushi-based, with some dishes from the robata grill, and a side of miso soup is well worth ordering too. The cocktails are great and there is a fun, relaxed atmosphere to the place.

Sushi Kanesaka
45 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1PN London
££££ · Japanese

The luxury 45 Park Lane Hotel makes a fitting home for this London outpost from much-admired Japanese chef Shinji Kanesaka. The omakase offering comes at quite a price, but it’s good to see where your money has gone as the likes of Scottish lobster and Kobe beef make up some of the many immaculate servings. The ingredients are of outstanding quality, and the gorgeous hinoki wood counter only enhances the feeling that you’re having a truly high-end experience. The gracious service is pitched just-right and feels authentically Japanese.

36 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4JE London
££££ · Japanese

As is so often the case with the very best cooking, first-rate ingredients are the bedrock of this restaurant. A choice of omakase menus of varying degrees of luxury are available, each one showcasing dishes with a refinement and deft balancing of flavours befitting of such high quality produce. A good range of sake is available and there is a stylish feel to the room, with everybody sitting a handsome oak counter.

14-16 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6LX London
££££ · Japanese

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.