Jul 4 2013



Dinings is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in London. Dinings is very different to your average Japanese restaurant as it serves fusion British/ Japanese food, and does it so skillfully I am always amazed. I never thought you could do good British/Japanese fusion food before I went to Dinings, but they do it perfectly, and you almost think this sort of fusion food could rival Japanese food. The food was originally based on the traditional Japanese Izakaya style of cuisine, however since opening 6 years ago Dinings has created a new type of fusion Izakaya food.

Dinings is located on a small street in Marylebone, and it is hard to find it or walk past it, unless you know where it is. The restaurant is very tiny, and you are bound to sit very close to other people when having your meal, and you can book (but as it is so small you need to book in advance to get a table and you can only book via calling, no online booking) or just walk in and hope there will be a space for you at the small upstairs sushi bar, so you can sit watching the chefs make sushi and sashimi. I had booked a table for 7pm and when I arrived I was shown downstairs in the basement in one of the small rooms, which had 3 tables and seated 3 pairs of 2.

Whilst I was waiting for my friend Amit to arrive I ordered a wonderful Japanese inspired bellini with yuzu which was very refreshing and tasty, and I also ordered some “Edamame with Cornish smoked salt and Cornish chilli salt” as well as “Pan-fried padron pepper with garlic and shichimi pepper”, as the waiter kept insisting I have to have these as they were a Japanese version of the Spanish pardon peppers. It was interesting how they served the edamame beans plain with the smoked salt and chilli salt on the side, and the waiter explained that this was so you could add as much or as little of the salt that you fancy on the edamame. I personally liked the thought behind this edamame, as this is quite an original way how to serve this dish that usually most restaurants serve in just one, common way, but I don’t think the chilli salt really stack to the edamame well and was a bit hard to eat the edamame with any salt as it just kept falling off. I also was a bit let down with the pardon peppers, as to me they tasted just like your average normal Spanish padron peppers, and I could not taste any Japanese influence.

The thing that attracted Amit’s and mine attention were the “tar-tar chips” that Dinings had dedicated half a page to, and it said these were  homemade potato crisps filled with avocado, seafood, meat, vegetables and sauces and then you could add a topping of your choice, and as this looked like one of their specialties and there were so many different varieties of these we decided to go for these tar-tar chips topped with Seared Wagyu beef with chilli miso, and whilst I thought the tar-tar chips were good and tasty and definitely interesting, it was not my favourite dish at Dinings, and sort of a bit let you down as by having a whole page dedicated to them you would think they were incredible, but still very very good.

Next we had some “Toro sashimi topped with foie-gras mousse and kizami wasabi served with tosa soy” and they gave you sashimi served in 4 teaspoons, so you could easily put these into your mouth and these were incredible, definitely great combinations and complimentary things added to the toro sashimi, very delicious. I also ordered 2 salads, the “Seasonal mixed seaweed salad with shiso tosazu dressing” as well as the special they had for the day tomatoes with yuzu. The seaweed salad was good but I wish it had a bit more flavour and dressing, but still very good, and I also very much enjoyed the tomato salad, and the dressing definitely made it more enjoyable to eat these tomatoes. 

Next we moved to the sushi selection and had incredible sushi, and this place definitely does some of the best sushi in London, traditional and fusion. First we had very good and absolutely melting in the mouth “Seared wagyu beef sushi topped with truffle salsa and ponzu jelly”. Wagye beef is delicious and only a few places do sushi with wagye beef, and Dinings did an incredible job, perfect piece of sushi. We also had the “Fresh water eel and pan-fried foie-gras roll with sweet soy sauce” and it was also wonderful. I have never had eel together with fois gras and it worked, as both these things are quite soft and maybe a bit fattening and have similar textures but were very complimentary. The roll was just very good and tasty.

Next we moved on to the cooked selection, and we had ordered the "Nasu-miso" grilled aubergine with sweet miso, as well as “Seasonal vegetable tempura with spiced miso” and “Grilled chilli garlic black cod”. The miso grilled aubergine is one of Dinings signature dishes, and I did order it the last time when I went to Dinings, a few years ago, as the waitress recommended it to me then, and I was glad to still see it on the menu. The aubergine was soft, very tasty and with a lovely hint of miso, very good dish. The tempura dish was probably the dish I enjoyed the least, as I thought these was too much batter and just did not feel right. I did very much like the cod, it was very different to the cod dishes you have in other Japanese restaurants, as it had chilli and usually in Japanese restaurants you get black cod that has a very different texture, but I enjoyed it, Amit said it was good but was not amazing.

We also ordered desert and went for the champagne and yuzu ice sortbet type of desert and something that was similar to crème brule topped with a green tea ice cream, and both these things were good.

I really like Dinings because it feels so different to your average Japanese restaurant, because of their interesting and wide menu that features these sort of fusion type of dishes you don’t see anywhere else. Most of the food is extremely good and tasty and Dinings uses extremely high quality ingredients and makes sure it serves them in an interesting way. I do recommend this restaurant.

Date: 4/07/13
Location: Marylebone
Price for 2 people with alcohol and service charge: £201.99

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22 Harcourt Street, W1H 4HH
United Kingdom
Dinings Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5