japanese

Location: 

Kinoya
Shin Kyogoku street
Kyoto
Japan
JP

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I had been in Japan for 5 days now and one of the types of food that I had not yet had was Okonomiyaki, so when I got to Kyoto I asked our hotel to suggest a good Okonomiyaki restaurant to try. Our hotel recommended Kinoya which has been doing Okonomiyaki since 1948.
 
Okonomiyaki is especially popular in Kansai area (where the main city is Osaka) and Hiroshima, and both cities have their own take on this dish and cook it differently. It is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients, the main ones being dough (made out of egg, cabbage, welsh onion, red pickled ginger), your choice of filling (meat, fish etc) and topped with dried bonito (type of fish), green layer, and the original sauce. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning, "what you like" or "what you want", and yaki meaning "grilled" or "cooked".
 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Narisawa
Minami Aoyama Minato
Tokyo
Japan
JP

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When I was choosing which restaurants to visit in Tokuo, Narisawa was top of my list. Narisawa is the 20th best restaurant in the world according to the St Pellegrino awards and number 1 in Asia (2 days after we visited it the new rankings came out and it slipped to number 2 in Asia). It has 2 Michelin stars and is run by Yoshihiro Narisawa who has inspired chefs all over the world. The restaurant opened in 2003 under the name of Les Creations de Narisawa in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo, and in 2011 it became known as just Narisawa. Narisawa serves Japanese food with influence from France where Yoshihiro Narisawa has worked for many years.
 

Maija rated: 

5.00

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Location: 

Inakaya
4 Chome−10-11 Roppongi, Minato
Tokyo
Japan
JP

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It was our first night in Japan and I wanted to have something unusual for dinner and my Frommers guide book recommended I go to Inakaya for some Robatayaki style of cooking. I had never heard of Robatayaki style before and the guide book promised great over the top show, so I was sold. Robatayaki means seafood, vegetables and meat are cooked over an open charcoal grill. In the old days, a robata, an open fireplace, was located in the middle of old Japanese houses and was the center of activity for cooking, socializing, eating and keeping warm. Today’s robatayaki restaurants are like nostalgic trips to the past and staff are quite often dressed in traditional outfits and the places are decorated with old elements (just like Inakaya was).
 

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Soho Japan
195 Baker Street NW1 6UY
London
United Kingdom
GB

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I recently noticed that a new Japanese restaurant had opened on Baker Street, close to where I live. It did not look like much from the outside, but as it was close and my hob was not working at the time, I had to get some food outside and my boyfriend and I decided to go to Soho Japan to try it out. The restaurant from the outside does not look like much, it has big windows so you can see what is going on inside and has a white sign with red letters saying Soho Japan. Inside the restaurant is also very plain and unexciting, but despite the very poor look, the restaurant does serve decent Japanese food.

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Sake No Hana
23 St James's Street, SW1A 1HA
London
United Kingdom
GB

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Sake No Hana (MMMm) – Sake no Hana is a modern Japanese restaurant in London, in Mayfair on St James’ street, and also in Dubai. It is a sister restaurant to the very famous Chinese restaurant Hakkasan. I had never been to Sake no Hana before, although I have been to all the other Hakkasan sister restaurants, including Hakkasan, but for some strange reason Sake no Hana just does not have the same popularity as the other restaurants, maybe because there are so many good Japanese restaurants in London, and the competition for a best Chinese restaurant is smaller. I ended up going there because my boyfriend got sent one of these offers to go have a set menu in Sake no Hana which included three courses plus a desert and a glass of Bellini all for £29/person. 
 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Kyubi
Arts Club, 40 Dover Street W1S 4NP
London
United Kingdom
GB

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I am a member of the Arts Club and have been going there for many years now, but during a recent visit with my friends one of my friends Katrina told me that, after I left, she stumbled upon a new Japanese restaurant in the Arts Club on the 2nd floor. I had not heard of any Japanese restaurant in the Arts Club so I was very shocked about this as I thought I knew all the things going on there, so next time when I went there I took the elevator up to the 2nd floor and saw this Japanese restaurant which is called Kyubi. Kyubi has not been open for long, only a few months, hence people don’t really yet know about it and they don’t really advertise it much.
 

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Honyaki
Honyaki, Madinat Jumeirah
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
AE

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Honyaki is a Japanese restaurant in in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a sort of shopping mall, full of restaurants, next to a nice luxurious Jumeirah hotels. Honyaki means a piece of steel that is perfect for slicing sashimi, which is where the name for the restaurant comes from.

I went to Honyaki with my buddies Rob and Ahmed and tt was a very sunny and pleasantly warm day, like most days in Dubai and we decided to sit outside on the outdoor terrace, although you can also sit inside, but they had turned on the air con very high and it was freezing inside. The view from the outside terrace on the beautiful hotel buildings and the Madinat amphitheater as well as the Burj Al Arab, one of the most recognizable buildings of Dubai, was lovely. 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Chotto Matte
11–13 Frith Street W1D 4RB
London
United Kingdom
GB

I describe Chotto Matte to most people as a sort of wannabe restaurant, it is a mix of Zuma, Sushi Samba and Novikov yet not as good as either of them. You sort of know what Chotto Matte is trying to do, everyone in London these days likes Japanese/ Latin fusion food (restaurants like Sushi Samba, Sushinho, a trend that was started by Nobu many years ago), as it is light and funky and tasty and Chotto Matte is trying to cater to the clientele that likes this type of food. Having said these criticisms, there were some delicious dishes at Chotto Matte that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Kirazu
47 Rupert Street, W1D 7PJ
London
United Kingdom
GB

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Kirazu means “beans” and Kirazu is also a Japanese restaurant in Soho. Soy sauce, Miso and Tofu (typical elements of Japanese cuisine) are all made from a bean, and Kirazu on their website explains how beans are healthy, low in calories, prevent illnesses hence Japanese people can stay so slim and live so long. The restaurant tries to embody this and their motto is “Kirazu, not a dish for special occasions, but as part of a healthy diet”.

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Flesh & Buns
41 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX
London
United Kingdom
GB

Tags: 

Flesh & Buns is a very publicized and blogged about restaurant and for a long time it has been on the top of the list of the restaurants I want to visit. I finally managed to go there with my boyfriend on a Friday night and we both loved it. Flesh & Buns is an Izakaya restaurant (Izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks, casual place for after work drinking) and owned by the same people that own Bone Daddies, a Japanese ramen restaurant in Soho and you have the same sort of  fun vibe in Flesh & Buns that you have in Bone Daddies (the menu has funny/ sexual implying themes, the bathroom has interesting posters).

Maija rated: 

4.00

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