Best Japanese eating in London
Sushi and sashimi, udon and izikaya: how to do Japan in London
Zuma remains party central for glam Japanese dining . Chef Rainer Becker was the very first to bring the idea of izakaya dining to London, opening Zuma in 2002.
It was, and still is, swish, glitzy and wildly popular.
New for January is their Shogatsu Tasting Menu – a New Year, immune boosting healthy menu centred around fish and vegetables. So there is a focus on dishes high in minerals, nutrients, and ginger.
Highlights include seared salmon with lime, shiso and soy and a light dish of grilled courgette with tarragon miso sauce.
Overall, the sashimi, sushi and rolls balance traditional and wacky fusion: Dynamite Spider (soft shell crab and chilli mayo), and Wagyu Gunkan (daikon wrapped beef tartare rolls with black truffle) sit alongside impeccable toro and sea urchin.
Much of the wow factor is down to high-class ingredients that haven’t been messed around with too much. Own-made silken tofu, presented in a cedar saké cup, is rich, creamy and light.
Spicy miso is indulgently enhanced with beautifully sweet lobster, and lemon sole with a tangy, ponzu sauce is wittily presnted in a curved bowl made from the skeleton of the fish.
Staff are super friendly – even the chefs behind the robata grill seem to be enjoying themselves and are happy to offer culinary explanation.
There is a sake sommelier to guide diners through a list of more than 40 choices.
Price: Shogatsu menu £55 per head