Japanese food is as delicious as it is versatile. It can be simple and understated one minute and then bold, boisterous, and unashamedly in your face the next. Japan has the second most Michelin stars out of any country on the planet and – although what a tyre manufacturer considers to be tasty is hardly an accurate gauge of a nation’s culinary output – it’s definitely a stat that speaks to Japan’s gastronomic dominance on a global scale. There’s a reason, after all, that films like Jiro Dreams Of Sushi have achieved cult-like status and you can now find disappointing petrol station sushi all over the world –– and it’s because Japanese food is something that has become synonymous with quality. The problem nowadays, thanks to an outpouring of imitators and pretenders, isn’t then simply finding Japanese food in your city but finding the places that actually do Japanese cuisine justice. Hint: it’s not the petrol stations selling sushi that are doing it right.
So, where are the best Japanese restaurants in London? Where are the izakayas where you can enter hungry and leave with your life forever altered? We enlisted the help of Angelo Sato, the chef-owner of Humble Chicken in Soho, to find out where he thinks you should be going to get a proper taste of Japanese cuisine in London. He’s written this excellent guide to the best Japanese restaurants in London but he was far too humble (pardon the pun) to include Humble Chicken in his list. Just trust us, however, that if it was us writing this guide, we’d have definitely thrown Sato’s joint onto the list. It’s an excellent restaurant that pushes the limit of what’s possible when it comes to Japanese cooking in the capital. Curating a Japanese-led 8-course tasting menu with European infections, Angelo has taken inspiration from his roots and combined it with what he’s picked up working in some of the greatest kitchens across Europe to create some truly special food. You should go there. And you should also go to this selection of the best Japanese restaurants in London, according to Angelo Sato.