A sunny lunch at Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana is a modern Japanese restaurant in St James, located on the first floor of the Economist Building, a grey modern block flanking Economist Plaza. It’s an offshoot of Hakkasan, a modern Chinese restaurant which is also responsible for dim sum restaurant Yauatcha. So the question is, can a restaurant run by a Chinese group be authentically Japanese? Continue reading

Kirazu Japanese Restaurant

Kirazu Japanese Restaurant

The search for good authentic Japanese food in London is never ending, but last night I found a place that goes right to the top of my list. It’s Kirazu, a tiny restaurant on Rupert St, just off Shaftesbury Avenue and opposite the stage door of the Gielgud Theatre. It bills itself as specialising in ‘Japanese tapas and takeaway’. So what made me like it so much? Continue reading

Sushi at Home Book Launch

Sushi at HomeSushi is getting to be so popular in London now, it’s hard to believe there was a time when we all thought eating raw fish was weird. And plenty of people are making sushi themselves, which makes the publication of Yuki Gomi’s new cookbook, Sushi at Home, very timely. I don’t do much cooking myself but if you do, this is the book for you. Continue reading

Finding God in Vegetables – Shojin Cuisine

shojin cuisineFor someone who has been through three years of strict training in the art of shojin cuisine at a Zen Buddhist temple in Otsu, near Kyoto, Toshio Tanahashi is surprisingly warm and twinkly. And a bit of a showman too, if the lecture and demonstration on shojin cuisine I went to, organised by the Japan Society, is anything to go by. Continue reading

Learn perfect sushi at Sozai Cooking School

Sushi at Sozai Cooking SchoolI’d better start with a confession – I’m the world’s worst cook. But I like to eat, especially at restaurants where you can get real Japanese food, so I was already a fan of So Japanese Restaurant when I got an invitation to the opening party for their new cookery school, Sozai. I signed up right away, lured not so much by the cookery demonstration, more by the thought of eating the results afterwards. Continue reading

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen at Shoryu

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen at ShoryuChristmas and New Year are over, it’s time to go back to work, and you feel like you never want to see another plate of turkey or a mince pie again. Or at least not until next year. So what you gonna eat? Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, that’s what. Continue reading

An exclusive visit to Fortnum & Mason with the Japan Society


Go into Fortnum & Mason’s tea department and listen. What do you hear all around you? Japanese voices, that’s what. Japanese people love English tea and they especially love Fortnum’s English tea. Oh, and whisky too.

So it’s not surprising that the Japan Society tour included a visit to the tea department and a whisky tasting as well as what was the highlight for me, a chance to go up on the roof and see where the Fortnum’s bees live. Continue reading