Japanese food is big in London and we’re spoiled for choice with restaurants to choose from. Robabta, located on busy Old Compton Street in Soho, specialises in Japanese grilled charcoal cooking. It’s small and slightly cramped with the tables tightly packed together, but it works and this is what I imagine edgy restaurants in Tokyo…


It’s National Vegetarian Week! To make the most of this, I went to try the veggie set menu at Shoryu in Covent Garden. The set menu was designed specifically for National Vegetarian Week and would make a popular permanent feature. The set menu is £21 and a great way to try a selection of Shoryu’s…

Gyoza Bar

I used the TimeOut offer at Gyoza Bar which was great value for £16. This included a bao board and a cocktail. Gyoza Bar opened recently in Covent Garden after its success in other foodie cities across the globe. Small restaurant, minimalist décor and good service. As the name suggests, the dumplings are the star feature here so I was quite surprised that the selection of other dishes, such as the ramen noodle soups, was greater than the gyoza. A good choice of veggie friendly dishes. I really enjoyed the bao bun and dumplings but I was disappointed with the ramen noodle soup.

Rating: 6/10
Location: 63-66 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden. Closest stations: Leicester Square and Covent Garden
Perfect for: Lunch or dinner

Chotto Matte

The Chotto Matte experience was one of a kind due to my unfamiliarity with Peruvian-Nikkei cuisine. The extensive and exotic menu hosts a range of fresh flavours, including sweet and sour, making it appealing to most palettes. Picturesque food, decent service and vibrant artistic decor. I’m glad I tried another one of Kurt Zdesar‘s hotspots but I won’t be eagerly running back for the food. I felt it was fairly limited for a vegetarian in terms of flavours and options. I should add my friend very much enjoyed the meat and fish dishes.

Reservations: Online via OpenTable. Card details may be requested later to confirm the booking.
Location: Soho. Closest stations: Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road
Perfect for: A special occasion, date night, a fancy dinner with friends/family
Price: Approximately £50 per person
Rating: 6/10


A fun sophisticated dining experience with a broad selection of delicious contemporary Japanese dishes. Amazing service and very accommodating to vegetarians if substitutes are required for the brunch menu. The han setto weekend brunch at Roka Aldwych (usually £39.00 or £55.00 with unlimited wine) is a great way to taste a variety of the food the restaurant has to offer. Arrive hungry! The other Roka restaurants offer different brunch menus and the tasting menus are also a great way to try a selection of dishes.

Reservations: It’s possible to reserve a table for up to 5 guests online or you can call/email the restaurant directly. I emailed the restaurant to book a table.
Locations: Aldwych, Canary Wharf, Charlotte Street, Mayfair.
Perfect for: A special lunch/dinner with friends or family, date night.
Rating: 8/10


A fun restaurant to try with a unique menu of chic food that looks like it should be on a runway. Excellent service. Limited vegetarian options but I was happy with what I had in terms of taste and presentation.
Reservations: We phoned directly to book. You can also book online via bookatable.
Location: Cross Rail – Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Wimbledon, Greenwich.
Perfect for: A treat or special occasion, date night, dinner with friends/family.
Rating: 7/10