This fabulous Japanese restaurant is tucked down an unlikely alley at the back of the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. Benches are crammed into the diminutive space like edamame beans in a pod, and customers sharpen their elbows while wielding their chopsticks in anticipation.
Tempura prawns are fluffy-light and crispy, and the yasai soba is almost enough to transport you to Tokyo. Other, bigger Japanese restaurants may lead the field in terms of popularity and market share, but Fujiyama wins hands down on quality, tastiness and value for money.
5 Vining Street, Brixton, London SW9 8QA
Nearest tube: Brixton
Not famed for its quality Japanese food, London has only a handful of good Japanese restaurants. If you want to step away from the pretentious or expensive, then try Brewer Street, just north of Exit 1 at Piccadilly station. Here you will find a number of Japanese restaurants and a Japanese supermarket. My personal recommendation would be for Ten Ten Tei (apparently one of the first Japanese restaurants in London). The small and cosy interior is supported by good quality food at reasonable prices. Main meals are around GBP10 and set menus from GBP15.
Exit one from Piccadilly station. 56 Brewer Street, London, W1F 9TJ
0871 332 28399
Forget Umu, Zuma et al; nary a Japanese customer waiter or chef in sight, for good reason. Real Japanese food in London is in the 'burbs where the Japanese live. If you insist on staying central go to Cocoro. You won't be able to people-watch but you will get a very reasonable, authentic and heartfelt meal surrounded by appreciative Japanese customers and polite, knowledgeable service by Japanese waitstaff.
31 Marylebone Lane London W1 U2NH;
tel: 020 7935 2931
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