Kiri

Kiri restaurant is a Japanese drinking den off Oxford street, which serves modern izakaya dishes.

Kiri restaurant

Being a place for drinking than then menu can’t be short of a selection of drinks. There is a range wines, beer, sake and shochu. For those who want non-alcoholic drinks there is also a range of soft drinks and Japanese tea.

Kiri restaurant

For food, there are a range of fish, meat and vegetable small plates. We ordered a selection of dishes on the menu at the time.

  • Buta kawa chips (£2) is pork scratching which is not for every one taste buds. They were very crunchy, a bit too much for my liking.
  • Gyu tataki (£15) is seared wagyu steak with ponzu. This was one of my favourite dish with really tender steak and served in a refreshing citrus ponzu sauce.
  • Tako no carpaccio (£4.50) is thinly sliced octopus served in a wasabi dressing
  • Agedashu tofu (£5) is a Japanese fried tofu which at Kiri is served in shiitake mushroom sauce. Using shiitake mushroom as the sauce compliment the tofu well. It was different to the usual agedashu tofu which is tend to be served in soya sauce.
  • Uzura-niku no norimaki age (£12) is deep-fried quail rolled in seaweed
  • Gindara misoyaki (£20) is black cod which is flavoured in miso. There is nothing better than the combination of cod and miso.
  • Hotate to ebi no gratin (£9.50) is creamy crab, scallop and prawn gratin.

Kiri also offered robata skewers on the menu and I got to try both of them:

  • Wagyu kushiyaki (£7.50 per skewer) is chunky Wagyu beef served with a black pepper sauce.
  • Getsuyo kushiyaki (£3.80 per skewer) is marinated rabbit meat.

Kiri restaurant

We also tried the dessert Kiri offered the evening we visited but it was not that exciting. But a meal is not complete will out some thing sweet to finish off.

Kiri restaurant

Kiri restaurant

Overall the food was not bad at Kiri but I felt some of the dishes were expensive. It is a nice place for a drink and having a light bite. But do not expect to walk out of the restaurant filling full without draining your cash dry, especially if you have a big appetite.

Kiri restaurant

(Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Kiri
22-23 Woodstock Street
W1C 2AR
London

http://kiri-london.com

Ginza Onakada

Ginza Onakada was previously known as Matsuri which is located in London St James. The restaurant has gone through a total transformation with a new name and a full renovation. It has moved away from the concept of teppenyaki to bring back traditional Japanese food.

The whole restaurant has been modernised with a sleek entrance. It is no longer focusing on teppenyaki but they have retained a small section that can seat around 4 people. Also there is a small sushi bar room where you can enjoy a sushi experience up close with the sushi chef.

We were seated in the main dining area where you can order from the a la carte that includes a range of sushi and robata.

Gina Onakada

We started our lunch with the Cornish crab meat chawan mushi (£12). This is a traditional savory custard flavoured with bonito soup. The taste reminded us of dobin mushi. A light clear soup that is served in a clay teapot which was available at previously known Matsuri and still is on the menu at Ginza Onakada.

The chawan sushi was beautifully steamed and arrived pipping hot at our table. 

Ginza Onakada

The sushi assortments comes in a choice of 8 pieces (£32) or 12 peices (£50). The 12 pieces worked out to be more expensive for each piece of nigiri as it came with more premium fishes. Our selection included one price of o-toro as well as one piece of seared Wagyu beef.

Each sushi was beautiful with good quality cuts including a lovely melt in your mouth o-toro. Even the Wagyu beef melt in your mouth which made it a good pairing as nigiri.

Ginza Onakada

This was follow by Inaniwa chilled udon with prawn and vegetable tempura, served with traditional dipping sauce (£28). The udon was a delight to have which was thinner and flatter than regular udon. It was cooked perfectly to a texture that was not too soft and still has that chewy texture. A dish that is refreshing which make it great for the warmer weather. 

Ginza Onakada

Ginza Onakada serves a selection of meat and seafood from the robata including Kobe beef (ranging from £130 – £145 depending on the cuts) and Japanese Wagyu beef (£71-£86 depending on the cuts). We opted for the Wagyu fillet beef (£86) which was expensive but it was really good. Each piece of beef just melt in your mouth and was truely good piece of Wagyu beef.

Ginza Onakada

So far every dish we had was impressive and each one was organised by the restaurant to come at the right time and in the right order.

However, I was slightly disappointed with dessert selection where there was no traditional Japanese dessert. The choices were more French inspired with the use of Japanese most known ingredients – matcha. Back in the days of Matsuri I would always looked forward to their Fireball ice cream. It is a shame that Ginza Onakada no longer on the menu although this is a dessert for teppenyaki.

Although dessert selection was not attractive we did try the chocolate fondue served with matcha ice cream mochi. I was expecting the chocolate fondue to have a melting centre. However, I am not sure if the restaurant had meant for it not to have a melting chocolate centre or it was over-cooked. 

Ginza Onakada

Overall it was a wonderful experience with impressive service. Apart from the dessert it was good food that was well executed. But dining at Ginza Onakada does come at a price which is not affordable to many of us.

I was there during the 50% off soft launch period and spent around £60 per person including service charge and green tea. This meant on full price we would had to pay around £120 per person. Even with the offer this meal I consider a special treat.

(Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Ginza Onakada
15 Bury Street,
London,
UK,
SW1Y 6AL

https://onodera-group.com/uk

Cafe Damoa (Bingsu – shaved ice dessert)

Cafe Damoa is a casual cafe located in Golders Green (north west London), that serves Korean and Japanese food. It is also a place for Bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert).

Cafe Domoa

For those who follow me will know what is bingsu (also known as bing) because it is actually not ice but milk that is turned in to snow that you can eat. You expect a light fluffy texture that goes creamy like ice cream when it melts in you mouth.

Domoa offers a variety of bingsu and in two sizes – small and large. Options of flavours includes Red bean, Strawberry, Blueberry (£7.90/£12.50), Oreo…etc

The Matcha (£8.90/£12.90) bingsu comes with red beans, mochi, corn flakes and a scoop of matcha ice cream. If you do not want a particular toppings the cafe is happy to exclude them or serve them separately.

Cafe Domoa

The Mango (£7.90/£12.50) bingsu is my current favourite at Damoa. The shaved ice is made up of fresh mango pieces, a scoop of mango ice cream and sprinkled with mango sauce.

When you compare the bingsu with the one at Shibuya, then Shibuya bingsu lead. That is why they are known for their bingsu in London.

I felt that Damoa’s matcha bingsu lacked green tea flavour. It was just the matcha ice cream that had the green tea flavour. May be they could had sprinkle matcha powder over the shaved ice. However, Damoa’s mango bingsu was delicious and the flavour was better than the mango bingu I have had at Shibuya.

Cafe Domoa

As well as bingsu for dessert the cafe also serves waffles which can be ordered on its own or as a set which come with coffee or bubble tea. Yes you heard it! Damoa also sell Bubble Tea (£3.40) with a choice of topping (tapioca pearls and popping boba).

Cafe Domoa

Damoa does not only serve drinks and dessert. They also offer a range of savoury dish such as sushi, noodle soup and bibimba dupbap (rice and salad). I have not yet had the chance to try their savoury dishes to be able to share with you.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and price correct at the time of visit)

Cafe Damoa
32 Golders Green Road,
London,
NW11 8LL,
UK

https://en-gb.facebook.com/Cafe-Damoa-170800179961870/

DOZO Soho

Dozo is a Japanese restaurant with two branches in London and one of these is located in Soho. The restaurant serves a range of sushi including morden sushi maki rolls that are known as Dozo rolls.

We tried the Tiger Maki (8 pieces) – tempura prawn, tobiko, cucumber, avocado & lettuce (£13.80).

Dozo Soho

My favourite is the Volcano Maki (8 p pieces) – eel, leeks, bonito flakes, eel sauce, avocado & mayonnaise (£15.80). Combination of all the different flavours with Japanese mayonnaise makes a sauce that is addicting.

Dozo Soho

As well as sushi the restaurant also offers a selection of noodle and rice. We tried their Curry Tori Don deep-fried chicken cutlet in breadcrumbs with Japanese curry sauce on rice (£8.80). I felt the curry sauce was on the watery side. Compared to the sushi the presentation of this dish was lacking.

Dozo Soho

Overall sushi was better than their non-sushi dishes and it will be the Dozo rolls that you will want to order when you visit.

Dozo Soho can be a popular place and I do advise that you make a reservation. We did turn up and managed to get a table for three people with no wait. However we only had the table for an hour and half.

Dozo Soho
32 Old Compton Street,
Soho,
London,
W1D 4TP,
UK

http://www.dozosushi.co.uk

Café&Meal MUJI (Lee Theatre Plaza), Hong Kong

Each time when I am in Hong Kong, I can never find the oppotunity to try Muji’s cafe. But as we were shopping in Muji and had time before dinner we decided to stop by for a tea break.

Muji’s cafe concept is to use seasonal ingredients to produce healthy deli. It indeed look healthy when I was looking through what they serve.

Muji Cafe

I wanted to try their deli set which includes rice and drink, but as we were having dinner shortly I had to give it a miss. Instead we ordered a slice of Green Tea cheesecake which I thought was bland in taste. The green tea was not really strong in flavour which I was expecting.

However, this cheesecake does not discourage me from wanting to return and try their deli set.

Muji Cafe

The cafe is very Muji style with all the cutlery, cups and teapot being Muji product, which you can buy at the store.

(Not Sponsored. Menu correct at the time of dining)

Café&Meal MUJI (Lee Theatre Plaza)
3/F Lee Theatre Plaza,
99 Percival Street,
Causeway Bay

(銅鑼灣波斯富街99號利舞臺廣場3樓)

Mochi Cafe 萬豚屋, Hong Kong

Mochi Cafe is located in Tsim Sha Tsui and specialise in eating Udon soup that is served in a hot stone bowl.

You place your order by marking it on an order form and handing it to the staff. The order form is written in Chinese. So if you don’t know how to read Chinese characters then you probably want to take a local with you who can.

There are variety of udon which the menu is titled as handmade udon. I ordered their black sesame pork udon soup, where the pork chop is coated in a black sesame instead of a normal batter coating. The pork chop was tender with a slight crispy outside with the taste of black sesame.

It was good that the pork came separate from the udon soup, otherwise it would had been a soggy and over-cooked pork chop. The udon soup itself was piping hot and the broth was full of flavour.

萬豚屋 Mochi Cafe

(Not Sponsored. Menu correct at the time of dining)

Mochi Cafe 萬豚屋
G/F, 19-23 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
尖沙咀赫德道19-23號地舖

Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar is located in the heart of Covent Garden and is about a 1 minute walk from Leicester  Square tube station. The restaurant has been brought to us by the same team behind Murukami which is their sushi restaurant located next door.

The restaurant feels casual and has a modern design of the use of wood. Where it is located it could make this a suitable place for a quick bite if you heading to any of the theatres around the area.

As named Gyoza Bar, you would had expect to see a large selection of gyoza. But when I first glanced at the menu the ramen selection was actually larger than the gyoza. To me this was really a ramen bar.

Gyoza Bar

There are five different gyoza to select on the menu. Each one you can choose to have them deep-fried, pan-fried or steamed. We tried the Ebi Dangojiru (£9.50) which is a prawn gyoza that is served in a soy based broth. The pastry was thin which is what you would expect from a Japanese gyoza, but I thought the dish lacked flavour.

Gyoza Bar

Pork Gyoza yakimono (£7.50) is pan-fried gyoza served with two different dipping – garlic vinegar and umami soy.

Gyoza Bar

As well as the Japanese style gyoza under the small plates you will find the Samosa wrap (£8.50) which is another dumpling dish. This is deep-fried pork dumplings which you wrapped in lettuce with avocado, tomato salsa and spicy mayo. I thought this was refreshing approach to eating dumpling and I felt it worked.

Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar

We tried the bao on the menu which are all served with lenkon chips (lotus root). These are like the Taiwanese/Japanese bao which has been popular in London these days.

Chicken katsu bun was breaded chicken in bun served with lettuce and tonkatsu bun. I found this breaded chicken dry and could not remember tasting any sauce. The char siu bun is char siu pork in bun served with lettuce and pickled jalapeno. Both steamed bun texture was not soft enough compared to London’s specialised bao shops. The only thing I liked about both the bun dish was the lenkon chips.

Gyoza Bar

The ramen noodle soup can not match place like Kanada-Ya, Ippudo or Muga. At Gyoza Bar all noodle soup comes in a choice of soy or miso broth. The miso broth was disappointing as the miso was not mixed in properly. So when I tasted the broth on the right side it tasted like bamboo or cane water. It was not until I got to the right side of the bowl that this was where I found the miso flavour.

Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar

We completed the meal with the Apple cinnamon dumpling with vanilla ice-cream (£4.50). It was a good concept but I found the filling was dry. It does not compare with a McDonald’s apple pie. Yes, how could I compare with McDonald but its true.

Gyoza Bar

In my view that if this is a gyoza bar then there needs to be a larger variety of gyoza or dumplings dishes. There are some good dumpling ideas on the menu and I feel that it should be the focus point. But the ramen section takes most of the menu and this seems to take the main focus.

If you want a traditional Japanese ramen then this is not the place, and I would suggest heading to Muga ramen, Kanada-Ya, Ippudo or even Shoryu. However, if you want gyoza then this could be a place to consider.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)

Gyoza Bar
63-66 St Martins Lane,
WC2N 4JS,
London

http://gyozabar.uk