Chef Tim Anderson is a Masterchef winner and owns Nanban in London.

Tim Anderson’s Top 5 Japanese Restaurants in London

Chef Tim Anderson, Masterchef winner and owner of Nanban in Brixton, shares his Top 5 Japanese restaurants in London.


Asakusa. Tim says, ‘This is probably the London Japanese restaurant that best captures the vibe of a proper izakaya like you’d find in Japan. The food is mainly Japanese classics, all done really well, but if you check the specials board you can often find some more unusual stuff too, like monkfish liver with ponzu. The sake and shochu are great, and great value, as well.’

Asakusa, 265 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BA

Japanese food at Umu in London.

Umu. Tim says, ‘Umu is undeniably expensive, but the experience is absolutely worth every penny. Everything there is beautiful, but the fish, in particular, is impeccably sourced and prepared.’

Umu, 14–16 Bruton Place, W1J 6LX

Japanese food at Kanada-Ya in London.

Kanada-Ya. Tim says, ‘I like most of the ramen shops that have opened in the past five years or so, but Kanada-Ya is the one to beat, I reckon. Every element in the bowl is basically perfect, and they’re also one of the few ramen joints doing tori paitan – like the chicken version of tonkotsu, and one of my favourite types of ramen.’

Kanada-Ya, 64 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LE; 3 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DL

Japanese food at Shackfuyu in London.

Shackfuyu. Time says, ‘Shackfuyu does some seriously delicious Japanese food, with a lot of creativity and a great sense of fun. Their version of miso aubergine is awesome, and I love that they had the balls to serve straight-up mac and cheese, which is really in keeping with the Izakaya spirit: if it’s delicious and goes well with alcohol, it’s fair game.’

Shackfuyu, 14A Old Compton Street, W1D 4TJ

Japanese food at Kitcho in London.

Kitcho. Tim says, ‘Everything I’ve had from Kitcho is good, but the reason it makes my list is one standout dish: the foie gras donburi. The fat from the foie dribbles down to coat the rice, along with a perfect sweet soy sauce and little jewels of sautéed onion and mushroom. It’s one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten this year.’

Kitcho, 57 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8LP

Japanese food at Shofoodoh in London.

Honourable mention…

Shofoodoh. Tim says, ‘Shofoodoh would have easily been in my top five, but their long residency at Pacific Social Club is coming to an end so Chef Fumio can go do his thing in Australia. This makes me genuinely sad, because he is a real griddle wizard and his Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is one of my favourite dishes in London – not to mention his fabulous small plates. We’ll miss you, Fumio!’