If the Japan Centre chooses a neighbourhood in which to set up shop, you’re pretty much guaranteed that it’s going to be a good area for Japanese food, and that’s exactly what’s happened in Covent Garden. These are the best places to get sushi and a host of other Japanese treats.
Okonomiyaki is the speciality at Abeno Too, the sister site to Bloomsbury’s Abeno, and they do a real authentic version of the Osakan street food as one of the restaurant’s founders hails from the city. You can add everything from salmon and squid to cheese and kimchi to the cabbage, egg and batter base mix, with sashimi, gyoza, tofu, natto and rice all available to have on the side. The fact that you get to watch the okonomiyaki being made only makes it better.
Kulu Kulu Sushi may be basic but it’s great for a speedy meal that leaves you satisfied. The conveyer belt whisks a range of maki rolls, sashimi, tempura and teriyaki around the restaurant so you can choose, eat and pay in swift time. They serve Asahi beer but the free and unlimited green tea also proves a popular choice.
Sticks n Sushi has been going strong for two decades in its native Denmark and now has four outposts in London, including one in Covent Garden. The menu is centred on yakitori and sushi (hence the name) and there are loads of nigiri, gunkan and maki to choose from, including more inventive creations like the Black Cod Daikon roll (black cod, avocado, red onion, cream cheese, asparagus and daikon) and the Hell’s Kitchen roll (tempura shrimp, avocado, tuna and barbecue sauce). It all looks great on their slick, photo-heavy menu so prepare to face a difficult choice!
Though Inamo is a pan-Asian restaurant there is a dedicated sushi section on the menu, which though small does cover the classics. California rolls, dragon rolls, salmon maki and tuna sashimi are all there so you can pair your sushi with everything from Korean wings to Thai red curry to Chinese char sui buns. Not only can you pick and mix between cuisines, the interactive ordering system and table projections make this a fun place to eat.
After selling their sushi from a stall at Greenwich Market in 2006, Tobiko has grown to a permanent, although still largely takeaway, spot on Garrick Street. Their sushi has a reputation for being amongst the freshest in town and it’s very reasonable price-wise too, and they’ve also expanded the menu to include donburi should you be in the mood for something hot.
Where better to go for Japanese food than the Japan Centre? Though it’s been up and running since 1976, the Japan Centre recently underwent a big renovation, including the opening of a new flagship food hall, complete with dedicated tea, miso and sake spaces. Not only can you dine in, choosing from sushi, sashimi, bento, noodles and donburi, but you can pick up specialist ingredients and equipment for your use at home.