I have been looking for good Japanese food in London since I moved here. I had found some places I liked, such as Yashin (though they don’t allow soy as they believe their food doesn’t need it), and Dinings, but they both serve Japanese food with a twist. I prefer traditional, no frills Japanese where they focus on quality of fish as opposed to ambiance or making innovative and fancy sushi. After two years, Ikeda filled the void!
The ambiance is simple and plain, but the food is delicious. They also buy their fish from the same supplier as Araki London and more importantly, they don’t charge £300 for the set menu (Araki’s price, pre beverages).
What we ate:
Boiled spinach with homemade sesame dressing: this is one of my favourite Japanese dishes but sometimes it can be bland and uninteresting. This version was ideal. Not too much sesame dressing but enough, and very balanced.
Cold Tofu served with soy sauce & grated ginger: I still dream of the cold tofu at Raku in Las Vegas and I was never able to find any cold tofu that came even close. The Raku tofu is soft, which is my preference and this was medium, hard and a bit bland.
I prefer their Agedashi Tofu, which is the traditional deep fried Tofu with broth sauce. It was bubbling as it got to the table and the broth was fragrant, had a great umami depth and there were crunchy bits floating around that enabled me to eat the broth with a spoon once the tofu was gone. So good!
Nigiri A – Chef’s selection, the finest fish of the day: Supreme assortment from the finest fish of the day: perfectly small nigiri that can be eaten in one bite, and the fish was not too thick or thin. The eel melted in my mouth and all the fish were divine. We also got as the roll of the day, a salmon avocado, which was rolled in white sesame seeds. Once again, perfection.
Sashimi sampler: just like the nigiri, skilfully sliced.
Ken, the manager brought us a sea bass carpaccio special as my friend is there often. They were almost transparent slices, beautifully presented with some paper thin radishes and konbu. Soooooooo good.
Miso aubergine: half of an aubergine baked and slathered in dark miso and sesame seeds. Extremely delicious and sweet to the limit. We couldn’t stop eating it and almost considered getting a second serving for our dessert!
Green tea and vanilla ice cream with red bean paste: creamy, tasty ice cream and yummy red bean paste (maybe my first time ever using yummy and red bean paste in the same sentence….).
In sum: go if you want tasty Japanese food with no frills or ambiance. Just simple, perfectly executed Japanese food. Prices are not low. The Sushi and Sashimi chef’s samplers are £40-£50 but you pay for the quality!
30 Brook St, London W1K 5DJ
+4420 7629 2730