No48 [Dining] Eat out or stay home? 1/2

Delivering soba noodles – the second owner of Mitaka Sunaba (around 1950) and a worker at Kirakuan(around 1955). They say that people delivered soba and udon noodles in Japan as early as the Edo period started in 1603. Food delivery, called demae in Japanese, has been such an important part of[...]

No48 [Cooking] Clear soup with clams

Clear soup with clams The multiple layers of patterning on fresh clams are simply mesmerizing to the eye. Whenever I find good clams I cannot help but buy at least a handful. I can immediately think of half a dozen easy clam recipes, but one of my favourite is clear clam soup. Super easy and using a[...]

No48 [Tradition] Momo no sekku

Special doll called hina ningyo to celebrate Momo no sekku, along with chirashi-zushi. There are special days set aside in Japan to wish health and growth for children, and the 3rd of March, known as “Momo no sekku” is dedicated to girls. Japan is such a male-oriented society, and it is not alwa[...]

No47 [Cooking] Mouli and carrot salad

Mouli and carrot salad For a traditional Japanese housewife there is no such thing as the post-Christmas blues, as she will be busy shopping, preparing and cooking OSECHI RYORI, the name given to the multi coloured celebratory dishes served only at the New Year. OSECHI RYORI is cooked food and featu[...]

No47 [Pottery] Mashiko-yaki

The pottery village of Mashiko was the most important site of the mingei folk art movement of the early 20th century. although they do not have the centuries of history behind them that other Japanese pottery centres do, today’s makers of mashiko-yaki adhere to one of the most powerful aesthet[...]

No46 [Cooking] Braised pork in soy sauce

Braised pork in soy sauce This juicy and succulent pork recipe makes you want more and more. If you can get a nice cut of pork belly with layers of wobbly fat, you are half way to success already. During the initial stage of cooking the pork is braised in ginger water, so the excess fat is washed ou[...]
Kyoko, green tea

No46 [Tea] Less is more

There is more to the deep-rooted popularity of ryokucha drinks than just their health benefits. It was around 30 years ago, in 1985, when the ryokucha green tea often drunk at home in Japan was first sold in cans. At first there was apparently a backlash and the drink struggled, with people wonderin[...]

No46 [Tableware] Chopsticks

It is unknown when exactly chopsticks arrived in japan, but it is clear that by the 8th century, they had become the irreplaceable tool for the japanese consuming their food. chopsticks are a highly efficient tableware staple. You can pick food up, peel away parts of it – such as fish skin, as[...]
Edo Kiriko

No45 [Craft] Tokyo Teshigoto

Tokyo Teshigoto is a project showcasing sophisticated handworks – “teshigoto” – of top craftsmen in Tokyo. We would like to introduce their range of tableware, including historically renowned edo Kiriko from eight companies, artisanal knives, barrels handmade from cypress timber that act as [...]
temari sushi, sushi, sozai cooking

No45 [Cooking] Temari sushi

Temari sushi Sushi’s popularity exponentially increased over the last few years. It is now impossible to walk for a mile in central London without bumping into Itsu or Wasabi, while Waitrose is pulling a lot of sushi fans with their brand new fresh sushi counter. Sushi is definitely trending and i[...]
Uji tea, Kinrin, Marukyu Koyamaen

No45 [Tea] Macha from Uji, Kyoto

The matcha powdered tea of the Uji region has been closely tied to the tea ceremony from long ago. The Uji region is known throughout Japan as one of the country’s finest tea growing regions. The father of tea making in this region was the monk Myoe, who is said to have cultivated the plant in the[...]

No44 [Cooking] Hojicha muffin with chestnuts and walnuts

I have always loved hojicha, the rich, toasted brother to green tea. While most green teas are steamed, hojicha is slowly roasted until the tea leaves turn brown. Slightly smoky and mildly sweet, hojicha has much less caffeine in it than regular green tea. It’s the kind of tea you can happily drin[...]

No44 [Ceramic] Artisans of Hagi, wagumi

Among the many styles of japanese ceramics, Hagi-yaki is known for its association with tea. Influenced by the decorum of the tea ceremony emerging in the late 16th century, the first Hagi kilns were created in 1604. The tea masters of that period preferred simple drinking vessels that reflected nat[...]

No44 [Tea] “Buddha” Sweet Herb Tea

How can something this sweet have zero calories? What is this mysterious healthy tea that is 200 times sweeter than sugar? Sweet herb teas are also sometimes known as “Buddha teas”. The base ingredient is the leaf of a particular Asian hydrangea called the jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), wh[...]

No43 [Cooking] Minced chicken and potato in crispy tofu

  Minced chicken and potato in crispy tofu I acquired the original version of this recipe from my Japanese friend who is a fabulous cook and frequently entertains people in her London home. She uses taro potatoes, but these can be hard to find, so I replaced it with the humble British spud and [...]

No43 [Restaurants] Restaurants in London that serve Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is not yet popular enough in London for it to be advertised as the main draw for a restaurant. However, it plays a great supporting role to the main cuisine in several Japanese eateries, such as sushi restaurants, izakaya and ramen places. The style in which the tonkatsu is served varies gr[...]

No43 [Tea] Karigane, high quality stem tea

Teas made using the stems left over after the leaves have been taken from a tea plant to make sencha are known as “kukicha” (lit: “stem tea”), and the especially high quality varieties, made from the stalks of premium teas such as gyokuro, are referred to as “karigane”. This name literal[...]

No42 [Cooking] Lotus Root Chips with soy sauce and mayonnaise dip

  Lotus Root Chips with soy sauce and mayonnaise dip I used to order this dish every time I saw it on a Japanese restaurant menu. Then I realised I could also make it really easily at home. In Japan, particularly in Izakaya style restaurants, it is not the custom to order the food all at once. [...]

No42 [Restaurant] Sushi at a ramen bar? Whatever next!?

Ramen culture now has firm roots in London, but what is the next step when ramen alone won’t cut it? The culture of eating out in Japan is a culture of specialised restaurants and individual dishes that each have their own character. This goes for sushi, soba, udon, tempura and eel dishes… and o[...]

No42 [Tea] Shincha o-hashiri, the first of the year’s tea crop

We are now in the season when the year’s first tea crops come in! With Japan being a narrow island running from north to south, the tea crops become ready for harvesting starting with the warmer regions of Kyushu in the south and gradually working up the country. The highest grade leaves of the ne[...]

No41 [Cooking] Pickled cherry blossom rice with garden peas and takana

Pickled cherry blossom rice with garden peas and takana Every spring when cherry tree starts blossoming my heart is filled with excitement with anticipation for the double flowered cherry blossoms. Some cherry trees bear flowers that has more than 5 petals, some with 100, covering the tree with mass[...]

No41 [Tea] Powdered green tea

Ikeda’s quality ryokucha proves that not all powdered green tea is the same. In recent years, powdered ryokucha green tea has been highly valued for its ability to be enjoyed as a casual drink, hot or cold. Although both powdered green teas, powdered ryokucha is quite different from the fine grain[...]

No41 [Restaurant] 20 Years of Revolving Sushi in the UK

  YO! Sushi first appeared in 1997, in London’s Soho, and went on to become the pioneer of conveyor sushi in the west. The dining entertainment that is YO! Sushi was born in London, brought into being by British entrepreneur Simon Woodruff. The original concept of sushi rolls and nigiri going[...]

No40 [Sweet] The season for sweets

Japanese sweets add colour to the Japanese lifestyle, in harmony with the rhythm of the changing seasons. Let’s take a look at what Minamoto Kicchoan have created with the bounty of seasonal produce. The word “shun” in the Japanese language, written with the Chinese character “旬” is ofte[...]

No40 [Tea] The King of Japanese Teas

The “gyokuro” blend, first created by tea master Yamamoto Kahei from the town of uji in the Kyoto area, is recognized as the highest value blend of all green teas. The name literally means “balls of dew” and comes from how the steamed tea leaves would form rounded balls during the traditiona[...]

No39 [Cooking] Roasted salmon with miso

    Roasted salmon with miso This is probably the easiest and most delicious Japanese salmon recipe you will ever come across. It is versatile and would work very well with any oily fish, such as mackerel or black cod. The primary ingredients used to make the miso are soy beans, salt and a[...]

No39 [Taste] The magic of plums

The secret to Japanese cuisine is often found in its traditional ingredients. Ume (plums) are a case in point. If there was a food that could keep you from falling ill, wouldn’t you want to have some in your home? In Japan, such items are usually based on plums, known in Japanese as “ume”. Thi[...]

No39 [Tea] Sumire”, green, organic, eco-farmed and deep-steamed

The regular people of Japan started drinking sencha in the edo era (1603 -1868), when the more refined powdered matcha was reserved for the lordly Daimyo class. There are many varieties produced, but deep-steamed blends with a deep flavour have come to be highly valued. You can tell the quality of a[...]

No38 [Restaurant] For the love of fusion

Since it opened last September, Nanban has offered a unique culinary experience to awaken all our senses. Nanban is what the Japanese called the “southern barbarians”, westerners who came to the archipelago in the 16th century looking for the treasures that Marco Polo told them could be found th[...]

No38 [Review] Genmai Hojicha the japanese tea

* We would like to apologize for the type mistake in the printed version. The correct spelling is “hojicha” not “hoijicha” Genmai Hojicha (Roasted green tea made with brown rice) In the cold of winter it is a wonderful feeling to enjoy that welcome relief from a warm and deli[...]

No38 [Cooking] Sharon fruit, spinach and tofu

Sharon fruit, spinach and tofu   This is one of my favourite dinner party dishes for anyone who likes healthy eating. I recently demonstrated this dish in Selfridges for the Taste of Japan event and everyone loved it. This particular style of dressing with tofu is called ‘shira-ae’, and inv[...]

No37 [Traditional] The day of mankind and seven herb rice porridge

The Japanese round off the excesses of the New Year period with seven seasonal herbs, a tradition dating back over 700 years. Over the last twelve months we have run features introducing the five major seasonal festivals of Japan, traditional celebrations to mark the changing of the seasons and pray[...]

No37 [Cooking] Ginger Pork

  Ginger Pork My mother used to cook this dish and I loved it. It is a popular dish served in set-menu lunches around Japanese business districts, as well as home cooking fare, and thus a nostalgic comfort food for many. Pork belly is a relatively cheap cut, but when cooked properly they are so[...]

No37 [Drinking] Extremely natural and gentle

It’s finally december – ’tis the season to be jolly so they say! In this month’s column I would like to introduce the very special “Tentaka organic junmai” from otawara city in Tochigi prefecture. well, what is organic sake then? You may have seen sake made with o[...]

No36 [Traditional] Hearty treats for the end of the year

December sees the winter solstice, New Year’s Eve and seeing in the New Year itself In December, the people of Japan are traditionally very busy preparing for the end of the year and the days get shorter and shorter, seeming to go by in no time at all. As a result, this time of year came to be ref[...]

No36 [Drinking] Sparkling and lively

It’s november and this month I would like to introduce a fine brew called “Hakurosuishu Junmai Daiginjo” from Tsuruoka city, Yamagata prefecture. Koji mould is one of the most important ingredients for sake making. In this particular brewery all the sake above Junmai grade are brew[...]

No36 [Cooking] Japanese Chicken Curry with Rice

  Japanese Chicken Curry with Rice Japanese curry is sweet and mildly spicy, full of flavour and just the right intensity. Of course you can make curry from scratch, but Japanese curry is usually made with a pre-prepared rue that is widely available to buy in UK. In Japan, every household has t[...]

No35 [Traditional] Autumn leaves and celebrations of childhood

November sees the people of Japan searching out autumn leaves and celebrating three big milestones of childhood. November is the time of year to enjoy autumn leaves turned golden yellow and fiery red. The “koyo gari” or “autumn leaf hunt” is one of Japan’s classic seasonal leisure pastimes[...]

No35 [Cooking] Chilli Pork with Green Pepper and Konnyaku

  Chilli Pork with Green Pepper and Konnyaku If you are looking for something different, why not try konnyaku? This Japanese superfood is made from the pounded roots of a yam-like plant known by many names, including “devils tongue”. The jelly-like potato cake has extremely few calories and[...]

No34 [Traditional] Chrysanthemum feasts

October sees many people in Japan pinning their hopes for a long and hale life on the delicate blossoms of the chrysanthemum. The last of the five major festivals in the Japanese calendar is choyou no sekku, otherwise known as the Chrysanthemum Festival. In the modern calendar it falls during Octobe[...]

No34 [Review] “Stella” Junmai Daiginjo

It’s finally September and this month I would like to introduce “stella Junmai Daiginjo” from a new sake brewery situated in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture. Traditionally, sake breweries are usually founded by men, so this particular brand is very special in that it was created by a lady nam[...]

No33 [Restaurant] Ramen, a very tasty bite at Muga

Ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen, ramen. Five choices of soup make for a tasty trip to Muga. The latest arrival on the growing London nooble bar scene is Muga. Situated in Panton Street, right by the Comedy Theatre and just off the Haymarket it is very well placed to cater for business-lunchers, tourists [...]

No33 [Cooking] Chicken and Bamboo Shoots with Soy Sauce and Ginger

  Chicken and Bamboo Shoots with Soy Sauce and Ginger Lovely hot or cold, it’s a one-pot dish very simple to make. The combination of ginger and soy sauce is such an oriental delight. Don’t be intimidated by the unusual ingredients, they are delicious and you can find bamboo shoots in a tin[...]

No32 [Eating] Midsummer day of the ox

Midsummer day of the ox July: “For today is the midsummer day of the ox!” The beginning of July marks the changing of the seasons, and in particular the holding of the Tanabata festival, one of the five major traditional festival days in Japan. On Tanabata people will write their hopes a[...]

No32 [Drinking] Sparkling and lively

It’s June, and the atmosphere of early summer is finally approaching, as blue skies fill our days with extended sunshine. It is a season to celebrate, celebrating graduation, the end of the school year, or simply just to celebrate the past year’s hard work. To accompany all of your well [...]

No32 [Cooking] Soba Salad with Asparagus and Grated Breakfast Radish

  Soba Salad with Asparagus and Grated Breakfast Radish Soba noodles are traditional Japanese noodle made with buckwheat flour, and are widely considered a super-foods for their health benefits. In Japan, soba is normally eaten hot in soy sauce broth or cold with a dipping sauce on the side, bu[...]

No31 [Traditional] June is “Minazuki”

June: A tasty snack to help get through Japan’s offensive rainy season Once the bright and pleasant sunny weather of May has passed, the humidity shoots up across Japan and makes for a muggy June. An old name for the month of June is “munazuki”, which literally means “the wat[...]

No31 [Review] It’s a woody flavour

It’s May! Finally, a time for relaxing and soaking up some sun with family and friends. Opportunities to enjoy food, drink and company outside have increased and I’m certain that BBQ’s and picnics will soon be on everyone’s minds. For that reason, this month’s sake reco[...]

No31 [Cooking] Asparagus Rolls with Mayonnaise and Japanese Seven-Spice

  Asparagus Rolls with Mayonnaise and Japanese Seven-Spice May is the season for English asparagus. I often pick my own in the local PYO and steam them as soon as I get home. Fresh asparagus is so juicy and green, and it’s perfect for sushi rolls. Japanese seven-spice is a popular blend of ch[...]

No30 [Traditional] Tango-no-sekku (children’s Day)

Tango-no-sekku (children’s Day) We celebrate ‘Tango-no-sekku’, a day dedicated to the health and happiness of all children. May the 5th is a day called ‘Tango-no sekku’, commonly referred to as ‘Kodomo-no-hi’ (Children’s Day). It is a festive day to wish h[...]

No29 [Eating] Hanami

Hanami April means Hanami, a festival more compelling than a beautiful blossom… The cherry blossoms that spring into bloom around the start of April, and then shed their flowers just as suddenly in a snowstorm of petals, are the most beloved flowers in Japan. The spring festival known as hanami is[...]

No29 [Drinking] Ginjo – unlike that of many others

Ginjo – unlike that of many others At long last the cold nights have finally ended and we are trasitioning into spring. With the change of the season, I would like recommend an appropriate sake to accompany the brighter days. In this month’s column I would like to showcase a popular fruity [...]

No29 [Cooking] Japanese Tomato Salad

                  Japanese Tomato Salad Fancy making an extremely simple but utterly delicious Japanese salad dressing? I love this dressing so much that I always make a lot and keep a bottle in the fridge. The intense aroma of soy sauce, rice vinegar and[...]

No27 [Cooking] Gyoza with pork, prawn and chives

                  Gyoza with pork, prawn and chives Gyoza is a kind of pan-fried dumpling that is typically filled with ground pork, garlic, chives and lots of chopped vegetables. They are soft on one side but crispy on the other, making for a totally mou[...]

No27 [Eating] Madam is served

Madam is served Maeda Haruyo doesn’t always have time to cook, but just like many other women, she’s found a clever remedy to this. Daily life for a shufu – or house wife – is very busy. When you also have a job, there isn’t a lot of time for cooking, especially if you have[...]

No27 [Drinking] A delightful tipple for a great price

A delightful tipple for a great price More than 10 years have passed since I came to London. There used to be a very limited selection of sakes available in retail shops, such as Ozeki Usa and a few local sake, but the popularity of the drink has grown alongside an increasing interest in Japanese [...]

No26 [Cooking] Tamago-yaki (Japanese folded omelette)

                  Tamago-yaki (Japanese folded omelette) Sweet and lightly textured, Japanese omelette, or ‘Tamago-yaki’, is a popular sushi topping and all time favourite bento box filler. ‘Tamago’ is the Japanese word for egg, and ‘yaki’ mea[...]

No26 [Eating] Great dishes on a hot-plate

Great dishes on a hot-plate When she invites guests over, Maeda Haruyo is never short of ideas to entertain and please them. What do you eat for family meals? Spaghetti bolognaise?, bangers and mash? or perhaps a barbecue if it is summer time? It’s true that when the family gets together in th[...]

No25 [Cooking] Chicken Nikujyaga

                  Chicken Nikujyaga (Japanese stew of chicken, vegetables and shirataki noodles) Nikujyaga is the heart of Japanese home cooking, a stew of meat and vegetables in soy sauce. Shirataki noodles, thin transparent noodles made from yam potato,[...]

No25 [Eating] Time to eat!

Time to eat! In Japan, one learns at a very young age that food is a serious matter. Maeda Haruyo takes us back to school. There are few children in Japan who do not enjoy kyushoku, and we all have good or bad memories of it. Kyushoku is the term used in Japan for the meals provided by primary scho[...]

No24 [Cooking] Tofu Teriyaki Burger

                Tofu Teriyaki Burger Whether you are a vegetarian or an omnivore, tofu is a healthy and versatile ingredient that works with a wide variety of Japanese dishes. ‘Meat of the fields’ as they are often called, tofu burgers are surprisingly ric[...]

No24 [Restaurant] Heat, Meat, and Umami 2/2

Heat, Meat, and Umami 2/2 Explore the luscious, meaty world of Japanese-style yakiniku at newly opened Kintan in Chancery Lane. Through an elegantly understated doorway near Chancery Lane station, the recently opened Kintan is providing London with its first taste of genuine Japanese-style yakiniku.[...]

No23 [Cooking] Tofu, Edamame and Wakame salad with Yuzu dressing

                  Tofu, Edamame and Wakame salad with Yuzu dressing This simple oriental salad went down a storm with my parents during a recent visit to Japan. Virtually no cooking is involved, just some light chopping and squeezing. Yuzu is a citrus fru[...]

No23 [Restaurant] Yakiniku, the next food boom

Yakiniku, the next food boom Everybody knows about sushi and ramen, but there is also another intriguing type of Japanese restaurant to discover. Sushi and ramen are already both hugely popular outside Japan, reaching the hallowed status of a lunchtime staple on our streets. But yakiniku, the third [...]

No22 [Cooking] Nasu Dengaku

                  Nasu Dengaku (Aubergine with Miso) Dengaku is a style of Japanese cooking with sweetened miso paste. Ingredients are typically cooked under the grill, but I modified this recipe so you can finish it off in a frying pan. Classified as a f[...]

No22 [Eating] It’s time for kaimono

It’s time for kaimono Maeda Haruyo has lived in Europe for a long time. She tells us what it’s like to feed her family in Japan each day. Every day, I shop (kaimono) for food. I like cooking a lot. First I decide what I’m going to make. I need to make sure I have enough to feed my whole famil[...]

No21 [Drinking] Matcha is 100% natural

Matcha is 100% natural Considering it as a sort of superhero amongst teas, Louise Cheadle gives us a lesson about this wonderful green powder. Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea leaves which have been carefully ground down to form a fine powder. It has been drunk in Japan as part of the tea c[...]

No21 [Cooking] Tonkatsu

                  Tonkatsu (Pork cutlet) When tonkatsu met curry ‘pork katsu curry’ was born. What you may not realise is the significance of tonkatsu alone as a dish. There are many hundreds of specialist restaurants in Japan dedicated to ser[...]

No20 [Drinking] For Sake’s Sake – Part 3/3

For Sake’s Sake – Part 3/3 Kikuya Natsuki, director of the Museum of Sake, continues our journey into the fascinating world of sake. In this, our final article in the series, I will be introducing further ways to enjoy sake by taking a look at seasonal shifts in the sake market and drink[...]

No20 [Cooking] Yakitori

                  Yakitori Succulent cubes of diced chicken put on bamboo skewers and grilled over charcoal, yakitori with teriyaki sauce are popular across the globe. The name literally means ‘grilled (yaki) chicken (tori)’ amf good yakitori [...]

No19 [Drinking] For Sake’s Sake – Part 2/3

For Sake’s Sake – Part 2/3 Kikuya Natsuki, director of the Museum of Sake, continues our journey into the fascinating world of sake. In this, the second part of Zoom Japan’s sake column, Natsuki takes us deeper into the world of sake –to learn about its nuances and look at how to enj[...]

No19 [Cooking] French Bean with Black Sesame Seed

                  French Bean with Black Sesame Seed Rich in vitamins and minerals, sesame seeds are crunchy and delicious. Black sesame seeds have a slightly stronger flavour than the white and yellow sesame and visually provide a delightful contrast to [...]

No18 [Cooking] Kakiage-don

                  Kakiage-don (prawn & vegetable fritters on rice) Kakiage-don is a type of tempura in which several ingredients are mixed and deep fried in tempura batter. Super crispy, kakiage is delicious on its own as snack, but why not try it on [...]

No17 [Cooking] Su-no-mono

                Su-no-mono The ultimate pallet cleanser, ‘su-no-mono’ is an understated gem of Japanese cuisine. Refreshing and healthy, it is a perfect substitute for a conventional salad. Use of rice vinegar helps stimulate the appetite and helps[...]

No16 [Restaurant] A taste of Nagoya

A taste of Nagoya Throughout Japan there are regional specialities alongside common dishes which can be found all over the country. ‘Nagoya Restaurant’, located n central London between Baker Street and Marble Arch, offers a great variety of dishes from Japanese city Nagoya. They offer a[...]

No16 [Eating] Winter warmers

Winter warmers The owners of the quite splendid Cocoro in Marylebone have just opened a sister restaurant in Holborn on Coptic Street. It is more of a relaxed and low-key affair, serving mainly Japanese ramen and curry dishes and also Japanese style tapas called “Obanzai”. One of the hig[...]

No16 [Cooking] Shikai-maki

                  Shikai-maki If you are looking for a dish to impress at your dinner party, look no further. A decorative four sided sushi roll exhibiting a geometric pattern that resembles baroque stained glass, Shikai-maki, which means ‘four ocea[...]

No15 [Cooking] Tempura

                Tempura Deep fried seafood and vegetables in a super light and crispy batter, Tempura distinguishes itself from numerous other fried and battered foods by carrying much less fat. Tempura is one of the most popular Japanese dishes. It originates[...]

No14 [Restaurant] The city’s hidden gem

The city’s hidden gem Tucked away among the diamond shops of Hatton Gardens in central London lies a hidden Japanese gem. ‘Tajima-Tei’ restaurant is on Leather Lane and you would really have to know it’s there to find it. It looks inconspicuous from the outside but is beautif[...]

No14 [Cooking] Ura-maki (Roll sushi)

              Ura-maki (Roll sushi) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to make your own sushi at home? It is easier than you think. Ura-maki is a type of sushi roll, a medium sized cylindrical piece with one or more fillings. Ura-maki means “inside-[...]

No13 [Cooking] Tempura-Soba

              Tempura-Soba (Deep fried prawns and vegetables in batter with soba noodles in a hot broth) Perhaps one of the most popular noodle dishes in Japan, Tempura-Soba is a perfect marriage between the nation’s two favourite dishes ‘tempura’[...]

No13 [Restaurant] So much fusion

So much fusion So restaurant is a Japanese fusion restaurant hidden in the black alleys of Piccadilly Circus. It serves modern Japanese food fused with European cuisine, which is mainly French and Spanish influenced. So’s award winning chef, Kaoru Yamamoto, trained in both Japan and France and[...]

No12 [Eating] Time for tea

Time for tea Intoducing to the UK for the first time nationally one of the original brands of Japanese tea to the UK, Yamamotoyama Green (Sencha) Tea. The Yamamotoyama company have been making green tea for over 300 years so they know a lot about tea making. This particular Green Tea is not overpowe[...]

No12 [Cooking] Hiyashi chuuka (chilled Chinese style noodles)

Hiyashi chuuka (chilled Chinese style noodles) Japan has many dishes that are linked to particular seasons throughout the year. The summer in Japan can get extremely hot and a lot of people lose some of their appetite due to the heat. This month we introduce “hiyashi chuuka”, one of the [...]

No11 [Restaurant] Harmony in Mayfair

Harmony in Mayfair Tucked away among the bustle and boutiques of London’s Mayfair on a side street lies a Japanese restaurant called Nagomi that is a haven from it all. ‘Nagomi’ in Japanese means ‘harmony’ and this really sets the tone of the restaurant. With is traditi[...]

No11 [Cooking] Oyako Donburi

                Oyako Donburi The family of popular Japanese dishes widely known as “donburi mono” consists of a bowl of white rice with various fillings piled on top. There are many different types of donburi available in Japan, such as unagi-don which is[...]

No10 [Cooking] Yaki gyoza

Yaki gyoza (Fried dumplings) Gyoza are a popular type of Asian dumplings that bear somewhat of a resemblance to Italian ravioli. They have a thin outer layer made from flour and water, stretched out into a circular shape and then used to wrap various fillings such as meat, prawns and vegetable etc. [...]

No10 [Restaurant] Authentic family-run sushi bar in Camden Town

Authentic family-run sushi bar in Camden Town Sushi is undoubtedly the most famous Japanese dish, comprising of vingered rice either rolled up (maki) or set in a block (nigiri) and topped with raw fish or vegetables. As Japanese cuisine is now widely recognised, sushi isn’t very hard to get i[...]

No10 [Drinking] A beverage to rival Sake

A beverage to rival Sake Monday the 18th March saw So Restaurant, situated in London’s Soho, play host to the “Honkaku Shochu” tasting event, an evening that aimed to introduce a range of Shochu that Kyushu island, a southern region of Japan, has to offer. Shochu is a distilled beverage th[...]

No9 [Restaurant] Pot luck in West London

Pot luck in West London There are several well-known one pot dishes in Japan. Sukiyaki, which we`ve covered in ZOOM magazine before, and Shabu-shabu, are meals either cooked by you, or cooked in front of you. A portable stove sits in the middle of the table, with a nabe pot simmering away on top, an[...]

No9 [Eating] SOZAI Cooking School Opening

SOZAI Cooking School Opening February 12th 2013 saw the opening of the UK’s first ever Japanese cooking school, known as SOZAI, near Liverpool St. The word “sozai” has two meanings in Japanese: “household dishes” and “raw ingredients”. Appropriate, as an essential element in Japanese c[...]

No9 [Cooking] Teriyaki chicken Burger

Teriyaki Chicken Burger The teriyaki chikcen burger is a unique type of burger created in Japan that puts a delicious teriyaki style chicken steak in a bun with lettuce and other toppings. It is a standard item on fast food menus across Japan but is also sold outside of the country under various nam[...]

No8 [Cooking] Temari Sushi

Temari Sushi Every year in Japan, on the third of March, people celebrate the Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival), a seasonal festivity where families pray for the happy and healthy development of their girl children. On the day of the festival, families with girls will display hina dolls and peach blossom[...]

No7 [Drinking] Japanese Sake: Sweet, Soft and Sparkly!

Japanese Sake: Sweet, Soft and Sparkly! Sparkling sake? Why not? In a field once thought to be very traditional, this is a sparkling innovation. “Mio Sparkling Sake” has just the right balance of sweetness and sourness for sake with the added freshness of millions of tiny bubbles, just like cham[...]

No7 [Restaurant] iBUKi: Breathing New Life Into Japanese Cuisine!

iBUKi: Breathing New Life Into Japanese Cuisine! Aunique and attractively modern Japanese sushi restaurant has recently opened in Maida Vale and there is no doubt that this is a place you will want to visit again and again. “iBUKi” is run by Mr. and Mrs. Hoshino who are a lovely couple and very [...]

No7 [Cooking] Gomoku Chirashi

Gomoku Chirashi The name “Gomoku Chirashi” literally means “a mixture of five toppings” and it is an apt one, as this dish is created by thoroughly mixing several different types of fish or vegetables into vinegared sushi rice. Gomoku Chirashi is often made in Japanese homes [...]