Vegan Japanese restaurant in the heart of King's Cross. Emphasis is on organic ingredients and seasonally grown vegetables. Rice, root vegetables, seaweeds, soya beans and soy by-products, are recurrent ingredients in the cuisine. Also art gallery and weekend live music events. Last seating 9:15pm. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Japanese, Organic, Macrobiotic, Beer/Wine, Take-out
139 King's Cross Road
London, England WC1X 9BJ
020-72783573
OPEN NOW

Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm

more-less
  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by feorag
Kima
Kima
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Can't wait to go back!

5
Posted on 11 / 07 / 2014

I went there with my sister last time I was in London and we both loved the food. That came as a surprise to her: since she doesn't like fish she'd assumed she didn't like Japanese food at all but she was very happy with the meal! The menu is varied, tasty in a subtle way, the staff is friendly and the setting enjoyable. I ended up going to Itadakizen three evenings in a row to try different dishes - I just didn't want to be anywhere else. If you like Japanese food then as a vegan this is definitely the place to go.

Pros: Tasty, healthy, varied food, Friendly staff, Lovely place
Cons: I don't live close to this restaurant!
RubyFriel
RubyFriel
  • vegan
Contributions
+60

Beware of the wasabi. It almost blew my face off.

4
Posted on 10 / 29 / 2014

Itadaki Zen is the only vegan Japanese restaurant I know of, so I was pretty excited to try it.

I ordered some kind of set menu including spring rolls, sushi & noodle dish. Everything was nice, although kind of standard. The food seemed a bit like what I would order in a non veggie restaurant, with limited vegan friendly options. I'd like more unusual dishes and flavours.

I would go back, but it isn't on my urgent hitlist.

Pros: Japanese, Vegan
IkoOo
IkoOo
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+57

A japanese veg in London !

4
Posted on 10 / 21 / 2014

First time I go to a vegetarian Japanese restaurant ! the place is very near to St Pancras train station and we had to rush for our train, so we took it away, but the waiter was very nice and comprehensive, and we had a delicious menu. I will probably go back to try having their delicacies on a real table. Not too expensive either.

Pros: Japanese !, Takes JCB payments :p
Cons: Short menu

psysof
psysof
  • vegan
Contributions
+42

Japanese Vegan

4
Posted on 09 / 16 / 2014

Nice Japanese vegan restaurant with a huge choice of dishes and beverages (also alcohol). The place is small and the ambiance cosy. The staff is friendly and helpful. Would go back anytime.

Pros: Excellent food, friendly staff, good value
Cons: Tables too close to each other
LauraStone90
LauraStone90
  • vegan
Contributions
+99

One Of My Favourite Restaurants

4
Posted on 09 / 12 / 2014

I LOVED the food! My other half and I shared a few things-I think we may have had a set meal each. Really filling. I'd go more often, if my other half was more keen on this type of food!

Pros: Lovely food, Plenty to choose from, OK for dinner or lunch, I think
lysi
lysi
  • vegan
Contributions
+136

Healthy food

4
Posted on 06 / 14 / 2014

Healthy food, relaxed atmosphere. Been there a few times with non veggie friends, who liked it too. Had some interesting dessert (can't recall the name). Location is a bit off the beaten track but really not that far from Kings Cross or Angel stations.

Pros: Healthy food, Good value
robz
robz
  • vegan
Contributions
+48

Is it still open?

2
Posted on 06 / 11 / 2014

I went there for lunch yesterday, but it was closed. This was at 12:40 when they say they are open 12:30 - 14:30 for lunch. I hung around for 10 mins but no sign of life. I called the phone number, but could not get a connection.

A few days before I had previously gone there at 2pm and was turned away.


Cons: Either update times or stick to them
LaVanessa
LaVanessa
  • vegan
Contributions
+117

Healthy!

4
Posted on 10 / 26 / 2013

Went here with a friend on a quiet Tuesday night. I had miso soup, spring rolls with a fermented chili sauce (not spicy), a rice and veggie dish, and a tea with ?rice? for dessert. These are subtle flavours but it was all very healthy. I would have liked to try many things on their menu. Good service. Recommended.

Pros: good location, healthy
OneNightStanzas
OneNightStanzas
  • vegan
Contributions
+79

E X C E L L E N T

5
Posted on 08 / 10 / 2013

Headed to I-Z for dinner on a Saturday night with my partner. We arrived at 5.30 as soon as they opened, which was fortuitous, because all the tables except for two were already reserved: a pretty good sign! We both ordered the Itadaki set meal, which consisted of an appetizer, a sushi course, main course (spring rolls or tempura) and a dessert.

The starter was really unusual -- quite small, amuse-bouche almost, but really good. Quite unusual, unexpected stuff but all cooked PERFECTLY and really good. When the sushi arrived, we both thought it LOOKED a bit disappointing -- we'd noticed on the menu that they don't serve dishes with soy/wasabi and actively discourage diners from asking for them. I was miffed... but then I actually TASTED the sushi.

It was amazing. Cooked beautifully, and flavoured in such a skilfull way that extra soy/wasabi was totally unnecessary. Although the primary ingredients of each sushi piece seemed to be fairly similar (lots of types of seaweed), each one had its own unique and delicious flavour. I found myself feeling really 'present' as I ate, savouring each small piece and taking care not to rush. Amazing to find myself eating like that just because of the sheer quality of the food! Clearly lots of thought went into it! We were both properly blown away by this sushi. Best I've ever had, by far.

For the main, my bloke had the tempura and I had the spring rolls, and we split each other's so we could try everything. The spring rolls were, yaknow, veggie spring rolls... but well cooked. The tempura was a cut above, really great. This course DID come with extra soy, noodles on the side, and really great fresh veg. Again, all lovely.

For dessert my partner had the sesame pudding, which I thought looked a bit wet but was actually really good. I had the small cranberry cake, which was light, fluffy and a good end to the meal. In short, this place is EXCELLENT. I have no complaints.

I would like to answer some of the other reviews though, in case they're putting folk off. The place is NOT hard to find (er, WHAT?) if you know how maps work, and to slag off a place because of the ethnicity of the owner is frankly racist. The chefs are clearly extremely capable, thoughtful, careful and produce excellent, authentic-tasting Japanese food which is also original, unusual and 100% vegan. Who cares where they're from?! The staff we encountered were also lovely and don't deserve such unfair criticism. WE LOVED IT!

Pros: Delicious food, perfectly cooked, Forgot to mention GREAT PRESENTATION!, Just amazing. Really. Go there. Now.
DanielAmaral
DanielAmaral
  • vegan
Contributions
+445

I was expecting more

3
Posted on 06 / 26 / 2013

I don't know if I ever had real japanese food, but I was a little disappointed with Itadaki-Zen.
I ordered a plate with a different kinds of sushi. Though some tasted great, others tasted really strange (like almost impossible to go through them again). It was a weird experience. And I ordered some other dish that had no taste at all.


Gudrun
Gudrun
  • vegan
Contributions
+2899

Yummy!

5
Posted on 11 / 05 / 2012

This small Japanese restaurant was quite a pleasant discovery. I had a 4-course meal consisting of a starter with 3 little vegetable dishes with a delicate dressing, then 6 pieces of sushi, followed by tempura + vegetables with peanut dressing + noodles with homemade soup as a main course, and "Itadaki Zen small cake" as dessert. The latter was made of Japanese pumpkin, jujube (= red date) and chestnuts, topped with tofu and vanilla cream. All vegan, of course, an just yummy. The individual portions were small, but all together it was a wonderful, filling meal. I would love to get back as soon as possible to try the other dishes, there are quite a few on the menu and everything looks (and probably tastes) gorgeous. I also had a delicious tea with jujube and (goji?)berries. The waitress was very friendly and the place really easy to find.

Pros: wonderful food, variation: different small dishes, friendly service
Ajolote
Ajolote
  • vegan
Contributions
+258

simple, tasy...

5
Posted on 10 / 11 / 2012

I went to Itadaki-Zen on a Monday night while trying to deal with my jet lag. Instead of the traditional sushi house menu, this place offered menu sets for different prices. Some of the menu items can be ordered separately, but the pre-fixed dinners are designed to speed up the orders since everything is prepared fresh.

I ordered one of those pre-fixed dinners, which was quite good. It had miso soup, two small spring rolls (fried), marinated peanuts, green beans, salad and vegetables. All of that came in very small portions. The dinner also had a substantial bowl of warm grains (rice, lentils and others). I also had a delicious tea with goji berries.

The dinner was reasonably priced at around 15-17 pounds and the tea was ~3 pounds. It is a very small place, but it is very close to the "Secret Vegan Society" store, which is a plus and is right next to King's Cross. The service was good and they were super nice even though I was dining alone.

Pros: Location, Tasty, Fresh ingredients
Cons: Small
itsmeagain
itsmeagain
  • vegan
Contributions
+95

average all round, underwhelming food

2
Posted on 08 / 25 / 2012

We went here on a Friday night. It is hellishly difficult to find.We rang them, only to be told "it`s after Staebucks." Given thares a starbucks every 100 yards in kings cross this was rubbish information.
Food was tasteless, with very little flavouring.Tiny portions. A rather irritating friend of a waiter was messing about in the cafe, giggling and distracting the staff.Service was poor, we asked to see menu again , it took a waiter ten minutes to bring us one. Three pounds sixty for a cup of powdered soya milk known as itadaki tea,is very very steep. My wife found the place much better than I did, she likes salt free grub and says it was amazing food.


Cons: size of portions, price, staff
s_k_
s_k_
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+178

Worth a try if you've never had Japanese veg food

3
Posted on 05 / 18 / 2012

Vegetarians know how hard it can be to find veggie Japanese food, so
we felt pretty happy to find a place where we could order anything off
the menu without question.

The restaurant is very pleasantly cosy, though perhaps not as visually
attractive as their Web site had led me to believe. The food itself
is perfectly reasonable: small portions presented quite well, tasty
and fresh, and simple. However, and it somewhat pains me to say this,
nothing we had really stood out; we left not convinced we'd be back.

It may be that we're a bit spoiled after having had the Zen temple
vegetarian meals in Kyoto, which set a spectacular standard for
Japanese (and indeed any) vegetarian food. If you haven't had those,
and are curious to go beyond the ubiquious veggie tempura, definitely
give Itadaki Zen a try. But if you still remember your Kyoto meals,
you could maybe give this place a pass.

Pros: interesting option, nothing bad, easy to get to
Cons: nothing special, look and feel a bit weak
CatherineM
CatherineM
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+63

Fabulous!

5
Posted on 04 / 07 / 2012

I went here tonight for the first time, having heard good things about it. I wasn't disappointed. The food was excellent, tasty and authentic. We had a filling meal and a drink for just over £20 per person. Next time I'll be trying the set menus which looked really interesting. Definitely one of my favourites in London.

Pros: Great food, Lots of choice, Central location
Cons: None
rjmehra
rjmehra
  • vegan
Contributions
+77

Best Japanese food I've ever had!

5
Posted on 03 / 02 / 2012

I can't recommend this place enough.
The range of food here and quality of it is astounding.
I have been to hundreds of restaurants in Japan and I genuinely think the food here is beyond almost all of them.
Yes it's a bit pricey (though they do tastecard discounts), but you really get what you pay for.
Bring non-veggie friends here, they will really open their minds...

Pros: Range, Quality, Unique
Cons: None
adamrowland
adamrowland
  • vegan
Contributions
+66

Different and intriguing

4
Posted on 02 / 28 / 2012

This small restuarant lies quite close to King's Cross station and provides a lovely, quiet and different experience.

The menu is extensive with lots of choice to be had. There are lots of explanations and insight into the health benefits of the food on offer and many choices for different set meal options.

Not being familiar with Japanese food, I went for a delicious tofu steak to start with followed by an interesting sounding 'sticky' veg, seaweed and rice dish. The food arrived promptly and was generously portioned. Even though I wasn't overly keen on what I ordered, I could appreciate that it was authentic, fresh and flavoursome. I also went for a side of Kimchi, which was delicious (and quite spicy!).

I'll definitely return to try some of the other many dishes on offer!

Pros: Large menu, Quality food
Cons: Rather small restaurant
Veganessent
Veganessent
  • vegan
Contributions
+44

Eat-adaki Zen Bliss!

5
Posted on 01 / 10 / 2012

ABSOLUTE BEST TEMPURA I'VE HAD ***ANYWHERE*** The vegetable assortment was superb -included seaweeds and mushrooms that were made to be battered in gold! What a find. It's just so refreshing to know that this Vegan sushi has been no where near fish : D Very thoughtful and nutritious tasty dishes. Excellent service and ambiance - better than authentic. ORIGINAL!

Pros: Delicious, Nutritious, Balanced
Cons: None
mik
mik
  • vegan
Contributions
+85

Vegan, organic Japanese - interesting combination

4
Posted on 11 / 19 / 2011

I ordered a set menu for 21 pounds. It consisted of a variety of small dishes, ranging from sushi to noodle soup. I liked them all even if I felt that the soup wasn't all that exciting. The dessert was nice as well. All in all, it was a good experience even though I was hungry again after a couple of hours, haha.
On a differet note, the atmosphere was very pleasant and, strangely enough, they claim not to use Japanese ingredients after the Fukushima disaster.


raphalla
raphalla
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+284

Excellent real Japanese Food

4
Posted on 10 / 10 / 2011

Evening opened at 6pm, we arrived at 5.30pm (Monday) and waited for an hour. The restaurant is kind of in front the Travelodge King's Cross. The restaurant is rather small though. Food was really good, the best Japanese food i ever eaten. I like the kimchi (korean, spicy) very much. The food portion was slightly small though. Unfortunately, they do not have high chair for small children. Will go there again if i come to London next time!

Pros: Food, Location
Cons: No high chair for children, Price, Portion
estefinparis
estefinparis
  • vegan
Contributions
+276

Delicious Japanese food

4
Posted on 07 / 18 / 2011

I usually steer clear of Japanese food for lack of vegan options in Paris. I was therefore really looking forward to trying out Itadaki-Zen, and it was a treat. First of all the staff were really helpful and accommodating - I rang up to enquire about opening hours and once I realized we would not be able to make it before the closing time, they were happy to have dinner ready for us to pick up at 22.30. When we got there everything was ready for us. We ordered the two set dinner menus: the Tanno set consisted of brown rice with adzuki beans, two harumaki and a large selection of side dishes, including a delicious miso soup and one of the best tofu I've ever had. The gokoku-han & chapche set included a mixed grain dish, sweet potato fried noodles (SO good!) and homemade kimchi, which was perfect. We ate the whole thing in the little park in front of the restaurant, although I would have loved to stay in the restaurant. Within walking distance of King's Cross, Itadaki-Zen is a great spot for a healthy and comforting meal.


vegan_niccy
vegan_niccy
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Amazingness!

5
Posted on 06 / 29 / 2011

This was the first time i'd ever eaten Japanese food and didn't know what to expect, but I loved it. I went with a non-vegan friend who loves Japanese food and she thought it was all amazing so that is a good sign on the authenticity of this food!

Friendly staff, really close to our hotel and entirely vegan. Only cons were that that the restaurant was boiling hot due to the hot weather and no fan/air con, and price.

But great place, highly recommend it!

Pros
*All vegan
*Authentic food
*Friendly staff
*Lovely restaurant

Cons
*Was very hot in the restaurant
*Price

Pros: Authentic, Full of flavour, Lovely decor
Cons: Restaurant too hot, Price
captain_sensible
captain_sensible
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+45

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

2
Posted on 11 / 22 / 2010

You probably wouldn't frequent an Indian restaurant run by an Irishman so why would you bother with a Japanese one owned by a Korean, Chinese (fairly common) or, as in this case an Italian?

Sure, the kitchen did have some Japanese staff in there.... but after eating here you have to ask yourself - are they trained chefs, because if you are knowledgeable about this exquisitely prepared and uniquely tasting food you'd have to say possibly not.

Cutting back on the salt levels and omitting the fish stock doesn't necessarily mean the food has to be tasteless as there are other sources of umami to be had to prevent the culinary disasters that was our misfortune to have encountered at Itadake Zen on the night we ate there.

The Miso Nikomi Udon I ended up with bore no relation to the example on the menu - it was almost devoid of any shitake mushroom, Chinese cabbage OR miso flavour. I hate to say this as it sounds over the top but the udon was pretty much swimming in a bowl of hot water as far as flavour goes and that's plain sad. Note to kitchen staff - why not try seaweed stock where the recipe would usually require the fish variety? This would help add some much needed oomph to your dishes.

The owners may indeed be bringing art and music into their restaurant environment but the world is full of well intentioned cafe owners who are doing it for some cause or other (and don't we know about it being vegetarians!) but forgetting to get the most important bit right - getting some tasty food on the plate.

As I was working in Kings Cross and fancied Japanese it was a choice between one of my favourites - Aki (only 'veggie friendly', but magnificent - AND run by a Japanese chap incredibly) or the new 100% veggie place that we are talking about here. What a mistake I made.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

Pros: it's vegetarian
Cons: no taste
Guest
Guest

For a refined palate

5
Posted on 11 / 07 / 2010

Itadaki Zen serves clean wholesome food. Those used to food with lots of additives and flavouring may find the food quite bland but for those with a more discerning palate a wealth of flavours delights. I enjoy a bento box with the delicious grilled, ginger tofu. The box itself is quite substantial with a delicious range of wholesome rice, stuffed with aduki beans and the most delicious cabbage rolls stuffed with all kinds of wonderful vegetable. The thing that most suprised me is how good simple steamed carrots and green beans could taste.

Itadaki Zen serves this all up in a beautiful zen like environment, with gentleness. When one enters the restaurant we leave behind the hurry and flurry of the world outside for quieter more considered environment. This approach of simplicity, gentleness and care is reflected both in the service and the food. If you are looking for a refreshing change from the mainstream offerings of highly adulterated, faced paced foods Itadaki Zen is top of my list. If however you enjoy strong, intense flavours you might find this a little too subtle for your tastes

Pros: Healthy, good value, excellent food
blackxcloud
blackxcloud
  • vegan
Contributions
+24

where's the soap?

3
Posted on 09 / 28 / 2010

I've eaten here a few times and have always enjoyed the food. I'm no expert on Japanese cuisine but I've had tempura each time and it's never been soggy! The sasou tea is the best, I wish I could make it at home. The service is sometimes questionable but never that terrible. The thing that troubles me is the lack of soap in the toilets. One hopes that the kitchen hygiene facilities are better.


Edz
Edz
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+36

Ok

3
Posted on 09 / 16 / 2010

Very slow service. It took about 40 minutes to clear the plates from the table.

The set main for £13 was nice but a little plain.


ilaria1980
ilaria1980
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+14

negative

2
Posted on 06 / 12 / 2010

I've been there for dinner a couple of days ago and I found it very disappointing. the food was really tasteless and plain, we had some noodles with a watering sauce and 6 mixed sushi, some of them clearly old and poor in general. we also choose a salad for £3 that we've been told they ran out, but later the waiter came over to tell us they still had some, and he brought us such a small portion that was less then a forkful. just to end playing safe we thought to order a tempura, but again it wasn't nice, cheap ingredients and very soggy. we expressed our disappointing to the waiter and he gave us 2 pudding for free (no sweet at all), telling us they were no longer on the menu, as they were from the winter one!
I'm vegan myself and I enjoy delicate flavours, but this dinner was completely plain, and no cheap at all :(
sorry but I definitely don't recommend it.


Cons: tasteless, small portion, expencive
Jayjazz
Jayjazz
  • vegan
Contributions
+76

Authentic

5
Posted on 03 / 11 / 2010

Having travelled Japan for a month a few years ago I met a friend who is not vegan but did live in Japan for 4 years here. It is very authentic I had the tofu set which was delicious and kimchi was awsome. If you like Japaneese food this is the place for you. It was quite expensive at £20 for lunch for 2 but it is London so probably not that bad really. Wouldn't say the staff were friendly or unfriendly. Anyway I loved it

Pros: authentic, delicious, generous portions
Cons: not cheap
Akane
Akane
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+19

Excellent vegan/macrobiotic Japanese/Korean food!

4
Posted on 02 / 15 / 2010

This restaurant is now fully vegan (they changed their kimchi that used to have fish/shrimp paste in it). Went there for lunch and everything was delicious. I had the sushi lunch, which had unique nigiri sushi (okra, fried nori, etc.) instead of the usual boring veggie rolls. My friend ordered the kimbap (Korean sushi) roll lunch, which was good as well. The decor was also really nice - crisp and clean. They have sushi and other food available for takeaway. Portions are on the small side by US (or probably UK) standards. They advertise a 10% student discount, which we forgot to take advantage of. (BTW, I would give five cows, but I can't since it's still listed as non-vegan.)

Pros: delicious, unique veg sushi, nice decor
Cons: smallish portions
Jan Hicks
Jan Hicks
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+50

A lovely place

4
Posted on 02 / 10 / 2010

My husband and I honeymooned in Japan last year and, while visiting London, wanted to try out this vegan Japanese cafe/restaurant near St Pancras Station. We went for lunch, and arrived just as a large-ish family group were sitting down. This meant that we had to wait a bit for our food, as there only seemed to be a couple of members of staff running the place. The wait was worth it, though. We both had the Kempan set, which came with a nice salad of tofu and kelp and a serving of miso soup. We also had the Sasou tea, a bamboo tea of amazing clarity and a mildly nutty flavour. We had a generous side portion of kimchi to share, too, which was perfectly spicy. My husband had a latte made with soy milk, which he reported was the nicest coffee he had ever had. All of this came to just under £17.00 in total, which is great value for money. The food was perfectly prepared to order, made with fresh ingredients, and was more than enough to satisfy our lunch-time appetites. We will definitely visit again next time we are in London.

Pros: healthy food, good value, delicious
Cons: slight wait for food
Sammy
Sammy
  • vegan
Contributions
+35

Nice

4
Posted on 01 / 30 / 2010

I enjoyed my lunch here, it was a little quiet, but the food was good. The noodles tasted fresh and home made. I didn't feel it was overpriced. The waiter seemed shy and we didn't get exactly the right tea ordered, but this wasn't a problem for us. The Sushi was lovely.

Pros: Nice food, Well decorated, varied menu
Cons: Quiet, no green tea on drinks menu
madonnaragu
madonnaragu
  • vegan
Contributions
+23

Not a vegan restaurant! BEWARE!

2
Posted on 01 / 17 / 2010

Hello,

I went to this place last week, and was very disappointed. They say "fully vegan" but then they use anchovies sauce in some dishes!

They say it's because "it's a Japanese tradition" - which does not make any sense, as it is a Japanese tradition to eat fish and meat too.

I am very disappointed that this restaurant is trying to profile itself as "Europe's First Organic and Vegan Japanese Restaurant" (taken from their website), but then they use a fish-based product?

Very confusing, and disappointing, and I hope you will make a note of this on your website, as once at the restaurant, the menu does not really state which dishes contain anchovies sauce.

Why call yourself "vegan", when you obviously do not care about vegan values? Vegans are very specific about what they eat, and which restaurants they go to, so this just does not feel right.

Best regards

Pros: japanese, organic
Cons: NOT vegan, expensive, bland-tasting food
  • webkitten webkitten

    This problem has been resolved! It is all vegan now!

    more-less
  • madonnaragu madonnaragu

    Fab! So happy to hear that!

    more-less
Zwhale
Zwhale
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+24

Fantastic

5
Posted on 01 / 11 / 2010

This lovely little restauarant near Kings Cross station is well worth a visit. After our honeymoon in Japan we were keen to eat some good Japanese food again. Itadaki-Zen did not disappoint. We visited on a cold winter's day and were soon being warmed by some interesting tea I've never had before. The sushi was delicious but the tempura was out of this world. Very light batter covered a whole array of crunchy vegetables. The udon noodles came in a variety of ways but we went the seaweed route. Very good again. The service was attentive and the staff friendly.

Pros: Food, Staff
Cons: None
feorag
feorag
  • vegan
Contributions
+221

A little expensive, but worth it

4
Posted on 01 / 09 / 2010

I am a massive fan of Japanese cuisine, so news that a vegan japanese restaurant had opened in London almost had me looking forward to visiting the city. My excuse came in early January, during the best snow in my lifetime. A short walk from King's Cross Thameslink, the space was light and serene. The menus were printed on handmade Japanese paper, and the napkin folded in a different way on each table. Ours were in the form of a lotus flower around a small bowl, and it seemed a shame to undo them.

To drink, we both went for one of their specialised "teas" - Itadaki Tea - a creamy, somewhat nutty soya milk concoction served in miso bowls. Just right for the cold, snowy weather.

I ordered the lunchtime sushi set, and my partner had Misinikomi Udon. My set arrived in a bento and included two spring rolls and a mashed potato salad, as well as two types of gunken (carrot and okra), two nigiri (nori tempura and inari) and a pair of matching rolls. The shouyu came in a small clear plastic dalek with instructions clearly printed on top: ここをプッシュシてくださ, it said. Fortunately, that's simple enough for me to read - "please push this", where "this" is the nipple the text surrounds.

The Udon were served in a miso broth with julienne strips of aburaage fried tofu), carrot and cabbage - another dish which really hit the spot.

We were impressed with the food and decided to have dessert - this is supposed to be an indulgent break, after all. The desserts were mostly kanten - agar-based jelly - and my partner opted for a sesame one. Feeling adventurous (I can make kanten at home!), I tried warabimochi - small mochi made from potato starch instead of rice and dusted with toasted soya flour. The latter proved very difficult to eat with the implement provided, but was considerably better than it looked. It wasn't too sweet, which suits my tastes.

At nearly £30 for lunch for two, it's not a particularly cheap place, but also not expensive by London standards. I'd like to go back in the evening to try one of their set meals, but have no time on this trip. It looks like I'm going to have to find an excuse to come back to London - at least Itadaki Zen will make it bearable.

Pros: sublime food, Japanese, lovely space
Cons: a tad expensive, not rib-sticking

 

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Last updated: 2014/06/15

 

Added: 2009/11/22

 

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