London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Our friends and followers on social media and blog know by now our passion for sushi and London hoods where we hang out most. We also had few questions on on which Japanese restaurant in South Kensington: fresh sashimi, innovative cuisines, bottomless brunches, low seating or cool social scene, kids in tow or grown ups only – so here are our picks for various occasions.
Tested with kids in tow:
1. Zuma needs no introduction – an institution with outstanding food as well as glam and fun social scene. The kids love sitting by the robata grill and viewing the open kitchen as much as they enjoy gulping down their sushis and Buddha shaped delicate chocolate cakes.
2. Chisou by Beauchamp Place, the sister of Chisou in Mayfair; beautiful traditional Japanese hospitality – expect oshibori (hand towels) presented on arrival; low-key but considered service. Sushi plays a lead role on a menu filled with authentic Japanese options; the scallops are exquisite, sashimi list is impressive; the sea bass and belly of salmon can be served seared with a blowtorch.
3. Kiru – elegant but cosy, we went for an early name day celebration-dinner with our toddler. In Japanese Haiku poetry, kiru is a cutting word that delivers a deeper meaning through division and juxtaposition, greater than the sum of its parts. Meaning as beautiful as the dishes and service.The location is as good as it gets – Elystan Street by Sloane Avenue (my former hood). We read as well glorious reviews of Kiru’s bottomless brunches – for the exquisite dishes reasonably priced at £50pp for three courses plus bottomless drinks and £20pp for those aged 12-years and under plus soft drinks.
4. Maze Grill Park Walk – Gordon Ramsay needs little introduction. Maze Grill Park Walk also needs little introduction with our Chelsea friends – rare breed steaks and impeccable sushi in a casual chic setting with exposed bricks and filled with contemporary cool art. We have been invited for the bottomless brunch couple of weeks ago – loved it and R indulged in so much sushi!
5. Yashin Ocean House. The sibling of Yashin without Soy sauce from Argyll street, a cute sushi bar with outstanding Japanese dishes that we fell in love with years ago.
6. Dozo, Brompton road. Low seating (zashiki style) and casual, great food. Gets very crowded at the weekend, so not a good place if you have 2 young kids in tow but totally feasible with just 1 civilised child (at least in our case). Dozo bills itself as a ‘Japanese fine dining restaurant’, though our lunches included strictly bento boxes and sushi sets, so we need to get back for dinner.
7. Sticks and sushi, Kings Road. Opened a couple of years ago, this Sticks & sushi branch is spacious and cool, serving all the usual exquisite sushi plates with the Scandi twist. The kids love their bento boxes, we adore their hairy scallops, broccoli and cauliflower, tuna tartar and pawns tempura.
8. Sakurado – Café and sweet shop mostly rather than Japanese restaurant in South Kensington. The flowers and entrance are quite instagramable; we popped in on a Saturday, despite an okish menu there was no sashimi or any kind of fresh fish to be had. We had cucumber rolls and average prawn tempura, prosecco and champagne proved a tricky choice, they had to open a couple of bottles to get it right (or to be more precise I had to help them open a couple of bottles!). They may be the new kids on the block on Gloucester road, so let us know if you tested them and had a better outcome.
Grown ups mainly – which Japanese restaurant South Kensington?
I. Dinings SW3. The second Dinings in London, this is a quaint authentic Japanese, which goes well beyond the traditional sushi. We sat at the sushi counter with our friends and watched in awe the chefs labour of love translated into exquisite and mouth-watering little dishes. I loved the double baked aubergine, the tuna brushed vigorously with soya sauce, the black cod, the tacos with salmon and funky twists, the shrimp tempura. The menu is vast and amazing, from sea bass with fresh truffle to smoked eel with yuzu zest – inspiration straight from the traditional fare served in izakayas (informal Japanese pubs).
II. Blakes Kensington. A Kensington gem, in love with the bar and restaurant renovated by Anoushka Kempel, sadly recently closed. Whilst this is not a Japanese restaurant South Kensington per se, Blake had few fresh Japanese options including sashimi platters, black cod, edamame, grilled avocado, yellow tail or tuna tartare and so much more ! And if you are really keen on bringing kids, we recommend lunch and booking the private rooms – birthday celebrations with 6 young kids have been feasible in here and fun!
A great alternative is The Aubrey within Mandarin Oriental by Knightsbridge, a velvety affair, eccentric Japanese izakaya, friendly service, perfect for fun evenings out or if kids are around, lunches or Sundays brunches. And yes, we warmly recommend Sundays at The Aubrey, bottomless brunch Kensington in here is fab, DJ live included.
III. E&O Chelsea sadly closed but head for E&O Notting Hill : an establishment by now with its buzzing bar and fabulous pan-Asian menu. Super-slick, black and white, and with an abundance of oriental lampshades. The wines are superb and reasonably priced – this is the place we keep on going back with various friends, it’s always a great night out and yum dinner.
Are you happy to go slightly further than South Ken for some good sushi? High Street Kensington is a 20minutes walk and has some fine choices, glam and casual perfectly appropriate for dining with kids: Akira @ Japan House, Sushi & Robata by Genji and Yashin sibbling on Argyll Road.
My husband would love all of these! Great info. Thanks for sharing.
Hehe, hope you’ll get to go and enjoy some together soon!
We are sushi lovers and this list makes my day as we live close south Kensington 🙂
Great to hear, have a lovely week-end!
This looks amazing! Will inform younglondonist.com about some of these child friendly gems. Sounding delicious
Great to hear Ana, we have lots of child friendly dining gems in our posts! Happy to share on the Young Londonist market intelligence from our past 5.5 years with kids in tow 😉
Yum! I had to laugh though as here in Copenhagen, everyone knows Sticks and Sushi and I was reading thinking – look at all the choice you have in this section of London and we don’t have much more than Sticks and Sushi. And there it was! We love sushi as well and I’m wishing we could tick a few of these off in our locale too. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles. Cheers from here.
Yes we are so spoilt in Kensington! And this list is not exhaustive – feeling v lucky to call this our hood! And hey choices in Copenhagen are amazing as well – oysters, tartars and Michelin star restaurants- we explored briefly last year and friends keep on mentioning we should go back together for some more!
Is this DoZo related to the one in SoHo? We ate there and loved it! Will definitely refer back to this handy guide when we are next in London. #farawayfiles
Indeed they are siblings! How did you find the seating?
I found the seating somewhat “cozy”, but we loved the food!
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Sushi with kids sounds like a great eating out option! We have sampled Brick Lane curry, China Town teas and Italian pizza but Japan is yet to be sampled. It’s good to know that some of these are family friendly. Love the floral entrance. I’m going to investigate on my next visit! #CulturedKids
CRAVING sushi now! It all looks so delicious! Cheers from Copenhagen (home of Sticks and Sushi!) #CulturedKids
They all look so beautiful! Fingers crossed I get back there to try at least one! #Culturedkids
They all look great! #culturedkids
I love sushi – I think I could almost eat it for lunch every day given half a chance. Unfortunately we don’t have quite the same great choices in York as you do in London, but I will have to keep this list to hand next time we visit. #CulturedKids
Hope you get to enjoy London again and its great sushi option soon Shelley!
I think my kids would love all of these, as they are big sushi fans. I love the presentation – looks more like art than food!
Art indeed, we are very spoilt in Kensington with so many amazing sushi options!
Museum Teen is a huge sushi fan! Thanks for doing all the leg work for us! #CulturedKids
Our pleasure V! 🙂 X
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