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'Special' Japanese - not Sushi

Hi everyone.

Was wondering if you have any ideas on the following: I'm looking for a relatively high end Japanese restaurant (say £60-70 per head) in London for our wedding anniversary.

We love sushi but due to current circumstances, my wife cannot eat raw presently. We therefore are looking for somewhere that excels in other cooked things.

Other points to note is that we both are Japanese and lived there , so we know good Japanese food very well.

Good 'fusion' cuisine could work as long as it's good. Can't be too pretentious.

Would rather avoid anywhere too formal or stuffy (kiku and kikuchi we've been to before - both good but a bit 'vanilla'.

Hip is good but not hipster (eg that new Kurobuta place in Marylebone looked nice in a way but a but a bit too annoyingly hipster - anyone been?)

Been wanting to try Dinings but the menu looks a bit raw-heavy, which would be a bit frustrating! And a touch pricey too.

Can anyone think of anywhere 'special' that fits the bill?

Thanks!

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  1. I recognise this issue....

    The obvious place is The Shiori for Kaiseki. That will of course include sashimi but perhaps speak to the restaurant and see what they say.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ManInTransit

      Thanks. Good call. Funnily enough we went there for the last anniversary!

    2. I agree that The Shiori should fit. Umu used to be good as well but I have not been in years, plus it is very expensive so probably over your budget.

      I have not been to the Connaught Village Kurobuta but I have been to the Chelsea pop-up (actually may just be another branch now). I had a good time overall as I was in the mood for a busy place and a couple of drinks but the food was only pretty good.

      1. Given that it's seemingly quite tricky to meet our requirements and we've already been to the place most people suggest , I think we'll ditch the Japanese idea all together and go Chinese -

        Hunan in Pimlico is currently top of the pile. Anyone been?

        2 Replies
          1. re: klyeoh

            I had a great meal in Kai last month, I had forgotten how good it is.

            Hunan is a restaurant that I have always enjoyed but I have not been in a while, although while it is fun the first couple of times I am not sure of the no menu format.

            I am also a big fan of Min Jiang but more at lunch than dinner.

        1. It might be worth negotiating on food in order to eat in a cherry blossom garden:

          http://welovefood-itsallweeat.com/201...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Foxeyblue

            I keep banging on about Koya, but since they've opened the noodle bar next door the restaurant itself is getting loads more creative. It does quite a bit of grilled meat, veg, fish and tempura but no sushi so is bang on brief for the most part. Downside is the restaurant itself is far from special occasion and has more of a casual, everyday feel. It's Bib Gourmand with Michelin and although miles from the typical preconceptions, I wouldn't be surprised if it's elevated in the next few years.

            HKK in Liverpoool St is very good and, if you go at lunch, within budget.

            I've not been but there's a lot of love, both on this board and through industry word of mouth, for Min Jiang atop the Royal Kensington Hotel.

            1. re: marcusj

              Agree Koya is great - haven't been for a while but would love to try some of the new dishes - Below is a review I did from when it first opened and it was great then.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7025...

              Min Jiang is certainly worth considering. Cheers!

              1. re: foreignmuck

                Been to Hunan and it's fun, but mixed. I prefer Taiwan Village which is the old Hunan chef. Neither are terribly 'special occasion' though (in terms of decor) Min Jiang and Pearl Liang are both good high end Chinese restaurants for birthdays (A Wong has it's moments too)

          2. I've been thinking about trying Sake no Hana for lunch and wondered if it might fit the bill for you. Anyone tried it recently?

            1. Just got back from Hunan. On the whole - great. I wont go into detail as it will take too long, but i'd say the vast majority of dishes were very well excecuted, with a few 'fillers'. Very generous amount (over 18 dishes) for a very reasonable price of £50 per head. It exceeded expectations. Most dishes were very elegant seasoned and well cooked. Favourites dishes included Spicy Squid, fried green beans, steamed Scallops.. the list goes on

              Very friendly and efficient service.
              Understated but classy decor.

              Will definitely return

              1. How about the newish Yashin Ocean House in SW7. It's in a nice area, a freestanding building with just the right amount of decor/aesthetic without being hipster, and the food is great.

                http://www.yashinocean.com/sw7/menu

                For Chinese Hunan is great, but not special enough for an anniversary (esp if there is a specific reason for the no-seafood -- either 'congrats' or 'oh that happened to my mother and she was ok after')