Cafe Japan, Golders Green, London 16/20

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Café Japan has been through all the many incarnations of London Japanese restaurants in recent years… misdirected, average, cheap, expensive…and now it has morphed into an impressive high end modern sushi bar. A glance at the Trip Adviser reviews underlines this notable uplift albeit there is no review so far in the mainstream press even if it is probably the best sushi in north London at the moment. Something called View.co.uk rates it, unhelpfully, as 4,666 out of 5,241 restaurants in the capital.

Alongside Wazen we are actually seeing a new interpretation of Japanese cooking stylized by open brickwork, kimonos, sushi counter, a dedicated Japanese (as opposed to Chinese) team. This might once have trumpeted a LARGE bill but not here. At lunch it is as cheap as the popular EatTokyo next door (which also has shabu shabu tables for eat as much as you like from £25), much frequented by Asians of all determinations and everyone else who uses the bus station looking for an inexpensive meal. But EatTokyo is not in this class…

Wasabi here is freshly grated to order…IMG_2746

Soy is an individual brew…IMG_2738

Ginger is fragrant… IMG_2937

Rice is proper vinegared, warm sushi rice, the fish so fresh that you can tell the difference…

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There is a good value bento lunch with variations on yakitori for less than £10. A wooden boat of chirashi (chef’s choice of fish on rice) is also snip.

The main event though is the sushi/sashimiIMG_2744

Other details are performed with similar élan like the seaweed salad and the agedashi tofu. All round a very cute little place in which shades of Miles Davis do not seem out of place, frequented currently mainly by Japanese, of course.

Such artisanal respect for craft and ingredients explain the hows and the whys and the oh-that-is-what-that’s-for a little more than just lunch or dinner. This is a restaurant that wants to be a restaurant.

Cafe Japan, 626 Finchley Road, NW11 7RR.
Tel 020 8455 6854. No website

1 thought on “Cafe Japan, Golders Green, London 16/20

  1. Pingback: Omakase at Cafe Japan, Golders Green London 16/20 | 101greatrestaurants.com

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