For an exquisite taste of Japan, we cannot recommend highly enough, the fabulous KOJI restaurant in London. Situated slightly outside of central London in Parsons Green in Fulham, it is well worth making the trip – with a sophisticated vibe, outstanding food and even a cocktail bar to sample.
KOJI was created as a joint venture between Mark Barnett (chef/proprietor of Mao Tai for 29 years) and Nobuhisha Takahashi (former Nobu head sushi chef), opening in June 2014. In early 2015 executive chef Rollie Ongcoy also with a strong Nobu background took over from Nobuhisha. Since then the restaurant has truly taken off and is getting a reputation as the place to go in London for fabulous Japanese cuisine in a luxurious setting.
The food itself is quite simply sublime; fresh, contemporary Japanese cuisine with South American influences and subtle hints of Western flavours. The wide menu includes exquisite sharing plates, freshly prepared nigiri and sashimi from the sushi bar and tempura, grilled fish and meat from the robata grill. The Moromiso Lamb is probably the most recommended dish and is definitely worth a try!
The décor at KOJI is sleek, chic and very contemporary; with huge windows at the back overlooking a gorgeous garden, oversized wall prints, and my personal favourite – the funky lights over the bar which almost look as if they’re made of feathers! As well as the main restaurant area, KOJI also has a very elegant cocktail bar where classic cocktails and exotic spirits are served by fully trained bartenders. Plus, the Sushi bar is a great spot to chill out and watch the Sushi chefs hard at work producing masterpieces for you to nibble on. The vibe becomes even more exciting on weekend nights when a DJ can often be found spinning some tunes and creating a buzzing atmosphere. It’s not just us who love this place, they were the winner of the OpenTable Diners Choice award in 2016.
With the service, they strike that prefect balance of being professional and helpful without being overly intrusive. They are also always ready to offer a recommendation, on both the food and the drinks, helpful whether you are regular fans of Japanese food and fancy trying something a bit different or novices who need a bit of a hand to get the perfect choice for your pallet. Top tip – make sure you check out the wine list, it is not only extensive but features some really unusual regions that are well worth sampling. KOJI is open 6 nights a week for dinner Tuesday to Sunday as well as Saturday and Sunday for brunch/lunch.
So the next time you meet up with friends or family for a bite to eat and a sociable evening out, I strongly recommend you give KOJI a try; with a vibrant atmosphere, a touch of glam and totally delectable contemporary Japanese cuisine.
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