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While Japan is known for its sushi and sashimi, there’s far more to the country’s cuisine than purely raw fish and rice. From steaming bowls of ramen noodles to pan fried or grilled gyoza dumplings; from delicately battered tempura prawns or vegetables to sweet and sticky yakitori chicken skewers; Japan is a country whose ingredients and dishes vary from region to region, and make the most of seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re new to Japanese food or something of a connoisseur and you’re looking for the best Japanese restaurant Edinburgh has to offer, read on...
The name of this intimate West End restaurant literally translates as “bottoms up” - which is explained by the wide variety of sake and Japanese whisky on the menu. It’s a beautifully contemporary restaurant with plenty of light wood and some amazing wall art - and we’re equally impressed by the menu. As well as plenty of sushi options, as you’d expect from the name, we’re big fans of their tempura (the delicate soft shell crab in particular), and the stunning grilled aubergine drizzled in a sweet miso sauce.
Kanpai Sushi, 8-10 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AS
Head to Tollcross and you’ll find Harajuku Kitchen: a Japanese restaurant that boasts three AA rosettes and modern interpretations of family recipes that have been passed down for generations. The restaurant itself is lovely, light and airy with traditional Japanese art on the walls - and the food is just as much of a work of art itself. The menu is vast: for a bit of everything, you can’t beat the deluxe makunouchi bento box, packed with various sushi, sashimi and tempura, crispy deep-fried karaage chicken, a steaming bowl of miso soup, rice, an omelette and the steamed savoury egg custard known as chawanmushi.
Harajuku Kitchen, 10 Gillespie Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HS
Don’t be fooled by Cafe Andamiro’s laid back cafe vibe - inside this unassuming cafe-restaurant near George Square you’ll find some seriously impressive Japanese and Korean food. It’s a popular choice amongst locals of the Meadows and students alike who flock to Andamiro for the winning combination of efficient staff, big portions, great food and low prices. From the Japanese menu, try the seafood okonomiyaki - seriously tasty Japanese pancakes - and don’t forget to bring cash, as they don’t accept card payments.
Cafe Andamiro, 113 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NG
Bentoya in the West End is all about Japanese fusion cuisine: contemporary food in an equally contemporary setting. Pull up a seat at a table or perch at the wooden sushi bar, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by plants in zinc pots and a buzzing environment. While most of the menu is Japanese, you’ll find Korean and Chinese influences on there too. We love the generous, steaming bowls of seafood ramen soup, and the delicate pan-fried vegetable gyoza dumplings.
Bentoya, 13 Bread Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AL
With its long red and black banquette seating and minimalist decor, Koyama on Forrest Road is unmistakably Japanese. It’s a friendly and relaxed place to eat - and if you fancy it after your meal, there’s even a 10-15 person karaoke room on the premises that’s available to hire. We’re impressed with the value for money, and with the amount of choice on the menu too. The bento boxes are a great way to sample a few different dishes, and you need to save space for dessert, as the matcha and sesame seed ice creams are out of this world.
Koyama, 20 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2QN
Stockbridge’s Kenji Sushi has a cool and classy feel, much like its sister restaurant Bentoya. It’s a small place and can get busy, so be sure to book - Kenji is popular thanks to its beautiful ingredients and preparation, and its cosy feel. Don’t miss the takoyaki - balls of dough stuffed with fresh octopus - as well as the panko-crumbed chicken katsu with its rich and golden curry sauce.
Kenji Sushi, 42 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL
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|How booking last-minute saves you money|
|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
|2||You book the tables easily and securely on our website. You pay a small booking fee up front to secure your table and we send an SMS booking confirmation to your mobile.|
|3||The restaurant will automatically apply the TablePouncer discount to your bill when it's time to pay. No vouchers needed!|