Finding good Japanese food is difficult. So when we were invited along to Harajuku Kitchen Japanese Bistro on Gillespie Place, Edinburgh who had just won the accolade of Best Japanese Restaurant in the UK, we were very excited to try their offerings. Harajuku Kitchen fuses traditional family recipes that have been passed down for 3 generations, with innovative AA rosette level flair.
We arrived at Harajuku Kitchen after a long, and at times scary, car journey from Dumfries. We witnessed every type of weather you can imagine; from bright sunshine to heavy snow, all with the common factor of freezing temperatures accompanying it. Even the short 5 minute walk from the car to the restaurant resulted in rosy cheeks and the need for gloves.
We were warmly greeted, our coats taken and we were shown to our table, near the radiator. I of course grabbed the chair closest it to it. We were offered a glass of fizz each which unfortunately I had to decline as I was driving. However I chose a lovely, refreshing and most importantly, warm pot of green tea. I’ll be honest I’m not normally a fan of green tea, but this was delicious and much needed.
Harajuku Kitchen struck me instantly as a very relaxed restaurant. It is very simple, yet stylish and would be a great place for a range of occasions – an informal lunch with partner or family like we were having, a romantic date night with your loved one or a gathering of friends ordering and sharing a number of the dishes on offer. Or even to grab a take away from to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, we saw a couple of people pop in and pick up a bag during our visit.
Choosing what to order was a tough job as everything sounded phenomenal. Mr ESLT struggled the most as he absolutely loves Japanese food and I think he would have ordered everything, given the opportunity. From sushi and sashimi to noodle dishes and set menus, there really is something for everyone, including a wide range of vegetarian dishes which I was surprised to see as I always associate Japanese food as being for the carnivores amongst us.
After reading the menu a few times and asking for a couple more minutes at least twice, we finally chose:
- Speciality Sushi – Chef’s sushi set special mix – 2 mixed nigiri, 6 tuna and 6 salmon
- Tiger Prawn Tempura – 5 tiger prawns
- Steamed rice
- Teriyaki Chicken – chicken with tangy sweet teriyaki sauce served with rice and miso soup
Even though I am not a massive raw fish fan, even I tried both the tuna and salmon sushi and can confirm that they were amazing. I think Mr ESLT loved them as much as me because when I went in for a second piece of tuna sushi he fended me off with his chop sticks! Although he soon let down his defences when he realised that the volume of sushi was slowly but surely defeating him. Especially as he still had 5 of the biggest prawns we had ever seen in our lives to eat. My teriyaki chicken really hit the spot, the portion size was perfect and the sticky sweet teriyaki sauce was divine – we certainly made great choices.
I must also mention the taste sensation that is Ramune – Japanese lemonade. I had never seen or tasted it before and am now obsessed with it. A great sweet drink to accompany my lunch; it tasted of a cross between traditional lemonade and cream soda and came in the funkiest bottle I have ever seen.
Harajuku Kitchen pride themselves on providing wholesome Japanese food crafted with passion, for upmost authenticity and originality. Every mouthful was fantastic, the perfect lunch on such a miserable day. We have found a gem in Edinburgh and will certainly be back next time we are in that part of the world. If you are looking for amazing Japanese food we recommend you swing by Harajuka Kitchen too.
- Our meal was provided at Harajuku Kitchen Japanese Bistro on a complimentary basis in exchange for a review.