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3 Love It
© Alys Tomlinson
Camden Town
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Even when it’s named after a venerable seventh-century Shinto shrine, a place that bangs on about genuineness makes one doubt. But the strapline ‘authentic Japanese restaurant’ on Shimogamo’s homepage is borne out by the food and atmosphere at this low-key, solid-looking all-rounder with its plain wood furniture and brown banquettes – a touch of suburban Kyoto at the Zoo end of Parkway.

It’s not just the deferential Japanese staff and name-tagged bottle-keep service that evince native nous. Decent-quality rice, and properly finely shredded daikon are among the little tell-tale signs. Even the sometimes grating choice of music, such as shamisen pop stylings from the Yoshida Brothers (big in Japan, apparently), adds to the effect. The footfall emanating from Camden Town tube peters out somewhat, so lunchtimes tend to be quiet, though there are well priced daily specials such as the ‘Salmon Lover’s Lunch’.

The evening or ‘grand’ menu takes a bigger bite out of your wallet, but offers more room for manoeuvre with styles ranging from traditional donburi and classic noodles to a natto and okra side or pork belly in miso with an onsen (hot spring) poached egg. Don’t expect fireworks; do anticipate fresh ingredients and all the classics.


Venue name: Shimogamo
Address: 108 Parkway
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6-10pm Tue-Sun
Transport: Tube: Camden Town
Price: Main courses £3.50-£25. Set lunch £10-£20
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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
Kathleen Javalla
2 of 2 found helpful

I've been to many Japanese restaurants and travelled to Japan in many occasion. After living in the UK in search for a decent Japanese restaurant I've come across some very disappointing and mediocre restaurant in London. In addition they have always been expensive! However, after discovering Shimigamo my perspective has changed! Not only that the selection of food was extensive it was very affordable. I would recommend and try their Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki! Oh and their sushi and sashimi are very fresh!

1 of 1 found helpful

Everything served in this restaurant is authentic and tastes are even better than average in Tokyo. If you are not satisfied with the quality, it simply means that you don't like authentic Japanese dishes. If so, you had better go to other restaurant with a lot of modifications for British people.

1 of 1 found helpful

Very, very, very beautiful. Great selection of drinks. Never had a meal that was less than stunning here.


Wow. Just. Wow. This is definitely the best Japanese food I've had in London so far. Since I moved to London, I've struggled to find a really good Japanese place. Most places are ok at best. This however completely exceeded my expectations. I had heard good things before I went, but I didn't expect this level at all. Plus, it was incredibly affordable. 

Between us, we ordered a plum wine (£4 only!), a sashimi salad, agedashi tofu, chicken karaage as well as a duck and soba noodle soup. The plum wine was incredibly value for money, and delicious (one of the better ones I've had, i mist say!) , sashimi salad was incredibly fresh - i loved the sesame salad dressing, and the agedashi tofu was to die for - their dash broth was salty but not too overpowering, and they had just the right amount of chilli peppers to give it an excellent kick. The karaage was extremely juicy and crunchy, and finally, the duck and soba noodles were perfectly done - soft/succulent duck that had just the right amount of pink, and springy soba noodles which was obviously handmade. 

As if the above wasn't already enough to blow our minds ...! The desires were amazing too. We shared a Yuzu cheesecake and Wasabi ice cream between us. Who knew Wasabi ice cream would work so well?? I definitely thoroughly enjoyed it. 

All in all, I highly recommend the place. The experience there was incredible, it doesn't get too busy either and the staff members are incredibly polite. Five out of Five stars, for sure - no doubt about that!

Luis C

the "Beef Shabu shabu hot pot" its simply the best food I ever had in London, Fantastic! A real Japanese restaurant

Masumi S

We were hear with friends on Saturday night, the Slamon belly, and yellow tail were the dishes I would highly recommeded

Howard S

Lovely evening was had by all, from the duck to sushi, and tempura, great service, worth checking out! Whilst we were there we meet our friends from South London also just happened to be there!


very mediocre (not 4 stars). black cod miso very blend, fried chicken and ice tofu are the other 2 dishes to avoid. Sushi and sashimi are ok but limited choice. I had better authentic Japanese restaurants in London.