Japanese, vegan, and organic? No wonder Itadaki Zen is the first of its kind in Europe. But despite operating from a narrow pool of ingredients, the predominantly noodle/tofu/seaweed menu impresses with its range of tastes and textures. Grilled spring rolls with soft mashed tofu filling were a welcome change to the usual greasy, stringy sort, while the ‘kakiage’ tempura for main had the same salty, crisp, golden, gorgeous smack as chips on Brighton pier, and came with fluffy rice.
Our oh-so-casual waiter (dressed in jogging bottoms, no less) perfectly matched the restaurant’s tone, with its frayed tie-dye hessian curtains and bunches of wheat swaying lazily from the ceiling. The Zen-like lack of music, chatter or even ticking clocks made us wary of slurping our udon noodles too loudly, although some may enjoy the tranquillity.
All puddings are sugar-free on principle, which made the pumpkin cake with tofu cream too savoury for us, tasting as it did of Irish potato farl. Instead, maybe try a pungent sasou tea, made from bamboo leaf and buckwheat, which promises to soothe a weak stomach. Probably a good thing, after three courses of tofu. Note: there is a large selection of set menus in addition to individual dishes.
|Venue name:||Itadaki Zen||Contact:|
139 King's Cross Road
|Opening hours:||Meals served 6-10pm Mon-Thur; 6-10.30pm Fri, Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: King's Cross tube/rail|
|Price:||Main courses £6.50-£12. Set meal £15 3 courses, £21 4 courses|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
I've visited here twice now and the food has been amazing both times. The first time I had the bibimbap and then I had the Kimpab Chapche set which had noodles made from sweet potatoes. It is among the best Japanese food I've had, vegan or not. I will be looking forward to going back again.
I am a regular here. Being a meat eater that is no mean feat! The food is perfectly balanced in flavour and texture. The set meals are well put together. I previously wasn't a fan of the sushi but this has got so much better recently. I recommend the 'itadaki course' with kakiage tempura(last time I ordered extra on the side, it's so good). Also the sesame and season puddings are lovely, even though the dessert is sugar free.Good beer, wine and saki selection. The staff are always helpful and relaxed. I always leave feeling satisfied and happy.
Lovely little restaurant, cosy, comfortable, and with a small but excellent beer/wine selection (as well as a couple of very good sake options). The food was inventive and very good - and being vegan it's a real pleasure, not to mention a novelty, to be able to order Japanese food with confidence. Service was very friendly and pleasant, though a bit slow when I visited, but then the place was nearly full and there was only one young guy working front of house so understandable.