Itadaki Zen

Restaurants, Japanese St Pancras
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
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Itadaki Zen

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
Address: 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
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Ed. T

I always look at vegetarian/vegan restaurants with a mixture of suspicion and caution, and inevitably, the question I ask myself is: "Would this meal have been improved with meat?"

And for Itadaki Zen? Absolutely not. The food here is so fresh and full of flavour that meat would completely spoil the experience, as they bring out dish after dish of pickled vegetables or tempura. 

When you're not too busy trying to identify the piece of food you're eating, you'll be at awe in how they pack all that taste into such small dishes, and in a way that won't leave you feeling completely guilty about your diet! 

We opted for the set menu which was a whirlwind tour of their offerings, and left us feeling full and extremely satisfied! Even vegan dessert, a cheesecake no less, was creamy and full of goodness! 

All in all, a lovely little restaurant that serves some super healthy and honest cooking. The amount of care and precision in the food served is impeccable, and I would gladly come back again. 

My only qualm with the place is that they pack in the customers, so it can get quite cosy inside and can make romantic dates somewhat less romantic when someone has to climb over you to get out!

Daniel H

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.

Rosie T
Staff Writer

I went here for my birthday in September, a month of being vegan. I was very impressed with the food, usually when I have sushi I love to have salmon and tuna but of course this is not an option here. I was not disappointed with my dish and was happy to try something new. Unfortunately the service was very slow and this was not the most friendliest of places but non the less overall we had an okay/good experience.


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.