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Japan Centre

Restaurants, Japanese Leicester Square
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

The food hall of the flagship Japan Centre.

You know the new flagship site for the Japan Centre? Aka mecca for all things shiny and Japanese. It’s also home to a food hall and cafeteria. The setting is fairly functional. Less Harrods, more Ikea. Complete with that overwhelmed but excited I-want-one-of-everything feeling. Picture a bright basement with a Japanese supermarket (psychedelic groceries, fermented soybeans and such). Plus chiller counters (sushi, salad and so on), a dedicated fishmonger and that all-important hot deli counter.

Sit anywhere you can. At lunchtimes it’s busy by 12.30pm, so get a friend to bagsy one of the wipe-clean tables while you queue to order and pay (you’ll get one of those buzzers that goes nuts when your food is ready). It’s all served in paper and plastic. Come with a mate, not a date. (Though it does stay open until 9.30pm most days, so dinner is possible.)

As for the food, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Avoid anything with rice in it: the grains in the donburi are clumpy, while the sushi rice is like something in a meal deal. Noodles, soups and salads are better: read my list of the five best dishes to order, ranked.


Address: 35b Panton Street
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Opening hours: 10am-9.30pm Mon-Sat; 11am-8pm Sun
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Users say (2)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:2
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If you are a fan of Japanese food and live/work in Central London then you can't miss the new Japan Centre in Panton Street. Hidden in a corner of a small road just 10 min walking from its previous location on Piccadilly Circus, the new Japan Centre have significantly improved in comparison to its previous location. While in terms of Oriental supermarket you'll find a similar choice of food where products like Poky, Gyoza and Miso Soup are never missing; in terms of fresh food's choice the store has significantly widen. You can now find tasty red beans bins, Octopus sushi and even fresh Scallops or Pumpkin sushi tempura, providing a great choice of food even for the picky eaters or for vegans. Top tips: if you don't want to grab your food on the go, there is plenty of space now where you can sit and eat in, however, be aware that a charge will be applied to your order. Also, if you get there after 6pm you may find great discounts on fresh products expiring on the day (up to 50%). Don't miss this new hidden gem!


Admittedly, I'm yet to try much of a range here as I visited during the new Japan Centre's opening weekend and a truckload of options were sold out! The Takoyaki (batter filled with diced octopus) are a steal and so moreish once topped with Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. The steamed pork buns were even cheaper an option and both are available from the street-level kiosk so you needn't even travel down the stairs to get your fix!

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