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Kintan Oxford Circus

  • Restaurants
  • Regent Street
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A yakiniku grill restaurant near Oxford Circus.

Part of the pleasure of this Japanese ‘yakiniku’ restaurant is that you just don’t expect it to be as good as it is. This branch (Kintan’s second) is in a basement off Oxford Circus and the wipe-clean menus are splashed with red-sticker deals (barbecue from £3! Appetisers from £1!). I kid you not: there’s a daily food ‘happy hour’ and it lasts for a minimum of six hours. That the food is a bit  brilliant is a massive bonus.

‘Yakiniku’ means ‘grilled meat’ and that is absolutely the thing to order here, as there’s a smoky, thick-ridged grill built into your table, Korean-style. The meat and fish arrive raw and you get to do all barbecuing yourself. Don’t miss the spicy pork. You can order soy and sesame oil for dipping but you won’t need them – this pig was pre-marinated and was best enjoyed naked. Sweet, fatty toro beef was also ace, but it was with the plain tiger prawns that the magic of the barbecue came to the fore. You can really taste the charring.

Of the non-barbecue items, bibimbap was a highlight, mixed at the table by our lovable waiter. Niku udon was more delicate and that’s something to bear in mind here, as the trad Japanese options did tend to be overwhelmed by the punchy Korean-influenced flavours.

But Kintan is a real gem, and you will not get a lunch this decent for these prices elsewhere in Oxford Circus. Plus, there’s also something inherently lovely about transporting sizzling meat straight off the grill and into your mouth.

Kitty Drake
Written by
Kitty Drake


21 Great Castle Street
Tube: Oxford Circus
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £60.
Opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 12:00am. Sunday: 12:00pm - 11:00pm.
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