Shibuya

Restaurants, Japanese Chinatown
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Venue says Stop by to try our famous bingsu, a milk snowflake dessert with toppings such as strawberry, matcha, Oreos, peach, mango or azuki red bean.

Good quality sushi and excellent iced Korean desserts at this Japanese restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The Shibuya district of Tokyo is one of those places that slap you round the face on your first encounter. Department stores tower over you and neon signs blink relentlessly while a mass of tourists and trendy Tokyoites surge across what’s said to be the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.

By comparison, its new namesake on Shaftesbury Avenue seems sedate. Blaring East Asian pop notwithstanding, the vibe at this diminutive Japanese restaurant is serene – pale colours, minimal decor and plenty of blond wood. There are small seating areas on the ground floor, at mezzanine level and in the basement.

On our visit, the menu was also filled with contrasts. Among the ample selection of Japanese classics were highs such as well-made nigiri sushi with pearlescent rice, fresh fish and a decent choice of toppings, including o-toro (the fattiest cut of tuna) and sweet, firm-fleshed surf clams. The broth in two soups we tried was also of fine quality. But there were lows: in particular, lukewarm, claggy takoyaki (fried batter balls of diced octopus).

And then there were the knockout Korean frozen desserts (bing or bingsu). From our vantage point on the mezzanine above the counter, we watched as staff poured milk into a gleaming silver gadget that transformed the liquid into tiny shards of ice. These were layered with toasted soya bean powder, drizzled with condensed milk and topped with red beans. Sweet, rich, nutty and refreshing, this alone is worth popping in for. Almost. That sushi really is very good. A handy place to know about when you’re in Chinatown but fancy something other than Chinese.

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Shibuya says
Shibuya Soho is a veritable Tardis of a restaurant. By some kind of magic, the modest, two-floor space manages to be a café, bakery, bar, sushi joint, and ice cream parlour, all rolled into one.

But this isn’t a case of jack of all trades, master of none, Shibuya Soho are masters of all aspects of Japanese café cuisine.

Soundtracked by the latest Western and Far Eastern hits, the contemporary, Scandi-style space (all pale woods and minimalist touches) is super popular with young British Asians who can’t get enough of their delectable hot and cold treats.

Shibuya Soho is proof that good things come in small packages.
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By: Celia Plender

Posted:

Venue name: Shibuya
Contact:
Address: 110 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5EJ
Opening hours: Mon-Sun noon-11pm
Transport: Leicester Square
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50.
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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tastemaker

There’s probably a reason why I haven’t yet tried the popular Korean dessert, bingsu, and that would be because I am lactose intolerant and it’s pretty much 100% milk. But as you know, this has never stopped me from trying something I can’t eat! So when my brother was in the mood for some dessert after our dinner earlier this week, I brought him to Shibuya because he was also in the mood for something different/new.


We’ve both never tried bingsu before but have always been intrigued by it because it reminds us of a local dessert in Singapore called, ice kacang. Our version is made from shaved ice that’s drizzled in different types of syrups (for exmaple: rose, pandan, and gula melaka) and topped with sweet corn and condensed milk, while the bottom of the bowl contains red beans and jelly.


On the other hand, the Korean version is made from iced milk shavings and topped with whatever flavour one chooses. My brother went for the Kinako Bingsu, which is a Japanese soybean powder and this was sprinkled on top of the iced milk shavings. The dessert also came with a dollop of red adzuki beans on top and a small bowl of condensed milk to pour over as we liked. It wasn’t until we were halfway through that we noticed that even the bottom of the bowl had been filled with red adzuki beans! This was lovely because it helped to balance out the creaminess from the iced milk shavings and to even out the ratio between the two ingredients.


I quite enjoyed the bingsu and would definitely order it again but always to share with someone else because I don’t think my stomach could handle that much dairy.


As my brother enjoyed his milky dessert, I ordered myself a nice, warm cup of Yuzu Tea. This was rather appropriate given how cool the weather was that evening, even for a British summer! I liked how the tea was presented and even how it was made. It had a lovely citrus but sweet flavour and I noticed that they even added a bit of marmalade at the bottom of the cup for additional flavour. I liked this extra touch and it was really yummy to drink and felt like a dessert in itself!


Just came back from lunch here - loved it. The tea we ordered came with some bonus mochi (chewy rice-based delights). The tonkatsu curries came with bonus dishes of miso soup, octopus with seaweed, and stringy green tasty things. 


To boot, the staff were super polite and smiley. 100% will return for the jaw-dropping desserts.

Tastemaker

Too often we get Japanese restaurants creating non authentic or low quality examples of what should actually be an excellent tasting dish. I'm happy to report that Shibuya is authentic as they come as is the service. 


Great tasting fresh Sushi and one of the best Tonkatsu curries i've had in London. Great ratio of curry sauce, rice and pork. They also get served with these cute little side dishes of awesomeness. 


Save some space for desserts too, they have a great selection.