Harajuku Kitchen Edinburgh
Japanese anyone? OK then. In Edinburgh? Easy peasy lemon squeezy as Harajuku Kitchen in Bruntsfield ticks all the boxes. We dined there last week and this is what we thought…
In a nutshell
Authentic Japanese cooking and then some. An independently run restaurant nestled in cosy Bruntsfield that’s so popular with locals far and wide that you definitely have to book.
Chef Patron Kaori Simpson was born in Hong Kong and learned to cook in her mother’s restaurants after her great grandfather established one of the most famous fine dining restaurants in Japan.
After meeting her husband whilst studying in the UK she then decided to concentrate on Japanese cuisine and was appointed private chef to the Consulate General of Japan, in Edinburgh. Kaori’s entrepreneurial side was unleashed when she was given the opportunity to host a stall at the Stockbridge Market in Edinburgh, which we love and frequently visit…read ‘EVERY WEEK’ to get our fill of their amazing Japanese Gyoza dumplings… and from that she went on to open Harajuku Kitchen, a Japanese bistro in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield in 2013.
Menu know-how and must orders
You want raw fish, you can have it. We did. The tuna sashimi was fresh fresh fresh. Don’t expect it to fill your boots, no chance, but it tastes great and we could have eaten more.
Gyoza, you’d be a fool not to order these. Apparently they sell 3,000 portions a month (both in the restaurant and on their market stall), $ signs roll before your eyes. They are GOOD, you’ll be annoyed you only ordered one portion. Don’t worry, order more. It’s the kind of place you can easily order more dishes if you haven’t eaten enough. No sweat.
We also ordered, in no particular order -
Salmon Nanban – fried salmon dipped in soy and vinegar glaze, sake, chilli, onion and carrots,
Karaage Chicken – crispy and succulent deep fried chicken with daikon dare sauce,
Aubergine curry – pan fried tempura aubergine with rice and Japanese curry sauce,
Dragon roll – Tiger prawn tempura with avocado and mayo,
And a side portion of cucumber for mini monkfish, he likes his greens….
What we’ll order next time
We like Gyoza….
And then more sushi and sashimi. We didn’t really touch the surface to be hones, how can you in one visit, impossible. Any excuse to go back and sample more.
Nothing as far as we know from this visit just not enough capacity to try everything out that we wanted to!
What we liked
Hard to know where to start! So nice to be dining in a local neighbourhood restaurant that really knows it’s stuff. We’re not experts in Japanese cuisine by any stretch but we just felt that what was being served up was the most authentic you can get in town.
Prefer to eat street food rather than a sit down meal? No problem, join the orderly queue (as there is ALWAYS a queue) at Stockbridge market every Sunday and a portion of gyoza will be yours. We also enjoyed yet another portion ourselves at The Pitt in Leith last weekend. Addicts.
Harajuku Kitchen Edinburgh, we’ll be back. And in fact we’ll be back sooner than we thought as Kaori is running a sushi masterclass on Monday 30th May, 6-9pm, and Mrs Monkfish is going along.
For just £50pp join Kaori and her right-hand chef Rui for an evening set to educate you in the basics of sushi history, from the bare ingredients to the final dish. Kaori will teach you how to conjure the classic sushi dishes and the dexterity that goes with it.
After you’ve artfully crafted your own sushi, revel in your success by enjoying your dishes alongside your fellow sushi lovers, accompanied with complimentary miso soup and traditional Japanese green tea. There will be plenty of sushi leftover so you’ll be able to share your delicious dishes with your family and friends too.
Spaces are limited in these classes in order to provide aspiring sushi masters with an attention-grabbing, informative showcase, so book yours quickly.
To book call 0131 281 0526.
Harajuku Kitchen Japanese Bistro, 10 Gillespie Place, Edinburgh.