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Ichibuns Photo: © Nacasa & Partners inc.
Electric Dreams
Japan steps it up
From The Barbican’s Japan House to Blade Runner 2049 (we’re not the only ones that saw it more than once, right?), Japan’s myriad influences have been one of the major stories for London this year. We’ve selected three newcomers on our radar, and now all you have to do is choose between high-end sashimi in Mayfair, renowned ramen in Southwark or Hokkaido burgers in Soho.

The best things come in small packages (check the third Michelin star awarded to The Araki’s nine-seat restaurant last month if you don’t believe us), and Taka has certainly taken the sentiment to heart. Melt Room’s Andrey Datsenko is behind it, and while grilled cheese to sashimi may sound like an unlikely jump, this is Taka’s second venue, with a sister site in Tokyo. The compact two-floor spot nestled in Mayfair’s high-end Shepherd Market serves classic Japanese dishes from sashimi and robatayaki, alongside a sake bar downstairs, with standing room for just 16 people.

Over the river in Southwark, ramen specialists Yamagoya have found their first permanent home. Owner Masatoshi Ogata opened his first ramen shop in Fukuoka, the birthplace of Tonkotsu, in 1969, and Yamagoya have been busy testing out their tonkotsu and tobanjan (for spice fans) ramen for months in London, taking up residence above Shaftesbury Avenue’s Shuang Shuang before heading south. Yes, ramen has some serious contenders in London, but Yamagoya’s noodles are cult-in-the-making.

Inspired by Japan’s idyllic Hokkaido island, Ichibuns combines American diner culture with Japanese junk food and Shōwa era interiors, and it’s a mix that works. Nobu founder Robin Leigh clearly knows what he’s doing with agrodolce-tastic Wagyu cheeseburger harumaki rolls. Green tea profiteroles, truffle oil and snow crab might be on the menu, but with everything served in disposable cardboard bowls or biodegradable plastic (even the negronis!), Ichibuns stays true to the luxe junk food ideal we can’t believe we lived all these years without.

A taste of the Aegean
If you’re looking for some Med-inspired flavours to banish the winter blues, look no further. Hovarda – the new venture from the team behind Yosma – focuses on light, seafood-based dishes inspired by the Aegean. Get booking for grilled smoked eel, crab borek and wood-fired beetroot, with signature cocktails and late night DJs too.
Find out more
The Weekend
We’ve come over all foodie this weekend, with the launch of Gizzi Erskine’s healthy-but-not-healthy Tate pop up and Ellory’s (definitely less healthy) comfort food Sundays – just make sure you work it all off on the dancefloor for Jessy Lanza’s DJ set at Camden Assembly.
Friday Saturday Sunday
Jessy Lanza DJs at Camden Assembly Pure Filth Pop-Up at the Tate Ellory’s Comfort Food Sundays
Photo: © Ming Tang-Evans
Ora by Heinz Beck
A seriously notable takeover
Italian lovers, take note: a three Michelin starred chef and an internationally renowned mixologist are coming to Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. Until the end of the year, Heinz Beck (of Rome’s three Michelin starred La Pergola) takes over the restaurant with his pop up Ora, and drinks maestro Salvatore Calabrese celebrates the art of the aperitivo in the Donovan Bar with his martini and negroni menu.
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Ivan Putrov
Ahead of the premiere of his Men in Motion show at the London Coliseum, we had a quick chat with ballet dancer Ivan Putrov.
What's your favourite London restaurant?
Margot or anything Fergus Henderson related (St. John).

What was the last exhibition you went to?
Jasper Johns at the RA and Rachel Whiteread at the Tate. Also, Anselm Kiefer at the Gagosian NYC in the summer was a revelation.

What are you listening to at the moment?
My life is surrounded by music – often live music – in rehearsals and ballet classes. Whilst producing Men in Motion I’m listening to what is part of the programme. Otherwise it depends on my mood – from Wagner and Part to Benjamin Clementine and Pet Shop Boys. I am curious and interested in hearing more.

What was the last thing you bought?
Apples and flowers.

What's your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
My life as a freelancer doesn’t break down to days of the week. When I have time off, nature or art is what gives me harmony.

Oblix East x Tanqueray No. TEN Late Night Party
Sponsored Listing
Discover a treehouse transformation
A World Class bartender and a world class view
Forget the Christmas tree, this year we’re all about the Christmas treehouse. On the 2nd of December, head up to Oblix East from 10pm-2am for a late night party to celebrate their immersive installation with Tanqueray No. TEN. Enter Oblix East’s Bar for DJs, botanical cocktails and canapés in the heart of the treehouse: think twisted trunks, leafy vines, and real trees. Designed by Oblix Bar Manager, Aaron Masonde, the Tanqueray No. TEN curated cocktail menu will be served alongside light bar bites like mirin glazed pork skewers, fried squid and black cod croquettes, with guest appearance by World Class bartender Jamie Jones. Tickets are £20, inclusive of an arrival cocktail and canapés.
Book now
City File
Georgia Taglietti’s Barcelona
Discover BCN’s hotspots: where to stay, drink and dine
As the Head of Communication at Barcelona’s iconic Sónar festival, it’s safe to say Georgia Taglietti knows a thing or two about the city. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next trip, it’s time to get browsing our latest City File.
Read more
The Blend by Chivas Regal
Sponsored Listing
Book Now - Ends 3rd December
Ever wanted to create your own whisky?
If you’re looking for the perfect present for the whisky lover in your life, this is it. Head to Chivas Regal’s The Blend bar in Shoreditch for one of their masterclasses, where you’ll try out a selection of their best tipples before turning your hand to creating one yourself. Take it home and gift it to someone, or keep it all for yourself. They’re only running until the 3rd of December – get booking so you don’t miss out. UJ readers can get two tickets for £30 (normally £40) by using the code URBANCHIVAS12 at checkout.
Book now
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21 November 2017
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Reproductions of any portion of this website only with our express permission. Urban Junkies is a free weekly mailer. All listings and features are editorial: We do not receive any payment from venues, artists or promoters. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of information listed but we cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.
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