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34 George Street
This oriental veteran claims to be the oldest Japanese restaurant in London, and it’s become renowned for offering standout traditional dishes in pleasingly approachable surrounds: relax in the tastefully plain sushi bar and dining room or descend to the tunnel-like basement for the “classier side” of teppanyaki. Other places trade on sex appeal or bargain-basement street food, but Defune’s impeccable reputation shines through on a menu that resolutely follows the well-trodden path through sushi and sashimi, soba and udon noodles, teriyaki and tempura, green salads anointed with vinegary dressings and other benchmarks of the old cuisine. Service is suitably polite and reserved, the overall quality is high and prices are “robust without seeming unfair”. Note that the dining room can often seem quite quiet, but that’s no bad thing – Defune was never designed as a party restaurant.
Best Private Rooms: <10
Best Japanese restaurants in London
34 George Street
Bond Street Tube Station 503m
Baker Street Tube Station 576m
The Wallace Collection 86m
Dorset Street 246m
Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm 6-10.45pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Delicious Japanese food! I have been a number of times now and love Teppanyaki dining as the chefs cook for you at the table. The sushi and sashimi in my opinion is the best in town. The location in the heart of Marylebone is also great.
I have been going to Defune for many years and it is one of my favourite restaurants in London. Some have said that it lacks atmosphere; I don't think that this is true, it just isn't in your face jazzy, but to be honest I think it is far better for this. The food is fantastic, always fresh and such attention to detail. For a quick lunch the upstairs bar area is fab, and part of the fun is engaging with the chefs who make the sushi and sashimi who are always so interested in your meal and happy to help. We were once eating with my little sister who was about 10 at the time and she went in for one of the spicy tuna rolls, and went very quiet and stuggled to get it down! The chef noticed this and suddenly there were four rolls without wasabi just for her! (free of charge of course) I thought that was very sweet and it illustrates the kind of place Defune is. The tapenyaki bar downstairs is one of the best dining experiences, and fab to do with a group of friends. Again, engage with the chef, they are so keen to please and are so wonderfully talented. Ok so it isn't cheap, in fact it is one of those places where it is very easy to go overboard without really realising… but it is so very worth it! love love LOVE Defune.
I think that this is one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in London.
It is full of Japanese businessmen in the evening and has a very cool private room and a wall of Sake bottles with customers names on.
All of the sashimi was of an excellent standard – service a little slow on last visit – but nothing to write home about.
I have been many times and will go many more.
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