Kiku 1

17 Half Moon Street , London, W1J 7BE

SquareMeal Review of Kiku

A minimalist blend of Japanese blond wood and lattice screens, Kiku’s two-tier dining room puts on two very different faces. By day, business lunchers pile in for well-regarded set deals that require a modest outlay and half an hour of your time. The Kiku ‘special’ is a top shout, offering mixed tempura, miso soup, sushi and teriyaki-braised chicken, but you can also dip into abundant raw fish, donburi rice bowls or noodle soups. By night, a more moneyed crowd arrives to indulge in glistening sashimi platters, sunomono salads, tempura and bubbling shabu-shabu hotpots. Alternatively, kaiseki banquet menus offer a more extensive tour of the cuisine and its premium plates. Prices are reasonable, and a seat at the sushi bar adds extra value: “just go easy on the wasabi – it’s strong!” warns a fan.

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6.0

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 6.5

Atmosphere: 5.3

Value: 4.5

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Henry T. 05 October 2013

Booked for a Saturday evening, and Kiku was moderately busy, but not at all crowded. We were welcomed brusquely, seated promptly, and handed menus (including a list of interesting special dishes) and rather tepid warm towels. Twenty-five minutes later we still had not been asked for drinks orders, much less food orders, and so we departed – we drove over to Nizuni in Fitzrovia, which was crowded, but they squeezed us in and we had drinks in hand and food orders in the kitchen within six minutes of our arrival. During our long wait at Kiku, we did at least have ample opportunity to observe the serving of Shabu-Shabu at an adjoining table — it was expertly prepared and well presented with apparently excellent ingredients. Given Kiku's prices, and its evident commitment to the cuisine, the service failure is simply inexcusable (and it occurred in full view of the maitre d'hotel). I would not hazard a business meal at Kiku, no matter how good the kitchen might be.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Tara H. 29 August 2013

The sushi rice is delicious and the food as a whole is excellent. The service is fantastic. It is very authentically Japanese minus taking off your shoes. Super yummy.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Sammy.D bronze reviewer 05 April 2010

We had booked a table for 2pm which like for many Japanese establishments is late for lunch and it was clear most people had finished or were about to. The staff didn't seem to mind and let us take our time over our order. While the overall look is clean and utilitarian, the food is excellent. I ordered off the a la carte sushi menu and everything was superbly fresh and just-made. Much, much better than the kind of stuff you get at lunchtime at Nobu.The staff were cleaning up or eating themselves by the time we left — not that late — but remained courteous. Not a place to linger but definitely worth it if you like proper sushi.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Carl Johan silver reviewer 25 February 2009

Direct upon entering Kiku it feels like a genuine Japanese restaurant simply because you see a lot of Japanese clients dining. The food did in deed turn out to be a success. I had a fairly big lunch with edamame, salad, sashimi along with the normal sides. My friend and I were sat upstairs and like Squaremeal says, the place got really packed, really quickly so I would recommend booking. You can see that this is a very common place for business lunches, which obviously brings the atmosphere down slightly. The service was very accommodating and I really don’t have much to complain about. But there was one thing.. 35 pounds a head for a lunch, no wine, is quite a lot. Sure, it was good, but I’ve had as good sushi at much lower prices.

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Kiku is included in the following SquareMeal lists