Edo Izakaya is a cosy restaurant and bar in Islington that’s designed to embody the spirit of a traditional Japanese izakaya. For the uninitiated, an izakaya is a Japanese drinking den, a bit like a pub or bar, in which the focus is on expertly mixed drinks and relaxed tapas-style dining. This venture in London aims to capture the communal joy of sharing great food and drink with loved ones, by mixing authentic and modern techniques to create a unique experience for the diner.
The menu is carefully divided into six sections, with the aim of encouraging guests to mix and match a range of different dishes. These include sashimi and nigiri, small places, rolls and tacos, tataki, bao buns and large plates. You might choose to start with a selection of fresh sashimi, along with a couple of smaller sharing dishes such as chicken karaage, pork gyoza and prawn tempura. While larger plates encompass things like soft shell crab with gochujang mayo, salmon tataki with jalapeno sauce, braised short rib bao buns with pickled daikon and chipotle miso, and black cod with spicy miso.
Of course, drinks play a starring role at this Japanese drinking den. Discover a wide range of sake, from sweet to floral to tropical types. There is also the option to try a sake flight if you’re not sure what to go for. Elsewhere, its signature cocktail list includes an eclectic aray of exciting creations. Look out for the likes of a Sake Bellini, featuring passionfruit syrup topped up with peach sparkling sake, and a Ginza Sour made with gin, plum sake, elderflower syrup, apple juice, lemon juice and egg white. There is even a short selection of hot cocktails if you fancy trying something totally new.
Edo Izakaya comes from the same team behind Robata in Soho, taking its name from the Edo period of Japan, in which izakayas rose to prominence. Inside, modern décor blended with intricate woodwork offers a relaxed but stylish setting, with plenty of large tables to encourage a communal style of dining.