Endo at the Rotunda

Japanese, Sushi·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of Endo at the Rotunda

Gold Award

‘Where the sea meets the sky’ (AKA the top of the old television centre in White City), you’ll find Endo Kazutoshi, a third-generation Edomae sushi master. There, he takes guests on a journey, across Japan and through history.

This, along with the stern black and white headshot that greets you on the website, might make Endo seem stuffy. Instead, the lift doors open to reveal a convivial atmosphere. Relaxed, chatty staff guide you to the bar. The chefs nod to you knowingly, equally eager for what is to come. And then, the man himself appears. He whips round, shaking hands, cracking jokes, thanking us for coming.

Once sat at the 200-year-old Hinoki wood bar, we sip on martinis. But these are no ordinary martinis. The bitters used are somehow made from the wood of the bar itself, and the grapes that come with are carbonated, again reminding us that nothing here is ordinary.

Borderline giddy with excitement, we are served our first dish. Cold udon in cold broth. But these are no ordinary udon, and this is no ordinary broth. The udon, which have a ten-year waitlist, are made by only one man, who lives on a tiny Japanese island. In order to prove he was worthy of these noodles, Endo had to go to the island himself and cook for the man. The udon are made using seawater and aren’t like anything else we’ve ever tasted. The impossibly delicate, crystal clear broth is decorated with tiny flowers, like dipping your spoon into a delicious meditation pond.

What follows is difficult to summarise. Everything is perfect. The wasabi, which comes from a specific farm on the side of Mount Fuji, is the best in the world. So is the seaweed. The rice, which comes from Endo’s own family farm, lays the groundwork for many of the dishes, just as his father and grandfather did for him.

This is truly a dining experience like no other, well worth the £220 price tag and year-long wait.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
Japanese, Sushi
Ambience
Cool, Fine dining, Fun, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Traditional, Unique
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining
People
Special occasions

About

Born in Yokohama, Endo Kazutoshi is a third-generation sushi master, specialising in the centuries-old Edomae style of sushi - a technique particular to Tokyo. After years spent as the executive sushi chef for the Zuma group, Kazutoshi struck out on his own with Endo at Rotunda and soon after, fulfilled his ambition of winning a Michelin star.

You'll find Endo at Rotunda perched on the top floor of the former Television Centre in White City. The space is designed with a graceful minimalism by multi-award-winning architect Kengo Kuma - as soon as you walk in the eye is drawn to the stunning 200-year-old Hinoki wood counter in the centre of the room, above which cloud-like light installation hangs. Meanwhile, panoramic windows on one side of the room give an incredible view across London.

'Omakase' translates as 'I leave it up to you' - the omakase menu at Endo at Rotunda leaves you in Kazutoshi's safe hands as takes you on an odyssey of Japanese flavours. The menu is ever-changing, seasonal and artistic, and guests get to watch a master at work as Kazutoshi prepares each dish by hand. Not only does each dish continue the journey, it also tells a part of Kazutoshi's personal journey.

To drink, there's an international wine list and a short list of signature cocktails such as the Satsuma, which blends whisky with mandarin, green tea and kumquat. In addition, Kazutoshi has developed personal relationships with some of Japan’s finest saké breweries, with many of those labels now only available in the UK at The Rotunda. Prices are as high as you might expect for an experience like this, but seats at the counter sell out pretty soon after being released.


FAQs

Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

Yes, the restaurant has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Do you need to book a table?

Yes, reservations are required for each sitting.

Helpful? 0

Location

101 Wood Lane, White City, London, W12 7FR
Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-14:00
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-23:30
Wed 18:00-23:30
Thu 18:00-23:30
Fri 18:00-23:30
Sat Closed
Sun Closed

Reviews

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4 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Phyllis W

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The best sushi place in London 

Shefali C

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Phyllis W

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The best sushi I had tested so far in the UK. The chef talked about his concept, and use of local fishmen.

James S

28 June 2019  
Extraordinary food for a one-off taste of Tokyo at its most expensive and most delicious. Beautiful Kengo Kuma space, nothing like a typical cramped Tokyo restaurant. Endo is very happy to chat away about the food, which is a great advantage over Tokyo where few if any of the top chefs speak English.
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