Found in Marylebone, Junsei is a specialist Yakitori restaurant and the first venture from chef Aman Lakhiani.
The dining room at Junsei is a simple, pared-back space consisting of light oak flooring and grey leather chairs, while brass finishes and Japanese artwork which adorns the walls adds some warmth. For those looking to get a little closer to the action, there is a chef’s table with room for five diners - perfect for solo dining or small groups - which overlooks the kitchen’s open grill.
If you are wondering about the name, Junsei roughly translates from Japanese as ‘pure’, which is a nod to the restaurant’s cooking process: all skewers are grilled over Binchotan (a white charcoal using Japanese oak) which is considered to be among the most pure charcoal in the world. Naturally, the menu largely focuses on yakitori skewers, with more than 20 varieties available to choose from, as well as a number of vegetarian options. On your visit, choose between the likes of shiso breast with ume, heart, crispy skin, tsukune and neck.
If you are after something a little more substantial, Junsei’s menu also offers sharing plates such as premium A4 wagyu beef, seared at the table using the Binchotan charcoal, or clay pot rice dishes topped with the likes of red mullet and seasonal vegetables. To round things off, take your pick from a selection of Japanese-inspired desserts, including strawberry mochi balls and a smoked birch creme brulee.
If you want to throw caution to the wind, there is also the option to plump for the omakase menu, which sees the chef’s decide what you are going to eat for you. You will be presented with eight different skewers to try, as well as sides, and can also choose to pair your meal with a drinks flight of wine, sake or tea.