Ukai

Japanese, Sushi·
££££
·
Silver Award
·
London, W11 1LL ·Website ·Call020 7792 2444

SquareMeal Review of Ukai

Silver Award

This is not just any old pub in Portobello. The large corner site is a lively bar with a world-class drinks list, a performance space and an astonishingly good Japanese restaurant tucked away at the rear. (‘Ukai’ refers to the traditional Japanese method of fishing with cormorants.) It’s a magnet for locals and tourists drawn by the cheerful atmosphere, live music at weekends and top-notch cooking.

Chef Alessandro Verros polished his skills at Nobu and Roka and brings a distinctive mix of modern and authentic Japanese cooking overlaid with ultra-fashionable Peruvian touches. There’s a large menu ranging from small-snack ‘japas’ (geddit?) such as vegetable gyoza, rock shrimp tempura and salmon and mango tartare. There are steamed buns with pork belly and cabbage, and a lavish lobster tail tempura with yuzu mayonnaise. There’s an ambitious range of sashimi, nigiri and temaki in combos including dragon roll with eel and avocado.

Sit at tables around the walls or the high counter opposite the robata grill and watch the chefs prepare scallops with orange and tobiko, or spicy lamb chops to die for. It’s all delicious, especially with a Fire Blossom cocktail (pisco, saké, fruits and chilli is a beautiful balance) created by an expert bar team. This is a very classy operation.

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Japanese, Sushi
Ambience
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
All day dining, Late night dining
Special Features
Counter dining, Live music or dancing
People
Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

Location

240 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LL

020 7792 2444

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm) Sun 12N-10pm

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Gaz P

30 April 2022  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 1
Strange bar

Interesting visit. Strange bar, they hire a bouncer to sit at the bar and check customer's credentials before they are granted permission to order a drink. The guy is about 5ft actually quite funny!

We asked why we were checked and he responded 'I'm Greek I don't understand'! Hilarious.

think he and the guy with the beard are a couple and they run the bar. Very odd place!

 Would say if you're 'an outsider' Id probably swerve this one. Could be good if you're part of the 'in' crowd if ya get what I mean. ??

Gaz P

30 April 2022  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 1
Strange bar

Interesting visit. Strange bar, they hire a bouncer to sit at the bar and check customer's credentials before they are granted permission to order a drink. The guy is about 5ft actually quite funny!

We asked why we were checked and he responded 'I'm Greek I don't understand'! Hilarious.

think he and the guy with the beard are a couple and they run the bar. Very odd place!

 Would say if you're 'an outsider' Id probably swerve this one. Could be good if you're part of the 'in' crowd if ya get what I mean. ??

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