The Araki | A taste of Tokyo in London

24 Jan 2015
2 min read
The Araki which opened in London in October had been awarded three Michelin stars at its previous location in the Ginza district of Tokyo where its popularity infamously far outstripped the 10 seats at the counter.

The London counter seats only nine and will now be the only place in the world to experience chef patron Mr. Araki’s edomae sushi (Tokyo style from the era when Nigiri Sushi was invented). The Araki serves a fixed menu with various appetisers and different types of sushi. The restaurant focuses entirely on the highest quality edomae sushi although the menu will experiment with traditional Europeanflavours such as foie gras, caviar and truffle (image top middle is steamed abalone with caviar).

Chef patron, Mitsuhiro Araki, said: “I left Japan to seek new challenges- I am immensely proud of what weachieved in Setagaya and Ginza but I believe that, like my daughter who is studying in the UK, I still have muchto learn. Change is an essential part of keeping the creative spark alive and that is why I find myself opening anentirely new restaurant for the third time in my life.“London is an incredible city with many very talented chefs and a very informed and sophisticated clientele. Although we are nearly 6,000 miles away from the bay of Tokyo I am excited about welcoming guests to TheAraki and sharing the true edomae experience.”

Mr Araki has overseen the sourcing of the fish from the UK and Europe himself with an emphasis on qualityover cost. He has been greatly impressed with the calibre of produce- in particular, his beloved tuna whichcomes from Ireland or Spain. The rice is shipped from a farm in Saitama, north of Tokyo run by Mrs Araki’sfather – the transit period actually proving beneficial for the dryness of the rice required for the sushi.

Guests can opt for a wine pairing proffered by MasterSommelier Gearoid Devaney or three types of sakeselected personally by Mr Araki and served in stunningkakiemon and eiraku ceramics, some over 100-year-old. The hospitality experience honours the chaji (Japanesetea ceremony) including the integral temae (roles andritual) of host and guest. Every seat in The Araki is at thechef’s table as each dish is prepared and served by MrAraki himself across the counter.

The restaurant was designed and fitted by leadingJapanese designer Takenaka- the wood for the counteritself is a single piece of 200 year old Japanese cypressfrom the Gifu prefecture, a gift from world famousmusician Ryuichi Sakamoto.


The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday fortwo sittings at 18h and 2030.

The Araki
Unit 4, 12 New Burlington Street
London W1S 3BF