Nippon Izakaya: An easy recommendation.


Nippon Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant on the main road running through North Finchley, London is a Jem run by a courteous Taiwanese owner. This store actually opened two years ago, but the food served was disappointing to say the least; the pork cutlet I ate looked and tasted like a £5 note that was likely saved by over-frying a bag of the cheap and frozen alternative to a fresh breaded loin. I gave the restaurant another chance when the store was refurbished and the new owner moved in, and it became a favourite.

It is opposite the Sainsbury’s in Finchley, where you can park for an hour for free.

Anything you can order seems to be a joy for the senses here, thanks to the skilled chef; the food here isn’t the poorly prepared imitations of Japanese food you see in so many places in the city. Both the sushi and hot food are delicious here, which includes sushi, sashimi, ramen, fried food, bentos, and other smaller items. You can count on Nippon Izakaya to serve up an authentic rendition of your favourite.

Our menu recommendation: the Ayame set (Around £20 for 2)


Our recommended menu item for Nippon Izakaya, is the Ayame special set, which is available when eating instore. There are a few special sets, but this one is our choice, as it includes a mix of sushi, sashimi, tempura, salad, a deep-fried pork bowl, and a bowl of pork ramen. You’ll need at least two people to finish this one. We usually drink green tea with our food. After scoffing down the set meal without talking to each other much, we wonder if this restaurant is actually profitable with these portions and prices. If you ever get a hankering for some sashimi, this will satisfy it.

Pork Ramen

Pork Ramen

A  katsu-don  (deep fried pork bowl).

A katsu-don (deep fried pork bowl).

Before moving out of the capital, we lived in walking distance to this restaurant, and we visited at least once a week. There was no need to cook Japanese food at home. If you love raw fish, the sushi Sashimi Bento would be a good choice, and If you’re looking for some cooked fish we recommend the eel donburi. The raw fish served here is always nice and fresh, though most eel served in Japanese restaurants is caught in Asia and shipped frozen, and this restaurant is no exception. Expect to pay around £15 or more per person here.

The restaurant has good atmosphere and décor, making it ideal for dates and dinner with friends. If availability of seating allows, you could request a seat at the back of the restaurant, where it is quitter than the front.

As dining enthusiasts, it is in our interest to keep these kinds of good restaurants in business. So give Nippon Izakaya a try if you’re in the area, you can’t go wrong with such a critically acclaimed (see trip advisor and Google) restaurant.

Narihito MatsunagaComment