I’m a huge fan of sushi and Edinburgh has quite a lot of really good places, but one spot that I haven’t been to and yet really wanted to go was Harajuku Kitchen in Bruntsfield – I’ve passed it a few times and yet never went in. Thankfully I was able to rectify that recently when the PR folks for the restaurant invited me along to give it a try.
I went along with my pal and fellow food blogger Emma (yes, we both have the same name) to put this Japanese bistro through its paces. I had given the menu a quick scan before we arrived (see – sometimes I do my homework for these things!) and I was super excited. There were some really tasty dishes that I was really wanting to try, a good mix of the classic Japanese fare with some dishes that are served with a bit of twist to create something new.
The place is fairly small and super relaxed, with patrons including friends having a leisurely weekend lunch and families feasting together. Harajuku Kitchen have just started opening during the day to serve lunch, and it seems to be going well if this particular day’s footfall is anything to go by – with around half the tables occupied.
To drink we simply had to have the Ramune lemonade – a popular drink in Japan. I love the design of the bottle, which has a marble rattling around in the neck once you open it. Not quite sure what the function of the marble is but it certainly looks very cool and we thought it would help compliment the authentic Japanese flavours.
If you’ve never tried it before, I would highly recommend it – it’s very sweet but very refreshing and served as a good accompaniment to the meal.
We went a bit nuts with the ordering, but to start I ordered a batch of gyoza. The waitress was excellent in the way that she suggested bringing out the dishes in batches, which I really liked. Sometimes when you order sushi it can be a bit of a rammy when all the dishes come out at once and you struggle for table space!
So the gyoza came out first. It was a standard serving of five pieces but I really enjoyed them. Sometimes I find gyoza dumplings can be really greasy but these had a good balance and a nice flavour.
Next up I had the avocado hosomaki and sweet egg nigiri – both surefire crowd pleasers and firm favourites of mine – it is very hard to go wrong with these!
I loved the avocado maki as per usual, but I particularly enjoyed the egg nigiri. It was topped with a wonderfully generous slab of sweet egg which was delicious – although I must admit it made this sushi very hard to pop into my mouth elegantly all in one piece.
Thankfully my dining companion and I could have a good laugh about the lack of my nigiri eating skills, but perhaps it’s one to avoid when you’re on a date or trying to impress! :p
Meanwhile, Emma went for the chef’s special sushi selection, which included 2 mixed nigiri, 6 tuna hosomaki and 4 salmon futomaki. It looked like a wonderfully colourful selection and at £12.45 is pretty good value for money – although next time I go along I would quite like to try the veggie selection. At the same price, it would be interesting to see what they come up with.
To follow up, Emma had a monstrous portion of tonkatsu curry, served with miso soup. She struggled to finish the dish, which is quite understandable given the huge amount of sushi we have had just eaten, but she enjoyed it nonetheless.
Apparently the pork was a little tough, but the sauce was lovely and I was a bit jealous of the side salad came with. Overall it looked like a delicious dish that could probably stand as a meal on its own.
Finally, I had the inside out garden roll, which included sweet omelette, shiitake, kanpyo and avocado with mayonnaise. When I saw it on the menu, it struck me as a good vegetarian alternative to one of my old favourites, the California roll, so I was really keen to try it out.
I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t disappointed! I mean, avocado, egg, mayo… what’s not to like? I might even go as far to say that I might bypass the California roll next time if I can have similar like this again. Plus, I loved the way the dish was presented, with a cut-out leaf in the shape of a butterfly. How cute does that look?!
Harajuku Kitchen is definitely one of the better Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in Edinburgh. They certainly have one of the best menus in town, with something that would suit every taste. I definitely want to go back and try their veggie chef’s special!
Many thanks to the folks at Harajuku Kitchen for providing the meal. Don’t forget to check out Emma’s blog, Edinburgh Feasts, for lots of other mouthwatering foodie haunts in the city!