Otaku News Shinsengumi Miyuki
Advanced Search
\ -


World Edition
UK Edition
US Edition
PSP Edition

Site Nav
Main Page
News Categories
DVD Reviews
Manga Reviews
Links We Like
Otaku News Shop

Site Info
About Otaku News
Link To Us
Contact Us

RSS Feed
RSS Feed Details


Advert Space

/ \
Sponsored Link: Tokyo Otaku Mode
Tokyo Otaku Mode - Figures
\ /

/ \
News Categories

> Cuisine
> Culture
> Features

Ichibuns - Japanese Burgers and more in London

Date: 2018 January 29th Monday [15:58] | Posted By: Joe

The restaurant scene in London is vibrant. No matter what you like to eat, there's a restaurant that caters for you. Japanese cuisine is no different. There are all kinds of Japanese places to eat, from cheap and cheerful Japanese home-style cooking to the decadent, creative and experimental nuvo cuisine.

Recently we discovered Ichibuns, a Japanese inspired restaurant like no other. Influenced by Hokkaido cuisine, it's a Japanese Rock and Roll American diner from the creative minds of Robin Leigh (who is best known for the legendary Nobu and Busaba Eathai) and Endo Kazutoshi (of Zuma).

On hearing about this we didn't really know what to expect. On visiting it was clear that Ichibuns is something a bit special.

The first thing that hits you is the design, which is a love letter to Japanese popular culture. When you walk in, the faces of popular shonen manga character stare down at you from the entrance. There are pages of manga all over the ceiling and Pachinko machines on the wall. You start looking and there's all sorts of interesting Japanese memorabilia like Oni (demon) masks on the walls, and adverts from old times. The staircase wall is made of whole telephone book sized weekly editions of manga. The eclectic style works because it isn't a restaurant designed by someone trying to copy Japanese concepts, it was designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt.

After eating there we wanted to know more about this place. It's like a portal into Japan. We don't normally do articles on restaurants, but were intrigued and eager to know more about this place. So we got in touch with Brendan Fong, Executive Chef at Ichibuns to find out more.
Full Story
Was it tricky creating a fusion menu combing Japanese and American Concepts?


We have laid back attitude when it comes to the limits of cuisines. I wanted to do something different that drew upon the best of both Japanese and American cooking. The fusion of both cuisines can seem complicated but really it’s just food that people want to eat!

A lot of the concepts seem to be very original like the Wagyu Cheeseburger Harumaki. Were they ideas that just came naturally? Or did you have to do a lot of experimentation?


To be honest, everybody always wants something fried. It's just that familiar flavour of the pickles with mustard and that raw onion kick, which is exactly reminiscent of a cheeseburger, plus the crispiness of a spring roll, that works.

Are you a fan of anime and manga yourself?


It’s hard not to be – the ceiling on the ground floor of ICHIBUNS is lined with various anime characters, and downstairs, the ceilings are covered in old Manga comics. There’s Japanese ephemera everywhere.


Are any of the other staff into anime and manga?

Of course!

What's your favourite thing on the menu?

I have just changed the whole menu getting rid of the ramen and replacing it with Udon which is one of my all time favourites . The Udon selection is really next level – we use a fragrant soy and dashi broth made using Hokkaido konbu and pour it onto our handmade udon noodles. The udon is served al dente with gives more texture to the dish and makes sure the noodles do not overcook when they are submerged in the broth. I’m really proud of the new menu we’ve curated and I have to say my favourite udon dish is the Wagyu Niku; Wagyu beef, onion, poached egg in soy sauce and dashi broth. The vegetable tempura ramen is also delicious and vegan!

Was it difficult getting the balance right? You've got a selection of Udon dishes and also some burgers with a unique twist for someone looking for something substantial.

There is so much variety on the menu at ICHIBUNS and we’re always adding to it and evolving – it was pretty difficult to be able to cater to different tastes but i think we are currently in a good spot where people can come in and have something healthy, substantial or just straight-up indulgent!

Is the Vanilla Miso shake the most genki and sugary thing on the menu?!

Probably! there is just something about pairing miso and vanilla together that just works. The miso adds a slight savoury and umami note to the vanilla that just makes it so addictive that eben i can't stop drinking it!

Was it difficult finding a company to do the interior design?

The restaurant was designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt, who are also behind London restaurant group Roka and Zuma. It made sense to use Studio Glitt because they understood how to bring the team’s Tokyo rock-and-roll design concept to life.

Was Studio Glitt the natural choice?


Stepping inside ICHIBUNS, you become immersed in inspired by 50s and 60s Japanese subcultures inspired by the quintessential American diner. This is what we knew an innovative designer like Studio Glitt would be able to produce for us, like no one else could.

Are there any details in particular with the interior design you're impressed with?

The lower ground floor bar features a wall lined in Japanese pachinko machines (much like the pin ball machines found in Japan) and another lined in Japanese craft beer cans. These are probably the coolest aspects of in terms of the design of the restaurant.

What do you want people to take away from their experience at dining at ICHIBUNS?

Our goal with ICHIBUNS was to be a restaurant experience like no other; ICHIBUNS was founded on the principles of providing the best quality produce at affordable prices alongside an unmissable restaurant experience, so that’s what we hope people take away from it!


What's your favourite cocktail?

I love the Yuzu & Grapefruit Collins cocktail, and the ginger Moscow mule I really enjoy refreshing cocktails especially when eating a burger! plus, I’m a big fan of Japanese twists on classics!


Thanks for telling us more about Ichibuns Brendan.

Ichibuns is located on 22 Wardour Street Soho, London W1D 6QQ. It's in China Town near Leicester Square.

Otaku News would like to thank Brendan Fong and the team at Ichibuns for helping us make this article possible.

Otaku News

\ /


Recent News
Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale Now on Netflix
Anime Limited to Release Mirai - Mamoru Hosoda's Latest Movie in Cinemas in the UK in 2018
Genki Gear New Year Sale 2018
Manga Entertainment UK Spring 2018 DVD and Blu-ray Release Line Up
BLAME! UK DVD and Blu-ray Release Details
Pluto: The Stage Play London Showing Details
Attack On Titan: The Roar of Awakening - UK Cinema Screening Details
Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms UK and International Premiere Details
Tokyo Ghoul Live Action Movie Review
Tokyo Ghoul UK Cinema Screening Details

Recent DVD Reviews

Shin Godzilla
Shin Godzilla
One Punch Man Collection 1
Digimon Adventure Tri
Nisekoi: False Love (Season 2 Complete)
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions - Heart Throb (Blu-ray)
When Marnie Was There
Sound Euphonium! (Streaming 1-14)
Golden Time Part 2 (Blu-ray)
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie
Terror In Resonance (Blu-ray)

DVD Review Archive

Recent Manga Reviews

The Birth of Kitaro
The Birth of Kitaro
One-Punch Man - Volume 1
A Bride's Story - Volume 2
The Book of Human Insects
Tokyo Cycle Girl
Shiawase Restaurant - Volume 1
A Bride's Story - Volume 1
Breathe Deeply

Manga Review Archive

Links We Like
Helen McCarthy's Blog
Lego Howl's Moving Castle
Emma Vieceli's Workblog
Jet Arts
AnnaTheRed's Bento Factory
Tokyo Mango

Link Archive

Essential Reading
Anime News Network
Pirate Anime FAQ
Otaku Calendar

Johnny Wander
Three Panel Soul

UK Sites
Anime UK News

Dead Tree Magazines
Giant Robot
Neo Magazine UK
Otaku USA
Shonen Jump
Protoculture Addicts

Anime Companies
Bandai Entertainment
Manga Entertainment
Media Blasters
Urban Vision

UK Anime Companies
Anime Limited
Manga Entertainment UK

Manga Publishers
Dark Horse Comics
GEN Manga
Kodansha Comics
Yen Press

US DVD Retailers
Akadot Retail
DVD Empire
DVD Planet
Right Stuf
Tower Records

UK DVD Retailers

Import Retailers
CD Japan
Tokyo Otaku Mode

UK Focused Importers
United Publications
/ \
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Everything Else ©2002-2018 Otaku News