I do a lot of my thinking in the shower. I think a lot of people do their best thinking while showering. Except for boys, they do theirs in the loo because trust me, you do not want to know what boys are thinking about when they are showering.


I was thinking the other day. Panu, in all his awesomeness, decided to take me out to dinner at Dinings last Saturday night. I mean, Dinings, guys. It’s one of my favourite restaurants in London and hands-down my favourite Japanese, so y’know, he got brownie points.

So I’m showering and sud-sing and totally loving that my new cleanser literally leaves me squeaky clean, and thinking about what I was going to order at Dinings. I’d been there once before and loved my meal and was all hyped to get out of the shower, jump on their website and check out the menu.

Except that Dinings does not have a website.

[Note 15.02.2010: I stand corrected and I am also stupid. They do have a website]

Hm. This is something I must have known the last time, right? But I guess around that time I was completely and utterly (and mentally and emotionally) obsessed with a certain vampire, so little details like a restaurant’s website could have totally logically slipped my mind. Totally.

Anyway, Dinings ~ with no website, no marketing and probably no PR to speak of ~ is seriously one of London’s best kept secrets. Tucked away in a dark little street behind Edgeware Road station, you’d be forgiven for thinking someone had given you bogus directions because the street, it’s dark.

And while places like Roka are brilliant and all that, what I really love about Dinings is its unpresumptuous façade ~ a tiny little Japanese restaurant with a simple sushi bar and a small, brightly lit restaurant area that seats I don’t know, 30 at most, serving up in complete modesty what I think is up there with the best Japanese food in Londontown.

Big call, little one.

Big call, but trust me, they deliver.

I’m not going to go into a clinical dissection of every dish in this post, because frankly, you should just go and experience this yourself.

But I do have to point out the seared wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa & ponzu jelly (above) which at £9 for two portions, is definitely the most expensive sushi to have ever passed these lips. But they’re that ridiculously good that despite the expense, they’ve passed these lips quite a number of times. In fact I did say to Panu that I’d be quite happy to pay £36 for eight portions and call that my dinner. And honestly, I would.

But I’m greedy, and I wanted to try other stuff.

Every single dish is a star in its own right. The wagyu beef tataki, foie gras sushi (which I’ve heard others not liking because the foie gras is served warm but I, for one, relished it), grilled scallops with creamy wasabi sauce… the winners just kept on coming.

And they don’t stop there. Dinings has a small but quality dessert menu, including green tea crème brulee which OMG I didn’t order! I was itching to try the hoji tea pannacota (delicious, not too sweet with a distinct tea bite) and Panu had the black sesame crème caramel topped with coffee froth because I was raving non-stop about that.

So there you go, a too-well-kept London secret unveiled and now y’all just have to go and check it out. And whatever you do, whatever you order, just don’t be stingy. Go for the seared wagyu beef sushi, I promise you won’t regret it.

In fact, let’s go all out. I pinky swear it.

Dinings Restaurant
22 Harcourt Street
London, W1H 4HH
0207 723 0666

Dinings on Urbanspoon

25 Thoughts on “Dinings Restaurant: London’s best kept secret (well I’m telling you now)

  1. You’re right, you don’t want to know what us boys think about in the shower.

    Great post Catty, I’m starting to develop a taste for Japanese food (infant stage) so it’s good to get recommendations like this.

  2. It certainly looks gorgeously presented.

  3. Oooo, is this the little place on Drummond St? I’d heard a whisper of good Japanese food to be found in the hinterlands behind Euston – maybe this is it? But no website – no wonder I didn’t hear the name before.

    Judging by the descriptions and photos this is one place i need to get myself down to asap to get my next shot of decent Japanese food – a rapidly burgeoning addiction. Thanks for the pointer, will head this way soon.

  4. Food Urchin: LOL I don’t want to knowwww! And thank you – Japanese food is fabulous once you develop a taste for it, plus generally it’s quite healthy 🙂

    Greedy Diva: It’s all beautiful. Just BEAUTIFUL.

    Grubworm: No no it’s on Harcourt St behind Edgeware Rd station… you really should try it, it’s GREAT. And now I want to know about the place behind Euston!

  5. Oops – misread Edgware as Euston – not sure how… However, i did find the Euston one’s website. It’s called Sushi of Shiori and has had some good write ups. Only nine seats though, so it must be kind of cosy. http://www.sushiofshiori.co.uk/index.html

  6. Sounds like a brilliant find. That seared beef sushi looks amazing.

  7. Lordy, lordy – it looks so good.

    Difficult to square your review with others (say, on London Eating), though. Seems like it can be rather up and down which rather puts me off. Why can’t places be more consistent?

  8. Lizzie: OH MY GOD. well I’ll be damned. They have a website! 😀

    Sarah: The seared beef sushi is just to die for, although my bf preferred the wagyu beef tataki, which is also crazy amazing in its own right!

    aforkful: ah, consistency is the key isn’t it? Because I would also hate to recommend a place and when you go, it’s crap!

  9. best kept secret revealed? I like! Oh gosh, i need that hoji cha panna cotta and the matcha creme brulee. SUgoi!!! 😀 x

  10. diva: OH the panna cotta is usually genmai cha (which is delicious anyway) but that night it was hoji cha. Either way I’m sure it’s great! 🙂

  11. Hillarious posting, I love it!! Dinings sounds amazing, I need to get Dr G to treat me to that one but will have to wait for birthday in August, damn it! Luiz x

  12. You’ve totally convinced me with the photos of the wagyu beef sushi and the desserts. I mean, black sesame creme caramel with coffee froth? Ohmygod.

    I need to get myself to Dinings when I get back, stat. For now I will have to be content with drooling over the pics on their website…

  13. Luiz: thank you *blush* hehehe.. Dinings is pretty amazing, so however you get there, be it out of Dr G’s pocket or not, I hope you get there! Soon!

    Su-yin: Yes the black sesame creme caramel was what I had the first time and fell in love with it (and forced Panu to have it this time!). 🙂

  14. Yes us boys are usually thinking “I wonder if that bottle of ‘Feminine wash’ was ok to use as shampoo?”

    I try to sit on the loo instead of in it but I’m going to try that next time to see if my ideas are any more amazing!

    I’m taking K there this weekend, I’m presuming that they won’t take bookings so we’ll just head there and hope for a seat but from the look of your images I’d be satisfied with a takeaway on the curb!

    Loving the Bite Sized idea, really works.

  15. Peep_Squeak: LOL, and does the feminine wash normally help you?! Anyway, I’ve just emailed you, I hope you received it – you do have to book at Dinings as they are a small place, so give them a buzz! Enjoy 😉

  16. Lovely pictures and review, but people need to stop now with the foie gras sushi. It’s many many kinds of wrong.

  17. Has been on my to-eat list for a while. It’s just moved up a few notches.

  18. This is the one you were telling Beth and I about, right? Must try it – looks divine!

  19. Chris: LOL I actually liked that it was warm. But my tastebuds can be a little whack from time to time 😉

    Wild Boar: It should! Let me know when you go and how it was.

    Mowie: Yes! This is the one… 🙂

  20. These look very yummy dishes! Great pictures too! If I am not wrong, I was staying in that neighborhood during FBC09, next time we must organize an expedition in this gourmets’ heaven 😀

  21. Alessio: Definitely! It’s worth the trip, especially if you’re staying nearby again!

  22. Victoria Sheehy on May 4, 2010 at 8:31 am said:

    Love reading your blogs. Am coming to London next week. If you had to choose between Roka or Dinings for a one off fab meal, which would you recommend. Used to like the food at Atami (which has closed), and love the Nobu style food, but not so much the atmosphere. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Victoria! Roka’s atmosphere is more like Nobu – more fancy, buzzy etc. Dinings is very quiet and much smaller. I’d say the food is on par with each other, so it’s up to you! If you do go to Dinings, PLEASE have the wagyu beef sushi with truffle salsa and ponzu jelly! 🙂

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