Japan Centre

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Japan's greatest hits
Started in 1976, London's Japan Centre is nearly all things to nearly all consumers of Japanese food: a food hall with Japanese supermarket staples, a bookshop, a gift shop and, happily for those in search of cheap and tasty sushi, sashimi, chicken katsu curry, noodles (udon, soba etc), ramen and tonkotsu, a very good and reliable deli counter. Its several previous locations include Brewer St, Piccadilly, Lower Regent St and, most recently, a cramped space upstairs at 19 Shaftesbury, which now sells just sushi and ceramics. In September 2017 the main food outlet moved to this much roomier and markedly more stylish space in Panton St, just off Leicester Square – a genuine food oasis. Japan Centre is the domain of original owner Tak Tokumine, who also runs the excellent and local chain of Shoryu Ramen restaurants [see entry]. Portions are generous and filling, with all of the hot dishes and sushi prepared daily by umai (Japan Centre's in-house brand). Takeaway is a big thing here. An outlet in Westfield Stratford City opened in 2011.