Stepping into random doorways at the Old Compton end of Soho probably isn’t the smartest idea. In the worst case scenario, you could be duped into a very awkward peep show. Or worse, a meal at Wasabi. But Jugemu, a restaurant just around the corner from St Anne’s Churchyard, is definitely an exception to that. It’s an under-the-radar spot on a Soho side street that’s making some of the tastiest Japanese food in London right now. The entire experience feels like you stepped into a tiny backstreet restaurant in Kyoto, and it’s the kind of experience that you suspected existed in London, but could never pin down. The staff don’t speak loads of English and there are specials written in Japanese characters all over the place - it feels very much like the real deal.
It’s best to come here for a solo dinner, or a chilled meal with a friend. Order a pot of tea from their good selection, and some plates to share (the takoyaki and dumplings are both very good), or hunker down at the bar and order sushi that’s up there with the best in London. Speaking of sushi, there’s an excellent omakase set menu of whatever fish is best that day, and there’s an inexpensive set lunch if you work close by. If you’re into Japanese food, you’ll love it here.