Eating out: The Shiori, London WC2

The Shiori is a tiny Japanese restaurant tucked away on a Bayswater side street. It’s the latest incarnation of the (even tinier) Sushi of Shiori at 144 Drummond St NW1, which is now a shop selling Japanese ceramics. Kyoto-trained Chef Takashi Takagi is in the kitchen at The Shiori and specialises in kaiseki dining.

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese meal, thought to derive from the serving of food alongside a tea ceremony. In kaiseki, the order in which different types of food are served is fairly fixed. More dishes can be added or subtracted, depending on the formality of the occasion. A kaiseki meal uses seasonal ingredients and places great emphasis on beautiful presentation as well as great textures and flavours.

Typically, a complete Japanese banquet has a beginning, middle and end. The ‘beginning’ can include an appetiser (zensai), clear soup (suimono) and sashimi courses. The ‘middle’ can consist of  grilled course (yakimono), steamed foods (mushimono), a simmered course (nimono), deep fried foods (agemono) and a vinegared salad (sunomono). The ‘end’ is usually a rice dish, served with soup and pickles. This can be followed by green tea and fresh fruit.

At The Shiori, there is a choice of two set menus for lunch and dinner. As this was a lunchtime visit we ordered the ‘mini kaiseki’ which was seven courses. The food was not only beautiful to look at, the flavours were incredibly fresh and delicious.

Appetiser of sockeye salmon:

Sockeye salmon appetiser at The Shiori

Sashimi course with edible, palate-cleansing flower:

Sashimi course at The Shiori

Tofu and snow crab dumpling:

Tofu and snow crab. Steamed course at The Shiori

‘Vinegared’ salad of sea bass:

Vinegared or dressed salad course at The Shiori

Nigiri sushi course; medium tuna, salmon, mackerel, black cod, snow crab and scallop:

Rice course at The Shiori

Clear soup with lobster stock:

Soup course at The Shiori

Black sesame ice cream:

Dessert at The Shiori


The Shiori, 45 Moscow Rd, London W2 4AH. Tel: +44 20 7221 9790.

Cost: £50 including service, excluding drinks.





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