Restaurant Review: Junsei, Marylebone, London

by Amelia Oliver

The yakitori (, “grilled bird”) at Junsei restaurant is the main attraction, and the menu is so broad that we decided to put our faith in the chef and order Omakase.

We thought Junsei, a Japanese restaurant that Chef Patron Aman Lakhiani, originally from Indonesia, launched in London last year, was going to be fantastic the moment We heard the news. We were expecting something new from his training at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Sushi Academy and at Barcelona’s Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant, Dos Palillos.

Although the restaurant’s namesake dish, yakitori, literally translates to “grilled bird,” Junsei also has kushiyaki vegetable skewers, elevated donabe (rice) bowls, and seasonal Japanese hot plates.


There are only around 36 seats at Junsei, and we sat at the bar to watch the sous chef prepare our food over Binchtan charcoal. The lights were low, and it was relaxing to watch him twirl the little skewers of something juicy until they were charred and ready to serve.

Food & Drink

Omakase, which literally translates to “I’ll leave it to you,” is the Japanese term for the tasting menu we chose.

Binchtan charcoal was used in most of the preparations because it lets the meat cook evenly and thoroughly from the inside out, yielding a luscious texture and a pure finish that highlights the unique flavors of each component of the chicken. It also results in perfectly browned veggies on skewers.

Akitabare Spring Snow Sake, a dry but somewhat sweet sake, was chosen because it complements the dish well while also cutting through the richness and fat of the meats. With the steady stream of incoming plates, it functioned well.

Two delicious bites of charred cherry tomato with chilli miso served as an amuse bouche were followed by six skewers of grilled chicken. Sasami, a chicken tender with wasabi; Shiso Maki, a chicken breast with shiso leaf and house-made “ume” plum paste; and Momo, a chicken thigh with 50-year-old Tare sauce.

Baby potatoes with wagyu aioli and okra with shoyu sauce and katsuobushi were served on vegetable skewers (bonito flakes). The last was comical since the flakes bounced about on the okra before finally settling.

The chicken meatball in tari sauce with a raw egg yolk on top was the dish’s shining star. Egg yolk and tari are to be combined, and then the chicken ball is to be dipped into the mixture. tasty and entertaining.

In the midst of it, two rice bowls containing braised oxtail and seabream appeared, as well as a Hamachi (yellowtail) tartare with ponzu and a spicy shiso seasoning.

A shot of Umushu, a Japanese plum liqueur, helped us wash it all down. This is rather sweet on its own, but it paired well with a fizzy soda.

Even though we were stuffed, we made room for dessert—grilled grapes and puffed rice topped with Kurumitsu (Japanese brown sugar) ice cream.


The Omakase menu at the Junsei restaurant is a great choice if you’re looking for some mystique and a good dose of surprise and joy with each exquisite course that arrives. Everyone has to taste this dish at least once.

Chef’s seasonal selection omakase meal is £60 per person, with beverages pairing at £50 per person.

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