Some of London’s great lunchtime deals come in the form of bento boxes. Here’s our pick of the best out there.
101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA
Akira offers three signature bento boxes – all of which include a bowl of miso soup. The basic bento (and we use that term advisedly as anything this pretty couldn’t really be described as ‘basic’) is a mix of sashimi and various other dishes. There’s also a sushi bento box and a veggie bento box with a variety of vegetable, egg and tofu dishes.
Soho and Marylebone
If you’d like to try some of Chotto Matte’s big hits, their lunchtime bento boxes are the perfect way to do just that. Both signature bentos feature their vegan watermelon nigiri, and big maki while the deluxe bento also features wagyu gyoza and the black cod aji miso.
This micro chain has a perma-queue outside its Soho location and for good reason – the sushi is good and it’s superb value, two things that don’t often go together. The bento box options here are a much-loved item featuring rice, a choice of fish or meat – think katsu, tonkatsu, teriyaki – with a selection of cooked or pickled vegetables.
2 Ham Yard, London W1D 7DT
Engawa burst onto London’s restaurant scene in 2015 when its exquisitely presented bento boxes caused quite a stir. At lunchtime, there are loads to choose from including a two-tiered box with sushi, sashimi, miso and more. There’s a good veggie selection too with choices including a vegetable tempura don bento box.
185 Bethnal Grn Rd, London E2 6AB
Handy for Shoreditch-based workers, Issho-Ni has a lunchtime build-your-own bento offering. For just £9 you pick from four sections – a cold and hot dish and two side selections. That could include seared butterfish, mackerel teriyaki, sweetcorn kakiage and kimchi.
6G Esther Anne Place, London N1 1WL
At Middle Eastern/Japanese restaurant Jiji in Islington there are three bento box options at lunchtime. Both the lamb shawarma and chicken katsu boxes also include salmon and avocado sushi rolls, a mini fish taco, seaweed salad and aubergine chips. There’s also a vegan roasted cauliflower bento box to choose from.
74 Salusbury Rd, London NW6 6NU
There are three lunchtime bento options on the menu at this popular Queen’s Park sushi spot. Opt for chicken katsu, prawn tempura or sushi. The first two come with salad, gyoza, rice and pickles; the sushi seat includes fruit and salad.
Mayfair, Marylebone and Shoreditch
All three Nobu restaurants offer a Bento box experience at similar prices. At Nobu Portman they also offer a children’s bento box with treats like baby tiger shrimp tempura and at Nobu Shoreditch, which doesn’t open for lunch, there’s an early evening bento box offering that runs from 6pm to 9pm.
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