Engawa (1 of 20)
My Japanese love affair continues with Engawa, at Ham Yard
Engawa (19 of 20)
A modern but highly authentic Japanese drinking and dining experience at Engawa

City AM – Half a dozen chefs (all Japanese) work in contemplative silence, constructing towers from nigiri, radish, beef, roe and kumquat, agonising over the placement of every sliver of chive

History and Background:

Opened a mere 4 weeks ago (March 2015), Engawa has already made rounds in the restaurant industry over its unique washoku style dining. Ham Yard took me by surprise, a small hidden gem neatly tucked away from the bustling streets of Shaftesbury Avenue. A location perfect for Engawa to reflect the tranquility of upscale Japanese dining, but also very conveniently, centrally located. The restaurant glistens with surreal serenity as you enter the front door in slight awe.

A bit about Kobe Beef:

Kobe beef traditionally has a strict import ban, being one of the most expensive and sought after beef you can find, and is farmed under very stern conditions. From being fed particular foods to the way it is raised, only 300 such cattle are exported every year, and is strictly documented online. Kobe beef ban was lifted in May last year, allowing Engawa to become the first and only restaurant to be able to serve this prime produce. (Edit: a handful of others now sell Kobe beef on the menu)

Other Engawa specialties include Wagyu beef, teppanyaki and sushi, as well as wagashi – Japanese style sweets.

The meal:

Engawa (4 of 20)
The Hakozen Bento Box (14 piece selection) £40, only available on the lunch menu
Engawa (17 of 20)
Grace taking her own shot of the bento box – it’s a beauty! (FYI Houji-cha is available for £4.00)

The menu differs from lunch to evening, and tasting menus are only available in the evening, specific opening times so please check their website here.

Engawa (5 of 20)
Selection of seasonal dishes, includes fish and Kobe beef sashimi as well as a variety of Kobe dishes. Served with barley and edamame rice and a soup of kombu dashi.

It’s been a while since I was fully satisfied with a meal from start to finish, I was so impressed that, I already had decided we will be back before we had even finished our meal! Each compartmentalised dish was made on point, and with precision, thanks to the eagle eyed executive chef Akira Shimizu watching over his peers. Many thanks to Daniel Ashworth, Engawa’s General Manager, (former manager at Nobu) for explaining these individual dishes to me in detail.

Engawa (14 of 20)
Tamago (Japanese omelette) with spicy cod roe
Engawa (16 of 20)
Seasonal Vegetable and Potato Salad with Home-made Tartar Sauce
Engawa (15 of 20)
Spinach and Seasonal Mushroom Salad
Kobe Beef (1 of 1)
Seabass (locally caught) and Salmon Egg (imported from Canada)
Engawa (12 of 20)
Yellowfin Tuna (imported from Spain) and Scallops (from Japan) with Caviar
Kobe Beef (1 of 1)
Kobe Beef Sashimi Tataki with Kumquat (on the right)

Melt in your mouth Kobe beef

Engawa (11 of 20)
Stewed Kobe beef with ito to garashi garnish
Engawa (9 of 20)
Seared Kobe Beef with Teriyaki Sauce, white onion and rosemary garnish
Engawa (8 of 20)
Kobe Beef Meatball with tomato reduction
Engawa (10 of 20)
Slow cooked Kobe with Daikon & Sudachi Zest Garnish
Engawa (6 of 20)
Fried Tofu with chives and bonito dashi dressing

There is another cup (photo not taken) of egg plant and daikon, in bento box photo above it’s the compartment next to the soy sauce.

Engawa (7 of 20)
Fried Maki Roll with pepper, green bean, avocado
Engawa (13 of 20)
Deep Fried Seabass marinated with soy and wasabi

Service: There was an overwhelming staff to customer ratio upon arrival this was expected given the size of the restaurant. Attentive, and observant to the point I didn’t even realise that my glass of water was being filled up. 12.5% service charge.

Price: £££

Engawa on Urbanspoon

Square Meal


2 Comments Add yours

  1. wow, that’s a lot of dishes! I love variety! Looks really good and healthy too!!


  2. Pingback: 1st Birthday Giveaway | Eat With Steph

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