11 Apr 2019
8th April 2018
Review restaurants for JETAA UK
JETAA is creating a Japanese restaurant map of the UK, and we need your help. The goal is to create a resource showcasing the best Japanese and Japanese-influenced food the length and breadth of the UK. So, if you know of a yummy or interesting Japanese restaurant in your area, whether it's just-opened or an established favourite, we'd love to hear from you. Luckily, the country is in the midst of a washoku boom, so we shouldn't be short of candidates!
And it gets better. One review submitted each month will be chosen at random to win a £25 online voucher for Japan Centre! The first voucher will be sent after the end of April, so please get cracking. Reviews will be published on JETAA UK's website, and subsequently as part of the food map.
In order to simplify the process and ensure some homogeneity, we've created the restaurant review template below, which is followed by an example. We hope the format is clear but please get in touch if you have any questions. As the map will be a more credible resource if all the contributions come from people who've lived in Japan and know Japanese food, we can only accept reviews from ex-JETS at this stage. All reviews must be emailed to email@example.com. Please use 'Review' in the subject line.
The restaurant review template
The pitch: One line summing up the restaurant and its USP (unique selling point)
Review: Around 200 words. Should cover:
– What options are on the menu (are there e.g. vegetarian options?)
– What was eaten/drunk
– Good points and bad points of the meal and restaurant
– If memorable, a quick note on atmosphere, decor and/or service.
Point of note: Something surprising or interesting about the restaurant (if nothing springs to mind this can be replaced by Standout dish)
Cost: What did it cost per head for what was ordered
Location: If it’s a standalone restaurant, the address and phone number; if a chain, a rough list of locations.
The pitch: Authentic tonkotsu ramen from Fukuoka
Review: Kanada-ya is already a word-of-mouth favourite among young Londoners. A huge plus point is that it actually asks customers how hard they would like their noodles – sadly not common practice in the UK. Especially good news when the noodles are this good. The Tonkotsu X ramen (‘exclusive to London’) is made with a pork and corn-fed chicken bone broth. This had a strong, clear flavour although part of me wished I’d opted to sample the intensity of the pure tonkotsu option. The chashu also lacked a little oomph. The kaedama option (another helping of freshly-cooked noodles in your remaining broth) comes straight from Kyushu and is another authentic touch. The vegetarian offering has an intriguing porcini-soy milk base, served with asparagus. Sides like onigiri, edamame and chicken karaage – which was good but not exceptional – fill out the menu. Overall, a quality bowl of ramen that warrants another visit.
Point of note: Kanada-san is a former professional Keirin cyclist and Kanada-ya has an incredible backstory (https://www.kanada-ya.com/story) straight out of a film
Cost: £15 per head for ramen plus kaedama and shared side of karaage.
Locations: Stores in Piccadilly, Covent Garden and newly opened in Angel
– Please include your former contracting organisation (e.g. Niigata-ken) and years on JET at the top of the review. While reviews will be anonymised, it’s important that all are written by former JETs.
– Try to be informative and objective while also offering genuine insight into the dining experience.
– It’s appropriate to bring personality into the review, although please be honest without being rude.
– Where a term is relatively well known like sashimi, there’s no need to explain it. If it’s something obscure to a general audience (e.g. kaedama), please explain it succinctly.
– When referring to a specific dish on the menu, capitalise it.
Please email all reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org