"To bring the best Japanese food to your daily routine."
Japanika's aim formed 5 years ago by it's two co-founders, who's taste buds loved nothing more than authentic Japanese flavours. This was easily found in London with the many small authentic and top class restaurant offerings that this amazing city has. The problem came when we wanted to enjoy the same experience during our daily lunch breaks, we simply couldn't find the food that we would find at restaurants in the evening. The next 13 months was spent researching and learning. The best Japanese chefs were brought in to consult, this even involved a few airline tickets. From the fish to finding the best sushi rich grains, 'Haruka' of course, and right down to sourcing the sharpest knives and the tools needed to keep them that way. Each dish was designed and crafted with this fantastic array of what we referred to at the time as the "Japanese Kitchen Masters".
Japanika was born in February 2010 and has grown year on year. Our fish is delivered every single day at 6 AM, yes Monday too. It took us a while until we found the best supplier of the freshest grade "A" fish that came with the consistency we needed of the 6 AM knock on the door day after day after day... Our fish never meets Mr Freezer if its not used that day. All of our fresh produce is hand picked from Spitalfields Market, by one of our in house staff, 3 times a week, usually when most of us are still asleep at 4AM!! You see we simply don't trust an outside source to just deliver what Japanika needs, only our in house guys know which avocados are just right and which ingredients are perfect to make our ponzu dressing.
Our aim - "to bring the best Japanese food to your daily routine", we think we're there but the final verdict is of course yours.
"If it's not perfect, it doesn't go on the shelf."
We mean it. This didn't start out as some advertising gimicky strapline, it was what the whole plan was based on. From the day the thought of opening a Japanese eatery came about it was engraved into everything we put into getting the place open on day one. This stands true right through to today and will do going forward. We are very proud of what we produce and we're not letting go. Each and every member of staff is trained to check each box that leaves the kitchen. Anyone in the store is able to reject a box, even the buss boy can send it back to the kitchen.
After all, we eat with our eyes before we even pick up our chopsticks. Simply put, our motto runs right through our ethos to you, so be sure that "if it's not perfect, it doesn't go on the shelf".
45 years old and kitchen born. Jorge brings with him a wealth of culinary experience spanning 30 years internationally in some of the most acclaimed eateries across the globe from his home town of Rio to Argentina, Spain, Italy, Israel and of course, London.
Known amongst his peers as the "Crazy Perfectionist" he spent a full 13 months studying and practicing the craft of the Japanese kitchen with some of the top Japanese chefs around Europe prior to opening the doors of Japanika. He's one of those people that never believes he's got to where he needs to be with his skills in the kitchen. This obsession coupled with his undying love for Japanese tastes is what allows Japanika to maintain its consistency of a high level offering.
His favourite job: Preparing food.
His favourite pastime: Making Japanese food.
His favourite book: Anything to do with making food... Now you see where "Crazy Perfectionist" comes from!
We joke that his first birthday gift was a Shashimi knife and that he hasn't put it down since. A fish's worst nightmare, his ability and attention to detail while cutting is second to none, even some of "Japanese Kitchen Masters" have taken tips from him.
Experience is a commodity that you can't buy, the experience that comes with him is invaluable to Japanika.
Between Jorge's creativity and obsession, and Hassan's familiarity with how to produce almost any Japanese dish raw or hot, its a symbiosis that others aspire to.
His favourite dish: Japanika's locally legendary Katsu Curry.
His favourite job: Honing his knife on the stone for that precision cut.