Sharing Japanese cuisine and culture in London since 2006
So Restaurant opened in Soho, London, with signature menus prepared on a custom made yogan-yaki grill and cooked over volcanic rocks imported from Mt. Fuji. Saikyo miso black cod, pork Iberico marinated in So miso, poulet noir black chicken from Challens in teriyaki sauce.
Londoners, travellers, old and new Japanese dwellers of the city enjoyed sitting at the sushi bar and watch master sushi chefs' nimble hands create plates of sashimi mori, sushi and elaborate maki whilst sipping on wine and sake from So's extensive drink collection.
So Restaurant hosted many events over the years; Sake tasting events with Sake Breweries from Japan, truffle dinner with wine pairing, Japanese Enka singer and shamisen gig to name a few. The So Restaurant kitchen team would prepare special course menus in conjunction with the events, including So favourites like tempura, soba noodles, tonkatsu, wagyu beef, miso grilled aubergine...
The owner, Tetsuro Hama, arrived in UK in 1973 and opened Grill Room Hama in 1973, YAKINIKU HAMA in 1976, and So Restaurant in 2006. His passion to share the art of Japanese food led to establishing the first Japanese Cooking School in UK, Sozai Cooking School in 2012. Currently chairman of the Japanese Culinary Academy UK and board member of the Japan Society, Tetsuro is instrumental in Japanese cuisine and sake education and promotion in UK. In 2015, he received the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Since June 2020, So Restaurant moved to a new location near Spitalfields where their sister company Sozai Cooking School has been operating.
As Featured in
So Sozai Selection Delivery
In late May 2020, So Restaurant were getting frequent enquires concerning whether they were delivering or starting takeaways anytime soon. Their customers were missing their food! Extremely encouraged, they thought hard how they could continue providing good Japanese food in the times of the new normal, and So Sozai Selection Delivery was born.
The first version of So Sozai Selection included 5 to 6 assorted seasonal delis that could be warmed and enjoyed at any time. The new Sozai Deli selection for two, includes two mains and three sides. Unlike delivery food that is best eaten upon arrival, these air tight packages can be stored in the fridge from 2-7 days (depending on dish, details on each packet).
Open them all and make a meal for the family or enjoy them one by one over a few days, there's lots of flexibility!
A little bit about the word 'sozai'
Sozai, which is also in the name of their sister company, Sozai cooking school, has two meanings.
素材 (pronounced sozai) that means ingredient(s), and 惣菜 (pronounced sor-zai) which describes pre-prepared and packed main and side dishes that can be reheated and enjoyed at home. Similar to what may be referred to as 'deli' in some cultures. In Japan, 'sor-zai' are sold at supermarkets, delicatessens, department stores, and packed lunch shops. They are perfect for picnics, taking to a party, or adding to a home cooked meal.
So Restaurant's Sozai Delivery is of the latter 'Sor-zai', which is typically eaten accompanied with rice and miso soup, or accompanied with sake or wine.
One So Restaurant 'Sozai Deli Selection Delivery' can make a dinner for 2 people, when served with rice and miso soup*.
* Rice and miso soup are not included in the Sozai Set.