About us

 So restaurant Japanese food delivery takeaway pickup


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 gigs to name a few. The So Restaurant kitchen team would prepare special course menus in conjunction with the events, including everyone's favourites like tempura, soba noodles, tonkatsu, wagyu beef, miso grilled aubergine...

Since June 2020, So Restaurant moved to a new location near Spitalfields to the location of their sister company Sozai Cooking School.

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So Restaurant Proprietor 


Owner Tetsuro Hama

Tetsuro 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. Tetsuro is currently the 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.


Chef Zu and Naoko Nadiah

We are the duo that run the restaurant on a daily basis. Pictured here with our recent instalment of Japanese yatai food stalls- cosy seatings that our customers love to sit to enjoy new yatai tapas dishes like takoyaki, yakitori with oroshi radish ponzu, wagyu tataki, crunchy wasabi garden peas, lotus root fries, karaage chicken and more!

Chef Zu was born and brought up in Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan. He is a descendant of the family that established the famous Ogura-an, a special type of red bean paste that is a cross between koshi-an and tsubu-san. It is a prime ingredient in many Japanese sweet delicacies. Zu has been fascinated with everything about food from an early age; eating, talking, reading, discussing, all foods.

Naoko Nadiah was born and brought up in North West London. Prior to running a restaurant, Nadiah was a performance artist and trans-creator for a Japanese stage production company that created Noh* based theatre show touring Japan and Europe. She also worked as a trans creator for media/theatre/art organisations.

Zu and Nadiah met at a wonderful reggae cafe 'Toranoko Shokudo' owned and run by their friend Yakko-chan in Shibuya, Tokyo The most joyous bar/restaurant/music venue ever to be!

Zu and Nadiah's love for food, art and music emanate from So Restaurant.


So's Assorted Sozai Selection UK wide Delivery

In May 2020, So Restaurant were getting frequent enquires about whether deliveries and takeaways were starting anytime soon. Customers were missing our food! Extremely encouraged, we thought hard how we could continue providing good Japanese food when opening the restaurant was not an option, and So's assorted Sozai Selection Delivery was born.

The So Sozai Selection evolved over the months. There was a time when it was a weekly menu that included two mains and three sides. Unlike delivery food that is best eaten upon arrival, our sozai dishes are sealed in air tight vacuum packages and could be stored in the fridge from 2-7 days. Customers would warm up on the hob or in the microwave and enjoy them over the course of the week.

The entire selection could easily make a meal for the family or enjoyed by a solo diner or a couple over a few days. There was lots of flexibility that suited us all.

So Restaurant UK wide delivery sozai set


A little bit about the word 'sozai' 

Sozai, which is also in the name of our sister company, Sozai cooking school, has two meanings.

The first is 素材 (pronounced sozai) that means ingredient(s), and the second is 惣菜 (pronounced sor-zai) which describes pre-prepared and packed main and side dishes that can be reheated and enjoyed at home. The second meaning is 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 as an additional dish for 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 tapas style with Japanese 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 were not included in the Sozai Set but could be purchased additionally