London Restaurant Festival has officially kicked off and About Time were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of one of their famous restaurant hopping tours! We popped along to the Suntory Whisky Japanese Journey, a veritable feast of six different Japanese restaurants around London, to see what’s what on the new tour for 2015. If you’re looking to join in, here’s what to expect from the tour:

Japanese Journey: What


Japanese Journey - Shoryu

Expect a whirlwind tour of Japan’s culture and food in one weekend -visiting London’s best ramen bars, sushi restaurants and Japanese lzakayas. The concept is a marriage of food and whisky; each venue will offer a range of specialist Japanese dishes, paired with the new Hibiki Japanese Harmony whisky: a meticulous and subtle blend of the finest whiskies from the House of Suntory.

Japanese Journey: The Idea

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

Whilst taking part in the Japanese Journey, you’ll get to experience six restaurants on this weekend tour, with a delicious small plate and a drink in each. The concept is simple; you pick up a ‘passport’ at the start, which gives you access to the special menu in each location. You can take your time, too – passport holders will be able to visit six restaurants in one weekend, walking between each at their leisure.

Japanese Journey: Why

Japanese Journey

In Japan, whisky has always been distilled for complimenting the delicate palate of Japanese food, like matching with wine in the West. Even traditional Japanese cocktails like the highball are created to enhance the experience of the meal. A Japanese highball is typically made with a refreshing blend of whisky and soda over ice, balancing the complex flavours of Japanese cuisine while cleansing the palate.

Japanese Journey: Where

Japanese Journey - Shoryu 001

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

The six participating restaurants in the Japanese Journey this year include Shoryu Ramen, who specialise in Hakata Tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka, Bó Drake, an East-Asian BBQ restaurant, creating dishes with East-West influences, and Kurobuta, who take inspiration from the Izakayas of Japan, where tapas-style plates are served to accompany drinks in a casual setting. We got to sample the sample plates at Bó Drake and we can report they are very delicious indeed – the aubergine with smoked miso and vine tomato water is particularly delicious. At Shoryu Ramen, the Shoryu Bun – a steamed hirata style bun filled with soy marinated chicken karaage – is fantastic too. 

Photo by Paul Winch-Furness

Japanese Journey: Our Verdict


Good fun, good drinks, good fun, you really can’t go wrong with this tour. The passport allows you the freedom to hop around at your own pace, and there’s plenty of food and booze to around, we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

For more information and to book, see here.