Udon restaurant 'den' prepares for UK launch

By Melodie Michel contact

- Last updated on GMT

den will serve traditional udon noodle dishes
den will serve traditional udon noodle dishes

Related tags: Japanese cuisine

Japanese udon restaurant den will open its first UK location in London’s King’s Cross in December.

The venue makes its own udon (firm, thick wheat noodles) and Dashi​ broths to recreate the traditional umami​ flavour typical of Japanese cuisine.

Two types of Dashis​ will be on offer for each dish, both with vegetarian options: white Dashi​ (made with bonito flakes, dried seaweed and soya sauce); and black Dashi​ (white Dashi​ mixed with strong soya sauce).  

As well as udon, den will offer small plates (Tsumamis) including such as red wine stewed pork belly, crispy mackerel, miso-marinated grilled salmon and sizzling beef steak.

The kitchen will be headed byhead chef Emi Machida, who has worked in the UK for seven years, including chef de partie positions at Koya and Bone Daddies.

Healthy option

The restaurant follows the recent wave of ramen joint openings​, but believes udon, a traditional staple in Japan, will be particularly popular with health-conscious London diners, having ‘fewer calories than ramen, soba or pasta’. 

“We chose London over other international cities because (particularly in the last few years) the English have embraced Japanese cuisine in a spectacular way.

“We wanted to build on London’s obvious love for traditional noodle dishes, and udon really is an excellent alternative on the scene. After a lot of research this year it was an easy choice to pick London as our home – and we hope it embraces den when we open next month,” said  den owner Masaru Kurihara.


The restaurant chose a ‘minimalist design’ and relaxed seating to convey a laid-back and traditional dining experience. Japanese-inspired music and an electric washlet toilet aim to make guests feel like they have just been transported to Tokyo.

den will seat up to 45 covers and takeaway will also be available.

den, 2 Acton Street, King’s Cross, London

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