Jin Kichi

Posted by Krista on October 8, 2008


Jin Kichi
73 Heath Street
Tel: 020 7794 6158

Date of Last Visit: 4 October 2008

The Victim: Me

The Damage: £25

The Background: I spent most of Saturday morning working on my sorely neglected blog. I got sucked into a big black hole. Hours, we're talking. Hours. And what do I have to show for it? Now you can see links to Delicious and Digg after each of my posts. (You may have noticed some other changes too a week or two ago…Inspired by fellow London food blogger Silverbrow, I signed up for Typepad's Blog Services.)

So I needed to get out of the house. And more than anything, this London restaurant blogger needed a manicure. Typing and surfing. I tell ya.

I also, not surprisingly, needed lunch. So I headed north. And ran into Bryan and Stacey and friends on the way. They were heading to Borough and although sorely tempted, I had places to go, people to meet! Nails to get done.

The Entrance: I head up to Hampstead for lunch at Jin Kichi, a Japanese restaurant that I had read about previously on various Web sites. And conveniently, it's located right across the street from California Nails.

Happy, very happy, shouts greet me as I enter and I wish I hadn't totally blanked out on all the Japanese I picked up in Tokyo. I am given a seat at the sushi bar, which isn't really a sushi bar. It's a yakitori bar. Behind the counter, a gentleman is grilling what I can only guess are livers. On a real grill. Cool.


I skip the yakitori, which might be a mistake. But I just want some spinach. And some tempura. And a spicy tuna roll. So I have all that, watching the yakitori show the whole time. Service is sweet and apologetic. At one point, they tell me that the chef is very very busy and it will be about 10 minutes for my spicy tuna roll. This is the first time a member of waitstaff has every proactively notified me that they're running a bit behind. Normally when this happens, they try to avoid eye contact.

The Verdict: I liked it here. I thought my food was average. Nothing super exciting. But I still liked it.

P.S. Don't forget…blog about Your Perfect Day in London by the end of October. I'll summarize all the blog posts for all to publish on their blogs as a traffic-building exercise…

4 Responses to “Jin Kichi”

  1. Pleased to have been of help!

    Jin Kichi is great and generally a bit of a secret. Can be a mare trying to get a table midweek though.

  2. Jinkichi is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants. An ex used to work behind the grill with the owner, so we used to eat there a lot (in the early 90s!). You should have tried the kushiyaki, as that’s their speciality. Next time. And you should book especially at the weekends.

  3. Krista
    Oct 08, 2008

    Silverbrow: Meant to tell you earlier. I think it’s a good service. I think they can definitely take it to the next level though.

    Helen: Yes, I was surprised I got a spot on a Saturday afternoon. I arrived a few minutes before 2 though, just as they were taking last orders. I think that helped.

    Can I convince you both to write about your perfect day in London?


  4. Oonth
    Oct 09, 2008

    Hi Krista. Didn’t realise that you get your nails done in NW3, that’s my part of the world.

    I agree with you about Jin Kichi, a solid option but certainly not spectacular. As Helen points out its speciality is yakitori. A better Japanese option in NW3 is down the hill between Belsize Park + Chalk Farm, it’s called Ikura, I’ve posted about the place on Chowhound a couple of times before. Other worthwhile Hampstead Village options for future trips include Goldfish (modern Chinese, comparable to Haozhan) on the High Street, the Wells gastropub which seems to have upped its game in recent times (their hamburger is particularly good) and Osteria Emilia, a new Italian down by the Royal Free hospital opened by the people who own Giacobazzis, an excellent Italian deli opposite the restaurant. Also Gails on the High Street has an impressive selection of breads and pastries, they also have branches in Notting Hill and St John’s Wood.

    Hope that you’ve had lots of good eating over the summer and start of the fall.

Leave a Reply

Follow me on social media for more on London, restaurants and travel.