London eats: Nanban

Let’s continue with the Brixton theme a little while longer, shall we?


Coldharbour Lane’s Nanban has been on my must-visit list for a long time. It’s a Japanese restaurant by Tim Anderson, the winner of Master Chef 2011 and was also voted the best restaurant in Brixton last year. With all of these credentials, combined with a great menu, it was a place I knew I needed wanted to visit.



Nanban’s menu is divided into a few different sections; there’s your typical big dishes like ramens and curries but you’ll also find a selection of little dishes where the recommendation is to choose two of three depending on your hunger levels. I’d had a massive breakfast on the day we visited, so I decided to try out two dishes first and then order more if I felt the need.


It turns out two dishes was just the perfect amount for how I was feeling, but if I had been really hungry I think three would have been the optimal amount. That, or a bowl of hearty ramen which is definitely my first stop on the next really grey, rainy day. Knowing the British weather, I probably won’t have to wait for that too long…



Our “Japanese tapas” spread – looks SO good, doesn’t it?



My first dish was this amazing invention, called ‘KFJ’ aka Kentucky fried jackfruit, which, of course, is a veggie version of the famous chicken dish. It was served with a honey-miso mayonnaise and I seriously can’t decide which I liked more – the dip or the actual dish! Maybe it was the combination… Whatever it was, I would wholeheartedly recommend trying them out!



My other dish was this lovely sweet and mushy sweet potato (my first time trying out the white variety!) which was served with ponzu butter and black sesame salt which were just the perfect compliments for the sweetness of the dish.


Aside from the food, I also really loved the decor of the restaurant. The walls downstairs were filled with Japanese records and road signs where the upstairs was decorated with vibrant blue sofas & beautifully patterned tables. There were lots of thought put into the space and to all the little details which is something that I love to see in a restaurant. The food comes first, of course, but a good atmosphere and decor is a close second! Nanban ticked both boxes which is why I’ll definitely be going back – next time for the ramen!

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