Popular Edinburgh restaurant named best in Scotland by Golden Chopsticks Awards

Edinburgh’s only Japanese owned and run AA rosette restaurant has been named the Best in Scotland at a prestigious awards ceremony celebrating the UK’s Oriental food scene in London.

Published 30th Apr 2019
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Harajuku Kitchen took the crown last night at the Golden Chopsticks Awards which were held at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.

Now in its second year, the awards, which were co-founded by Gok Wan, are one of the largest and most prestigious celebrations of Oriental food in the world.

Shortlisted restaurants, which included some of the very best in the UK such as Yauatcha, Duck & Rice and Kanada Ya, were voted for by members of the public over a six-week period, with 20,000 votes registered.

Harajuku Kitchen, which launched in Edinburgh in 2013 by chef-patron Kaori Simpson, offers authentic Japanese comfort food, street food and sushi and has won numerous prestigious awards as well as garnering a loyal following in Edinburgh and beyond.

Kaori has said: “We are so delighted with this accolade; it is a real honour to be recognised alongside some of the greats of the industry such as Ken Hom and Andrew Wong and restaurants like The Araki and Yauatcha.

Harajuku Kitchen
chef-patron Kaori Simpson. Picture: Harajuku Kitchen

“We just try and focus on simplicity and flavour and in being as authentic as possible, using the recipes that were passed down from my Great Grandfather’s restaurant to my mother who taught me to cook.

“Whilst our food is Japanese our ingredients are, where possible, local and this is going to be an even bigger focus for us in 2019 and beyond with a commitment to sustainable sourcing and membership of the Slow Food Alliance in the UK.”

Gok Wan, co-founder and host of the awards said: “After the amazing success of our first awards last year, we knew it was going to be a tall order to go bigger and better this year, but we feel we pulled it off! The Golden Chopsticks Awards has well and truly cemented itself into the culinary calendar.

“What an amazing night, bringing together the good and the great from the oriental food world in one room, with winners covering the broad spectrum of SE Asian food from Chinese, Japanese and Thai to Vietnamese, Malaysian and Korean. It was fantastic to see so many accomplished restaurateurs in the room, alongside the rising stars of the future! It was a real honour to host what is now one of my favourite nights of the year!’

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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