Bites: Japanese

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Nippon-Kan Old Thorns Hotel, Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire (01428 724555). Tue-Fri 12-2pm, 7-9.30pm, Sat, Sun 12-4.30pm, 6.30-9.30pm. Be sure you're getting the real thing here; the hotel is Japanese-owned and known for its championship golf course. The restaurant - no flash in the pan, it's been here since 1984 - attracts Japanese families at weekends. Chefs and waiting staff are all Japanese. Set lunches centring on the teppanyaki table cost £16-£20.50, or eat à la carte lunch boxes, noodles, sushi and so on for less. Set dinners range from £25-£40.

Nippon-Kan Old Thorns Hotel, Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire (01428 724555). Tue-Fri 12-2pm, 7-9.30pm, Sat, Sun 12-4.30pm, 6.30-9.30pm. Be sure you're getting the real thing here; the hotel is Japanese-owned and known for its championship golf course. The restaurant - no flash in the pan, it's been here since 1984 - attracts Japanese families at weekends. Chefs and waiting staff are all Japanese. Set lunches centring on the teppanyaki table cost £16-£20.50, or eat à la carte lunch boxes, noodles, sushi and so on for less. Set dinners range from £25-£40.

Abeno 45 Museum Street, London WC1 (020-7405 3211). Mon-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm. Claims to be Europe's only okonomi-yaki specialist, knocking up the Japanese cross between a pancake and an omelette, from egg, yam flour and cabbage, mixed or topped with other meaty, fishy, veggie morsels, cooked to crisp, crunchy and soft perfection at the table. A filling, sizzling meal for well under a tenner. Start with little bowls of pickles, such as seaweed and cucumber in rice vinegar, pick a yaki-soba noodle dish as an alternative to okonomi-yaki, add on a green-tea ice cream and you have a delicious and nutritious meal for £15 at most, though the set lunches cost even less.

Teppanyaki 58-60 George Street, Manchester (0161-228 2219). Mon-Fri 12-2pm, 6-11pm, Sat 6-11pm. Manchester's oldest Japanese restaurant doesn't have Japanese chefs - they're from the Philippines - and is one of the city's more expensive, but nevertheless attracts ex-pats working for Brother and Sharp in the city, which is reassuring. Set lunch from £10, and dinner from £15 (although £22-£35 is more typical) keep costs down.

Matsuri 15 Bury Street, London W1 (020-7839 1101). Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. Of all the smart and expensive haunts frequented by Japanese businessmen for impeccable food, this is one of the most approachable. It's known for flawless sushi and for teppanyaki. There are sushi set-lunches for £13-£17. In the evening dinners range in price from £35-£70, but the £20 set menu served between 6pm and 8pm offers tempura, dobin mushi - a clear soup in which meat, fish and mushrooms bob - teppanyaki, vegetables, rice and miso soup.

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