Jason Allen 28/05/24

Kioku by Endo

Endo Kazutoshi has just invaded the Old War Office – and he’s winning hearts, minds, and stomachs.

For those who don’t keep a running list of Michelin Star-winning, third-generation sushi masters in their heads (we know some of you do) he’s the man behind both the impossible-to-get-into, Michelin-Starred Endo at the Rotunda and the recent jaw-dropper NIJŪ in Mayfair.

Appropriately for someone whose gastronomic star is ascending into the stratosphere, now he’s settled onto the rooftop of the freshly de-militarised, multi-restaurant-ed OWO with Kioku By Endo. And it’s a punchy move too, given that he’s going toe-to-toe with culinary demi-god Mauro Colagreco down on the ground floor. But once again, he’s absolutely nailed it.

Now, The Old War Office is a space so impossibly grand it makes you think that whoever was conducting the old wars must have thought the real enemy was unimposing, simplistic interior design. But unless you can fly, you’ll need to come through it to find Kioku, and there’s a small chance you’ll be a little lost – so just ask someone, or find your way to one of their thoroughly old fashioned elevators. Arriving up on the 6th floor you’ll be decanted into the rather beautiful restaurant itself…

Kioku by Endo

It’s split basically fifty-fifty between the indoor & outdoor spaces. Inside, it all gives off an air of refined minimalism, with abundant pale wood polished to a gentle sheen, almost like it stepped out of a Scandinavian design magazine. Out on the roof, you’ll really feel the presence of the area’s grand architectural facades, like you’re dining eye-to-eye with the corridors of power. But the most impressive bit is probably the private dining room, which is housed in its own huge stone turret, like they’re expecting a dragon at any minute.

Kioku by Endo

The menu tracks a path through Endo’s own culinary influences and travels, particularly across Tokyo & Spain. And it’s structured in a rather unusual way, adding in both a ‘middle course’ between the starters & mains, and a ‘sakana experience’ (which is a roundabout way of saying ‘sushi’). Thus, for anyone who wants to stretch out both their enjoyment, and their bill, you can get starters (cuttlefish with nori pesto & elderflower is particularly nice); some absolutely stunning, meltingly good chūtoro bluefin tuna sashimi; a middle course of grilled white asparagus with miso & bonito; and a main of tender duck breast drenched in fermented chilli with barley miso & hispi cabbage. Although it’s not 100%, some of the dishes are honestly next-level.

Kioku by Endo

If you want to really push the boat out though, the’ll happily sail you out into the deep-end of decadence. There’s an 8-course tasting menu, an 11-course chef’s table experience, and a bespoke ‘tuna trolley’ which they’ll wheel up to your table to show off the fat, glistening, ruby-red hunks of fish as they slice them onto the plate.

kioku by endo

The wine list that’s squaring up to all this is quite extensive, but laid out so as to be navigable, and you’ll find plenty of sake there too. There are cocktails too, and there’s even a separate bar downstairs on the main floor at the base of the building.

So at least Endo’s staying grounded.


NOTE: Kioku by Endo is open now, Monday to Saturday, as is the ground floor sake bar. You can find out more at the website right here.

Kioku by Endo | The OWO, 7 Horse Guards Avenue, SW1A 2EX

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Kioku by Endo

7 Horse Guards Avenue, St James's, Central London, SW1A 2EX

8.8 | Great