Kaori Simpson

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Harajuku Kitchen started life as a Japanese street food stall in Edinburgh, and is now a renowned and award-winning restaurant lead by one very skilled and passionate chefs. Japanese entrepreneur and chef Kaori Simpson was born in Hong Kong into an expat Japanese family of merchants – her father was an international tuna trader  and Her Samurai maternal great grandfather started his own business in Fukuoka, when the Samurai was modernised in the Meiji era by the Emperor; he opted to receive the estate and transformed it into a traditional fine dining Japanese restaurant. Kaori grew up helping in her mum’s restaurants, learning the family recipes and eventually cooking in the kitchen, so it was almost inevitable that she would one day bring those Japanese flavours back into her life.

The authenticity of the restaurant has been proven, such as official caterer for the Consulate General of Japan, Scottish Japan society, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Scotland, and recently the national Scottish Rugby Union,  which shows a truly authentic Japanese cooking is in demand in Scotland, not just a fusion confusion Asian food.

Harajuku Kitchen started with gyoza dumplings and udon noodle stir-fries in prestigious Stockbridge Market and then as Edinburgh’s first authentic Japanese restaurant, Harajuku Kitchen, was opened in 2013. The menu features a wide range of classic Japanese dishes including sushi, katsu curries, noodle dishes and regional specialities inspired by Executive Chef Kaori’s annual trips to Japan as well as the family recipes that have been passed down the generations to her.

In 2018 Harajuku Kitchen was awarded an AA Rosette and also won Best Japanese Restaurant at the Asian Curry Awards, Flavours of the World Awards from The Scottish Food and Drinks Awards, and recently 2018 The Scotsman Food Awards, won the Best Street Food awards in Scotland. With the unity of strong Kitchen Chefs of Harajuku Kitchen, they won best Restaurant in Scotland by Golden Chopsticks Award in London hosted by Gok Wan, Ken Hom and Gizzie Erskine

Harajuku Kitchen is now a part of Edinburgh’s foodies and local community that serves food that makes everyone feel wholesome and happy when they taste a bite of ‘Japan ‘ in Scotland.


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