One of Ealing’s best restaurants has a new owner, as Hiden Curry Lab takes over Kiraku, the much-loved Japanese spot opposite Ealing Common station. The restaurant, which is being renamed as Hiden Sushi Bar, has slightly slimmed its menu, but thankfully has decided against removing the noodle section which matches up to London’s best.
Hiden is currently best known in the city for its self-styled “curry lab” in Coal Drops Yard, from which it serves just one dish: Japanese karē raisu. Osaka-born chef Hideaki Yoshiyama’s space is as straightforward and specialised as its menu, with its bright yellow interior — formerly housing Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce’s sandwich shop Bodega Rita’s — contrasting what Yoshiyama describes as his “surprising sweet, hot and savoury, rich browny sauce.”
Yoshiyama is now a director of Asunaro Limited, a new company registered to Kiraku’s address; former co-owner Takeshi Nakamura, a regular fixture in the dining room and a gregarious personality, has resigned from former parent company Japan at UK after having taken over the business in 2018; it was originally opened by the Tago family in 2006.
Nakamura had bolstered Kiraku’s already considerable reputation for sushi during his tenure, in part due to his connections with popular bar Yashin and Yashin Ocean House, both in South Kensington. But it was the noodle section — unhappily disappeared from the menu during the early days of the transition to Hiden — that was the sleeper hit. Now Ealing locals can rest easy that some of the best udon and soba in the area aren’t going anywhere.