Popular Japanese restaurant Kenji moves to new premises in Edinburgh's Stockbridge

Food lovers in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge have been spoiled to have two great Japanese restaurants – five-year-old Kenji on Saint Stephen Street, and its newer sister restaurant UMI just round the corner.

By Gaby Soutar
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 4:45 pm

However, now two have become one, as the small upstairs restaurant Kenji has moved into the other venue’s basement level location at 18-24 Deanhaugh Street.

On the relocation, Kenji’s manager Saki Inoue said: “The reason we’ve moved is mostly because we are short staffed and can’t keep our sister restaurant UMI, which opened almost three years ago in Stockbridge.

“This place has been very popular. It is very sad that we have to close UMI, but because of high demands of sit-in, delivery and collection orders in Kenji, we decided that moving it to a bigger place was the best way for our customers”.

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Kenji sashimi

For those who haven’t visited UMI, it features colourful lanterns and a mural.

“There’s a Japanese street view inside and it feels like you are in Japan,” says Inoue.

“The menu is the same as Kenji, but we are also keeping our popular ramen and some of the special sushi rolls from UMI.”

We’re hoping to see their bento sets, which come with rice and miso soup, their excellent red dragon rolls with prawn tempura and cucumber, torched salmon, mayo and flying fish roe, as well as the donburi bowls and gyoza.

Kenji interior

UMI’s popular ramen dishes include the ultra spicy and the not-for-the-faint-hearted Crazy Tonkotsu variety, with chashu pork belly, a soft boiled egg, leeks, sweetcorn and sesame seeds, chilli paste and oil, grilled jalapeno and chilli strands.

There’s also a KFC version with karaage fried chicken and a Truffle ramen that has truffle oil added to the chicken broth.

The closure of Kenji’s premises means owners Kenny and Jimmy Zhang will be looking after two restaurants, as they also have Bentoya on Edinburgh’s Bread Street.

According to Inoue, this restaurant has just launched a vegan menu, and there’s been a bit of a makeover, adding: “We’ve recently refurbished Bentoya and we have been getting a lot of compliments from customers. Even the staff are enjoying the lovely interior.”

Kenji wok fried noodles dish

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Kenji interior