8–10 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AS
  • Telephone 0131 228 1602
  • Opening times Tue–Sat noon–2.30pm & 5–10.30pm; closed Mon & Sun.
  • Food served Tue–Thu noon–2.15pm, 5–10.15pm; Fri noon–2.15pm, 5–10.45pm; Sat noon–2.30pm, 5–10.45pm. Closed Sun/Mon.
  • Email
  • Website kanpaisushiedinburgh.co.uk
Photo of Kanpai

The swan of Edinburgh's Japanese scene; elegant, composed and beautiful, with a lot going on beneath the surface.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017/18 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Japanese food in the capital can be a tad hit and miss. At Kanpai, discreetly tucked away behind the Usher Hall, it’s more hit … and hit. Super-fresh tuna and mackerel sashimi, served on a bed of ice, melts in the mouth, while the tempura batter surrounding perfectly cooked king prawns and octopus, the latter served with salty ribbons of dried fish, is crispy and light. California sushi rolls are bejewelled with glistening roe, the tiny spheres popping gleefully on the tongue with each mouthful. With the plethora of seafood on offer, it’d be easy to forget your greens – the sesame seaweed subtlety of a wakame salad is the ideal complementary side dish. The finesse and elegance of the food is replicated in the clean lines of the stylish décor. Whites and pastel shades, wooden floors and an artistically lit sushi bar marries with the polite murmur of the satisfied clientele to create a classy yet calm space in which to savour the treats on offer. Kanpai in English means ‘cheers’, so raise a glass of warm sake to some of the best Japanese food in Edinburgh.

  • High point: You’ll struggle to find better Japanese food in Edinburgh
  • Low point: Your wallet may not thank you
  • Notable dish: Mackerel sashimi
  • Average price: £18 (lunch); £25 (dinner)
  • Private dining: Up to 8 covers
  • Provides: Wheelchair access
  • Music on stereo: Easy listening
  • Capacity: 50
  • Largest group: 24
  • Open since: 2011
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
  • House wine: £18 per bottle