Kibou, Cheltenham

Walking along Regent Street it would be easy to miss this basement restaurant but keep your eyes peeled as it would be a shame to miss out.

I’m a bit of a Japanese food snob after I lived there. I’ve struggled but found only a few genuinely authentic eateries at a reasonable price to satisfy my needs for Japanese food since I returned 4 years ago.

This small restaurant of 5 tables and a couple of window seats has a cozy and intimate feeling without feeling cramped. Decorated with Japanese art and stocks products like sake or umisho to take home to continue your Japanese themed evening.

Whenever I walk into any restaurant I always try to look and see who’s preparing the food and my heart sinks a little if there’s no Japanese staff but I may have to change my expectations as I was more than pleasantly pleased with the standard and authenticity of food.

We started with sashimi moriawase which was clean, fresh and a great selection chosen by the chef, so it might be different each time you go. We also had pork gyoza which is always a winner with its meaty flavours and perfect dipping sauce. The pumpkin korroke, a Japanese version of croquettes, is the best comfort food. Maybe a little too much for starters for two but a good selection to start with if you’re really hungry.

For mains we had spicy mince pork ramen and chicken yaki soba. It’s been a while since I’ve had either of these dishes and they definitely made me feel sentimental. The ramen was very rich, full of flavour and perfectly cooked noodles but I would have enjoyed a shoyu tamago (hard boiled egg soaked in soya sauce) rather than a plain egg. The yaki soba was equally as enjoyable and satisfying.

We had a great meal and it was well worth the long drive. We didn’t experience the greatest customer service and had to ask for our table to be cleaned and didn’t get to see the dessert menu even though we requested it. This was down to the fact they had a large group in but I’m sure this isn’t a regular issue as the 3 staff to 7 tables is an excellent ratio.

I would definitely recommend this authentic Japanese restaurant, not just for a quick bite but for a special occasion too

Kibou Sushi
18 Regent St, Cheltenham GL50 1HE


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