Panko Ika at Japonica Japanese restaurant in Plovdiv, photo by placescases.com

Japonica – the best Japanese restaurant in Bulgaria

Japonica rating by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com: 5 out of 5.

August  2020


Seen            5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на placescases.com / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com

Felt              5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на placescases.com / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com  

Heard          5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на placescases.com / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com  

Smelled       5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на placescases.com / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com

Tasted          5 сърца от 5D Сензографа на placescases.com / 5 hearts by the 5D Sensograph of placescases.com    


Reading time: 5 min

You don’t have 5 min to read? Then try the fast mode, go only through bold and colored text – 3 min

You don’t have 3 min.? See the short movie further below: 2:09  min.

Japonica is my new discovery in Plovdiv. It became one of our family favorite places there  and I think that along with that of Chef Mihalchev, owner of Miyabi and a star from MasterChef, these two are the best restaurants dedicated to Japanese cuisine in Bulgaria. Visitors to Plovdiv can easily miss it because it is not located in the center, and there is not much information about it on the net. I dug specifically to find something different, outside the paths trampled by tourists in Plovdiv and so I came across it.

It is worth taking a taxi and going to the Japanese restaurant Japonica in Plovdiv! Read below why.


See ….

…. Clean minimalist interior, corresponding to the Japanese culture, with wonderful decorations of real origami on the ceiling and on each table;

…. On the terrace a lot of bamboo greenery to help the atmosphere;

…. The plating on the plates is flawless;

…. Great wine list, with suggestions for small bottles, as well as by glass from bottles;

…. The restaurant also offers sake, as well as Japanese Sapporo beer.

…. The original vision of tuna Tartar Martini – it was served in a martini glass, and the tartar is in a wonderful slightly sweet sauce.

Feel ….

…. Great service! The customers are explained in detail what is in the dishes, the advantages of the preparation are emphasized, which shows self-confidence for a job well done, the desire to emphasize the qualities of this wonderful food so that the customer has a memorable experience. In this aspect, the restaurant gains an advantage over Miyabi;

Here I immediately put Japonica in the group of the few places in Bulgaria that in one way or another meet the criteria for an unforgettable experience, as described in The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore.

According to economists Pine and Gilmore, memorable are those experiences that are both aesthetic, entertaining, educational and escapist. Those in which the client actively participates, not just consumes or watches, but learns something new, enjoys all the senses and this creates a desire to repeat the experience.

…. Staff wear masks and comply with Covid-19 protection requirements.

…. The crispy breading of tempura and panko. As a contrast, inside the contents are soft and pleasant.

Hear ….

…. Asian instrumental music that unfortunately looped several pieces all the time, some of which sounded like epic music, suitable for action electronic game, not for digestion, but this can be easily corrected. I liked more the music section with a chill-out, suitable for SAP.

Movie watching time: 2:09 min.

Smell ….

…. Well-balanced Asian flavors such as ginger, wasabi, matcha, soy sauce, teriyaki and other spices;

…. Wonderful mango sorbet!

…. For fans of more extreme smells, ice cream of matcha tea;

…. Rich aroma of wine from Andalusia ……. The wine was recommended to me by the waiter. Also, it comes by glass and it’s from a bottle! Well done for this option!

Taste ….

…. Everything is very tasty and at  exceptional level;

…. Ramen- my daughter did not stop praising, sipping greedily with the wooden ladle from its broth;

…. Any panko and tempura dish is a great pleasure!

…. We ordered three times the same sushi from the seasonal menu Uramaki Maguro Unagi with tuna and eel– that’s how much we liked it!Then – dragon, which also contains our favorite eel.

…. Martini tartar – I really liked it, because not only did it have an original look, but it was very tasty. It was interesting that the smell of of raw fish was not strong and obsessive but well balanced with the souse and it reminded me a lot of my favorite ceviche.

I return to the topic of the Experience Economy. When the waiter who serves you finally asks you if you have experienced Japonica, it means that all efforts are really focused on making the customer remember his visit to the restaurant.

Well done to chef Plamen Lozev’s team ! We want a Japonica in Sofia too, please!

How to get there?

Don’t worry about getting to Japonica in Plovdiv. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:

бул. „Пещерско шосе“ 82, 4001 Западна промишлена зона, Пловдив, България

A: 82, Peshtersko shoussee blv.

T: +359 88 895 0052

Open hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00 – 23:00

If you need to rent a car, you can book it here in the box of the largest booking platform.

How to book your stay in Plovdiv?

If  you are already planning a visit to Plovdiv,  I recommend that you book your stay right hereFor your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila. In addition, booking.com are doing their best to make sure that your expectations as a customer are fulfilled. I’ve described an example about the latter in  my story about our stay in Shangri-La hotel in Singapore .



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Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which are they, explore category The Experience Economy.

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