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david goodfellow

Best sushi in London?

22 posts in this topic

I've not in the past been bowled over with Japanese cusine and gave up on it years ago. Having said that my wife has developed a strong desire to try out a few top London places and ever the gentleman I feel the need to satisfy that desire.

Where should we be heading for that wow factor?

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Mmmm, sushi.

Sushi places always seem to be divided between the high-class, smart surroundings restaurants, and the cheaper, low-rent places. Personally, I prefer the latter where sushi is concerned. Centrepoint Sushi is very good, fairly cheap, and also does a good selection of other dishes. Sushi-Hiro in Ealing is sadly no more, but has been taken over by Atari-ya, who are doing quite a good job. Just along the road from them is Kirasu, who are also good. My personal current favourite is Makoto in Chiswick. Definately at the low end of the market, only about 10 covers, but good sushi.

At the higher end, I've tried Chisou, which is a nice restaurant, and produces very dainty elegant sushi, but is pricey for what you get.

Oh, and avoid the chain "Wasabi" like the plague. Worst tasting sushi ever.

What do others recommend?

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I've heard very good things about Atari-Ya, keep meaning to go as it is local enough to me. I find Kiraku a bit hit and miss, but if you pick the right things you can have a very good meal for a lot less than the posher central London Japanese restaurants.

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I would second Sushi of Shiori. I have had the Omakase menu twice, both were completely different and utterly fantastic.

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I like a neighborhood placed called Yumenoki on Fulham. It's not a place I'd go looking for a wow factor. But a place I'd go for solid Japanese food.

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Where should we be heading for that wow factor?

The title of this post seems just right...but:

1) I don't know if it is sufficiently wow for you - it is a charming and moderately sleek place, and watching Mr. Kikuchi work (if you sit at the counter) is fun, but it's not high end.

2) It may not work for you anyway as it only does dinners.

Warning for Sunbeam: the link may contain photographs :smile:

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Thank you all for the replies. Sushi of Shiori really appeals but may be a bit difficult to get a seat with only eight spots.

Will take a closer look at all of the others.

Anybody tried Yashin Sushi? I've been tipped off about it being very good

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No need to go all the way to London ... pop into Ebi Sushi in Derby! This place mainly caters for the management of the Toyota factory. It's very traditional and completely excellent.

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I thought sushi was just raw fish alright if very fresh ,Wickipedia tells me it is meat or fish prepared by immersing in fermenting rice then throwing the rice away you must be very brave or adventurous David I look forward to your posts on the subject.I will pass unless you convince me.


Sid the Pig

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I've not in the past been bowled over with Japanese cusine and gave up on it years ago. Having said that my wife has developed a strong desire to try out a few top London places and ever the gentleman I feel the need to satisfy that desire.

Where should we be heading for that wow factor?

I skipped through this the other day and assumed the discussion was about sushi. But then I looked again and you only say 'Japanese'. If you want a wow factor, go to Roka in Charlotte Street. They have some sushi on the menu but a lot more. It was around the corner from my old work-place and I loved having a drink and a snack in the basement when I could- I never actually ate upstairs in the proper bit, but the food is the same downstairs.

You get two 'wows', firstly when you eat the food and again when you see the bill. But it was great.

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I've not in the past been bowled over with Japanese cusine and gave up on it years ago. Having said that my wife has developed a strong desire to try out a few top London places and ever the gentleman I feel the need to satisfy that desire.

Where should we be heading for that wow factor?

I skipped through this the other day and assumed the discussion was about sushi. But then I looked again and you only say 'Japanese'. If you want a wow factor, go to Roka in Charlotte Street. They have some sushi on the menu but a lot more. It was around the corner from my old work-place and I loved having a drink and a snack in the basement when I could- I never actually ate upstairs in the proper bit, but the food is the same downstairs.

You get two 'wows', firstly when you eat the food and again when you see the bill. But it was great.

Ah, if Yakitori, robata etc. are allowed then I've heard good things about Bincho Soho, though I've also heard it's more expensive than it looks (something to do with the concept of 'skewer'...). I haven't been myself.

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I thought sushi was just raw fish alright if very fresh ,Wickipedia tells me it is meat or fish prepared by immersing in fermenting rice then throwing the rice away you must be very brave or adventurous David I look forward to your posts on the subject.I will pass unless you convince me.

Have another read of Wikipedia, the constant in Sushi is the rice and vinegar (not fermented fish), raw fish on its own is Sashimi.

Contemporary Japanese sushi has little resemblance to the traditional lacto-fermented rice dish. Originally, when the fermented fish was taken out of the rice, only the fish was consumed and the fermented rice was discarded.[2] The strong-tasting and smelling funazushi, a kind of narezushi made near Lake Biwa in Japan, resembles the traditional fermented dish. Beginning in the Muromachi period (AD 1336–1573) of Japan, vinegar was added to the mixture for better taste and preservation. The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness and was known to increase its shelf life, allowing the fermentation process to be shortened and eventually abandoned. In the following centuries, sushi in Osaka evolved into oshi-zushi. The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds. By the mid 18th century, this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporary Tokyo).[3]

The contemporary version, internationally known as "sushi", was created by Hanaya Yohei (1799–1858) at the end of the Edo period in Edo. The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands at a roadside or in a theatre.[3] Originally, this sushi was known as Edomae zushi because it used freshly caught fish in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay). Though the fish used in modern sushi no longer usually comes from Tokyo Bay, it is still formally known as Edomae nigirizushi.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Again thanks for your contributions, much appreciated.

I have made a reservation and will post a review in due course.

Nick. I will give Ebi Sushi a try. I was aware of it and contacted them by phone (some while ago) to make a reservation. It was on answerphone and they did not get back to me, other stuff came along and I never made it.

Will try harder now.

ChrisZ Been to Roka and it was fine the sort of place with a good menu to explore, but we have only been the once, a while ago now.

Perhaps we may give it a return.

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It's a while since I ate much in London, but this Japanese blog suggests Matsuri's as London's best sushi - in Holborn, it says, though the home page only points at a location off Jermyn Street. Pictures look good.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Nick. I will give Ebi Sushi a try. I was aware of it and contacted them by phone (some while ago) to make a reservation. It was on answerphone and they did not get back to me, other stuff came along and I never made it.

Will try harder now.

Do perservere, it's worth it. If you go for dinner, try and go early as they tend to sell out of a lot of popular items and service can slow down when they get busy. Friday better than Saturday as well for freshness of produce. Don't forget to order the soft shell crab :)

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Two other thoughts.

Aside from the rarified perfect fish/perfect rice/hand dipped by virgins/added wasabi not required school of sushi I do have a soft spot for the trashier sort.

And by this I don't mean Itsu! I mean fat brutish slightly westernised rolls, slathered in piquant mayonnaise, sprinkled with various fish eggs or crispy bits or tempura crumbs or other random bits. A bit of crab or fish poking out from underneath the heap. Basically downmarket Nobu.

A great place for this used to be Kobe Jones down Tottn Ct Road back in the day. Nowadays I can thoroughly recommend Sushi Hiroba just down from Holborn. Trashy, run by Koreans and sort of addictive. Alternately the Scallop grilled with masago and creamy spicy sauce at Tsunami really hits the spot.

Sort of the antithesis of what Sushi of Shiori would be doing. But fun.

The second point - I've heard of some kind of super secret place down Maddox Street where the Japanese business crowd go to (dunno if secret... or just all in Japanese). Presumably it would be good, though never been able to find it...

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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It's a while since I ate much in London, but this Japanese blog suggests Matsuri's as London's best sushi - in Holborn, it says, though the home page only points at a location off Jermyn Street. Pictures look good.

The Holborn branch closed a few years ago after fire damage. There's a Korean resto there now.

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Finally made it to Atari-Ya last night!

I don't consider myself any kind of an expert on sushi, but on the whole, i thought it was very good.

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Deep fried squid legs - from the specials board. Flavour was good but sadly the batter was not very crisp

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Sashimi marinated gurnard

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Chef's nigiri selection

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Eel, Crab and roe, yellowfin & spring onion rolls

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Scallop nigiri - probably my favourite dish, beautiful!

The fish was very impressive quality wise, and at this price (all the above plus a large sake and a beer for £55 for 2) it's a bargain. I expect you can find sushi that is better prepared elsewhere, but it will come at a big premium, and i doubt the fish will be of any higher grade.

Highly recommended

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I used to visit here frequently when it was Sushi Hiro, so was very disappointed to hear that it was very quietly taken over and became Atari-ya, but a recent visit was fantastic, hasn't really changed at all. Couldn't agree more with your comments, best value sushi in town. Perfectly made, right temperature (which is crucial) and super quality fish. The Unagi Nigiri is an absolute must for first timers. No bookings, credit cards or cheques, also opening times are very short. Check it out.

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Has anyone been to Chisou? Been past it a few times and not sure whether to try it or not? I'm veggie so just hope it has enough veggie options.


Massive fan of Italian cuisine!

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My absolute favourite Japanese in London is Sushi Tetsu. It's at 12 Jerusalem Passage, London EC1V 4JP and the main concern for anyone thinking of going there is that it is absolutely tiny and you need to book at least a month in advance. But the sushi is superb.

Chef Toru Takahashi (his nickname is Tetsu, hence the restaurant name) used to work at Nobu and trained in Kobe. He runs it with his wife and I would go there at least once a week if I could get in.

Kikuchi on Hanway St (between Oxford St and Tottenham Court Road) is another place I really like but is more of an acquired taste. I think the sashimi and sushi is truly excellent (the citron miso with scallops is one of my all time favourites) but the food is somewhat let down by the service, which veers from inattentive to sometimes outride rude (although I am sure it would help if you were Japanese). However, I go to restaurants for the food much more than anything else and think this is as good as many of the top restaurants in Japan.

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