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Sushi - does it actually exist in London?


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Don't know if it has been mentioned here yet (I am having a bit of trouble with the search function) but Chisou, on Princes Street off Tottenham Court Road) is great. Not cheap, not outrageous but very good food. I've been once, it was packed with Japanese diners.

I also hear good reports from people who work at the Japanese National Tourist Office about "moshi moshi", but haven't been, myself.

Chisou is very good but definitely in the higher price bracket.

moshi moshi sushi was london original kaiten sushi bar i believe.

used to go there lots when i worked in liverpool street the all glass restaurant is quite nice.

but i don't think its the best kaiten sushi in town any more think

K10, and kulu kulu are better last time i checked.

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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actually haven't been back to K10 in about half a year

but isn't machine made sushi part and parcel of kaiten sushi? :huh:

in fact had no idea that k10 had handmade sushi to begin with :smile:

i must pay more attention to whats going on around me.

hmm could explain why it was better then places like Yo!

btw not strictly a sushi feature but you should try the okonomiyaki at Abeno oppostie Leicester Square tube station its really nice and the cream mitsu mame really good too , just get a table as the counter seats are really uncomfortable.

Edited by origamicrane (log)

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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K10 is the only kaiten place i've been to (apart from y* s*shi and even they make the rolls by hand) but when i first went there they did some of it by hand. the last time i went back they didn't have anyone making sushi in the middle of the conveyor belt.

what is mitsu mame?

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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oh right yes the maki rolls are usually made by hand but the nigiri is usually machine made probably the only kaiten sushi that still makes them by hand will be kulu kulu.

:smile: cream mitsu mame is really just japanese ice cream and jelly :laugh:

green tea ice cream and agar-agar jelly cubes with fruit. The coffee jelly is good too. Actually it not really that special but it did underline a very nice dinner i had at Abeno last week.

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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  • 3 months later...

hi all

friend of mine just told me that in the old Royal China site on Baker Street is now a new japanese restaurant called Michiaki.

Its part of the Royal China group seems like they are spreading their wings ala Alan Yau.

Well its only just opened but they are doing a 50% of the menu unitl the 18th janurary :cool:

I will give it a try and report back soon

Michiaki 40 - 42 Baker St. Tel: 020 7486 3898

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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  • 1 month later...

Sadly, I have left London.

More sadly still, only one week before I left in mid November, I finally found the sushi and Japanese restaurant of your dreams, or at least my dreams, in London.

Sakana Tei - 11 Maddox Street near Oxford Circus.

So good, I went 4 times in my last week in London!

It's a small place. Nearly exclusively Japanese clientele. first time my son and I went we were the only non-Japanese there. since it is so Japanese oriented, it seems to fly under the radar screen of most websites, etc. you will find very little info on Sakana Tei on the web.

also, helping with the Japanese focus, although there are menus in English, the interesting seasonal menu is all in Japanese. the staff can help some, but ideally you would know Japanese food and can describe what you might like that is not on the English menu. If you ask, the chef can prepare.

The sushi is excellent. Definitely the best I had in London. Very seasonal. Super ika, toro, sake, uni. The seasonal sushi dish is fabulous - though not so cheap at £55. Sushi that is the essence of the sea.

What adds though is the array of other Japanese foods that you simply do not see anywhere else.

Great kabucho - a Japanese squash - delicious in a light soy sauce.

A small teapot of chicken broth with bits of chicken, vegetable, and tofu.

Tempura with ingredients I have never seen elsewhere.

All presented with the aesthetics and elegance that is so Japanese.

The owner, Ichibangasse-san, and his wife are always there, attentive, insuring that all is well.

The chef who does the sushi and his assistant are great.

The chef works spontaneously to make up dishes on the fly. One very good small fish and noodle dish my guest and I had prompted my guest to ask the owner's wife about it. The owner's wife said she had not seen it before, the chef just made it up.

Sakana Tei is not a place about being seen by others, it is not a scene, you are not going for the decor which is a bit dated. You are going because you love Japanese food.

If you do go, tell Ichibangasse-san hi from David Dowell

Do go - it's worth the trip if you love Japanese

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  • 4 months later...

You didn't miss much, don't worry...

the tempura was greasy, the rolls were covered in mayo, and the edamame were hard...

It was always empty, not surprised they are gone...

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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I'm curious to know how much (if at all) you folks rate the Japanese vegetables served up in London restaurants. The chef at a Brighton restaurant told me most of his customers leave the veg. Shiso, daikon & edamame are quite widely used but what about shungiku, mitsuba and gobo for example? How many people in England know (or care about) the real taste of freshly picked Japanese vegetables?

My knowledge as a restaurant diner is almost nil and my own opinion is naturally biased because I'm growing the vegetables, hence my question to you.

As an aside, learnt yesterday about 'taro-no-me' - the shoots of this shrub are apparently becoming fashionable in Japan....

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Highly recommended:

Soho Japan

Well Street (North end)

Oxford Circus vicinity

The owner, Jun-san, always with a little tipple in hand, is also opening the basement piano bar in a coupla weeks. Don't forget to ask for a sushi order sheet (they forget sometimes). They will read out (in English, that is) the specials board on request. Other specialties: grill. Melt-in-your-mouth toro (oily tuna) and scallop sashimi has always been excellent where available. Chawanmushi with sea urchin is quite special too. Price point: approx. £60 for two. Ahhh, I'm hungry again and it's only 10am! Back to work... oh yes, picked up my new copy of "Eat Japan 2005" there last night, but I'm probably way behind all of you as usual...

- Ai

Fresh from London. Eating as always.

http://www.artisanedibles.blogspot.com

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  • 2 months later...

Context:

I am a sushi monster! Sushi! Sushi! Give me sushi (a la cookie monster)

I love sushi and one of the many things that I am called on a daily basis is Sushi Sam. ;)

Think I might have been Japanese in a previous life.. either that or a sea lion, well maybe a penguin..... ?

Anyway a bunch of us headed out on a Tuesday evening to eat drink and be merry, the occasion was a friend's leaving do, the lucky git been seconded to Singapore for a few months.

Restaurant:

gallery_18280_1908_5302.jpg

AKI

182 Gray's Inn Road

London

WC1X 8EW

Telephone: 0207 837 9281

Closest tube

Chancery Lane or Kings Cross

Date & Time:

Tuesday 11th October 2005 @ 7pm

Cast:

4 guys, 3 girls, representing Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and yours truly.

Decor:

gallery_18280_1908_34861.jpg

This place looks very authentic, wouldn't look amiss in Japan, me thinks :smile:

I've not managed to make it to the land of the rising sun yet but

some of my friends have and say this place is very, very authentic.

It’s got lots of little lanterns hanging about, Japanese bric-a-brac lots of specials posted on the walls in Japanese and English. Loads of sake bottles at the end of the sushi counter

and they are playing Japanese pop songs completing a wonderful "I'm no longer in London but in Japan" atmosphere.

The place is small about a 25 seater but it’s quite spacious and not cramped at all.

I think there is also a private room downstairs.

Under the decor is what looks like a very old restaurant as we can see the wooden structural beams jutting through but it somehow adds to the charm.

Menu:

Very extensive covering all bases it seems.

Good selection of sushi and sashimi

kushiage and yakitori

Noodles and gyoza

Shabu shabu and sukiyaki

A nice selection of vegetable dishes (Braised burdock, baked arum root and miso)

A daily specials menu too.

gallery_18280_1908_41636.jpg

gallery_18280_1908_52818.jpg

Nice list of about 20 sakes and also some red and white wines.

We order:

Wow! We ordered a lot of stuff!

Edamame

Assorted special sashimi platter

Assorted tempura platter

Assorted kushiage

gallery_18280_1908_63997.jpg

Baked aubergine and miso

Razor clam sashimi

Agetofu

Sea urchin sashimi

Grilled salmon steak

gallery_18280_1908_5597.jpg

Chicken toriage

gallery_18280_1908_20391.jpg

Deep fried octopus

(Sorry! at this point in the meal I was having far too much fun to bother taking photos, but trust me the food looked good :wink: )

Grilled mackerel nigiri sushi

California roll with a nice addition of shiso

Futomaki

Eel cucumber roll

Special tamago roll

Green tea ice cream

Chestnut ice cream

Drinks:

1 plum wine soda

2 sauvingnon blanc

4 bottles of cold sake - Yamadanishiki

2 flasks of hot sake - Ichinokura (I think can't remember :unsure: )

4 Asahi

3 bottle of Buxton still

3 lemon hi-ju (These were on the house as its was ladies night Monday and Tuesday)

Total Bill:

£330 this included 10% S.C

Service:

Excellent!!

This has got to be the nicest Japanese restaurant I have been to in London.

The waitresses were all smiley, chatty and friendly.

They also had good English a rarity in Japanese restaurants in London.

They were very helpful with selecting the sake I asked for a Junmai from around Nigatta and she selected two for us.

You even get to choose your own sake cup from a selection.

Naturally you should go for the largest cup :smile:

Service was attentive and very efficient.

As we were getting drunk we got a little more rowdy but the waitresses were still very good humoured and actually being very interactive, by the end of the night we were chatting all sorts of stuff with them. Like the restaurant is named after the owners nickname as his full name is meant to be really hard to pronounce so everyone ends up calling him Aki-san. Tomoko (or Motoko can’t remember) is lovely and told us she is off on holiday till November and while chatting to us she did a quick karaoke duet with one of my friends and taught us some Japanese like “I need to go to toilet”. :raz:

The other waitress was actually from mainland china, she grew up in Kobe and spoke Japanese and mandarin, cool :cool: and the reason why I really like her is she actually recognised me from Chef v Britain :laugh: hahaha!!! and she said she think I should have won! :wink: Well she'll get a nice big tip then! cheap thrill for me!!!! I’m famous beyotch!

She asked if I wanted to go and cook up something in the kitchen and if I wasn't already half drunk and dangerous with a yanagi I think I would have :smile:

Value/Quality/Quantity ratio:

V.V. good! Sod it! This place is excellent!

Everything they served us was bordering on or actually excellent but it was the service that stole the show! they really made an effort and are really charming.

In nearly all other Japanese restaurants I have been to in London they are either very formal and polite (ie: matsuri, noto, chisou, sushi hiro, yumi) or very rushed (nobu, taro, ten ten tei, misato) or rude (sakura) :angry: .

The only other place that I think is comparable is Cafe Japan in Golders Green.

But Aki is better in terms or variety, atmosphere, service and price too.

Aki in my mind is fighting for first place with Sushi Hiro!!! No joke!

and I think Aki is actually winning!!

Shock!!!!

If you only want to eat sushi go to Sushi Hiro

but if you want to eat more then sushi go to Aki!

Complaints:

None

Nit picks:

Toilets could do with a little renovating.

Conclusion:

Probably the best all round Japanese restaurant I have tried in London

This has leaped frogged into my top 3 Japanese restaurant in London.

I think the menu covers everything and the quality is all very good to excellent

the scallop sashimi here is amazing!

and the two surprise hits for me were the potato krokke and the deep fried octopus!

everything was excellent the sake was yummy

Not sure how long this place has been opened but I am shocked that no ones ever told me about it!

all those wasted years eating at other Japanese restaurants!

Damn I love this place!! :wub:

Edited by origamicrane (log)

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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  • 4 months later...

New branch of Noto has opened opposite of Monument station.

Went there on saturday night for dinner and was very very impressed. This branch is much classier then the Moorgate branch and has a dinning area and a kaiten sushi area.

They have several very nice fusion dishes on the menu the black cod and miso was a very reasonable £12.80.

The sushi was all excellent the uni sushi was so fresh and so good they served it as a single whole piece nigiri without the usual nori wrapper. The toro was so fresh and the highlight was the live langoustine sushi!

The chef bought over a plate of live moving langoustines and asked if we wanted to try them?

Doh! of course we do!!!

a few minutes later he came back and presented the bugs dismembered and the sweet succulent flesh draped over the rice ball. As we ate the heads and claws of the bugs were still moving around on the platter :blink:

so its not for the squeamish but if you want the freshest sushi make a bee line to Noto!!!

just wished i had a camera with me that day!! the food would make you drool! :)__

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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I'm looking for quality at reasonable prices.  With an actual sushi bar - forget the converyor belt approach! I'm not looking for quality at mega prices (hard though this is in London)

Ok, to be fair, I've spent 6 months in Japan and at home in Portland Oregon have a fabulous local sushi place with a sushi chef from Kyoto, great quality, modest prices, etc.

If I could put in a vote for my local Sushi Waka on Parkway in Camden Town. It's small, unpretentious has a pretty extensive Japanese clientele. There's a tatami room upstairs but I've yet to graduate.

I understand that sushi is authentically a sort of informal, post work snack thing. This place really feels like a local izakaya.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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  • 1 year later...

Since last time good sushi:

Atariya's take-out branch just along from Selfridges for traditional

Soho Japan between Oxford Street and Goodge St - good traditional and killer grilled food also

Sushi Hiroba on Kingsway has really excellent new style sushi/rolls etc. Upmarket kaitan if such as thing is possible. The scallop sashimi is also to die for.

Kobe Jones - trashy as hell variations of california roll slatered with mayonnaise and tobiki, but utterly delicious - particularly the one with scallop on top. The sushi equivalent of a Shrek movie.

J

EDIT: Sushi-Hiroba, not Sushi Hiro as i originally writ.

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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In addition to Jon's recommendations I would add Kiku and Miyama in Mayfair and Kiraku and Okiwari in Ealing.

Edited by ravelda (log)

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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  • 1 month later...

I would not suggest sushihiroba. It is not a bad sushi place, they have a variety of dishes. But if you are looking for authentic, fresh, tasty sushi, it is not a place to go. I will explain to you why. I went there and they have the conveyor belt with typical salmon sushi and some other dishes. Dishes on the conveyor belt was nice. So we have decided to order the fatty tuna sushi. It arrived looking grey and not nicely sliced. It was also frozen inside.

I would suggest going to Sushihiro in Ealing Common. Best sushi I have had in London. It is a cosy, family style sushi bar. The fish is very fresh every single time. It is always packed with Japanese people. So make sure you book in advance. And becareful that their last order is 9pm and they only accept cash.

Edited by eleung (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've tried both Sushi Hiro and Kiraku recently. I'd say that Sushi Hiro still has the edge in terms of sushi - I felt the quality of the fish to be better and the preparation was better. Where Kiraku was nice was they they weren't so traditionalist as Sushi Hiro and had some interesting sushi-dishes.

Kiraku is good for having a much wider range of dishes - they do yakitori, sushi, tempura, noodle. If you are going with people who aren't into sushi, or you want to eat a wider range of dishes I'd recommend it.

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After a Japanese friend recommended it to me a while ago, neither I nor my guests have ever been disappointed by Kikuchi (in seedy Hanway St. off T'ham Ct Road). Fish is of good quality, sushi is prepared in front of you, menu is quite long, flavours and textures are nice, service is extremely polite and efficient, it teems with Japanese customers, prices are reasonable (there is a minumum charge which however would be very hard not to exceed!). The setting is a bit spartan.

Man

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