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Sushi - does it actually exist in London?


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Yo Sushi has just opened in Dublin. I have never been to it in London. I know that it's conveyor belt sushi, but what sort of quality is it? Is it consistent and is it relative value for money?

I have only tried it (repeatedly) in Gatwick airport so it may not be the best sample, although given the business model I expect the offering to be pretty standardised. For me, it is not sushi, the fish being quite oxidised and lacking the freshness of real sushi. They claim that nothing stays on the belt for more than two hours - however one has to see how long and in what conditions the slices of tuna etc. are kept before being put on the belt!

Nevertheless, as I said, I went more than once when in the airport. This is because as airport food I find Yo Sushi of good quality and definitely good value for money. But only as airport food - I would not dream of going to one in town.

Man

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Thanks Man - that's more or less what I expected.

I understand that EU regulations require that all fish to be served raw must first be frozen to an internal temperature of 20 °C or lower for at least 24 hours (to kill anything potentially dangerous). Is this being implemented in the UK?

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It's supposed to be, but I would be amazed to find many people sticking to that! I have been quite surprised by how few chefs and restauranteurs even new about the EU regulation

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am owed a small fortune by a friend and told him to pay it off in food. So, cost aside, should we go to Nobu? Or would we be better off attempting to eat every single piece of fish in (for example) Hiro or Sushi Say?

Also, where does one get good sake in a London Japanese?

And has anyone been to Umu or Zuma?

Edited by camdan (log)
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I am owed a small fortune by a friend and told him to pay it off in food. So, cost aside, should we go to Nobu? Or would we be better off attempting to eat every single piece of fish in (for example) Hiro or Sushi Say?

Also, where does one get good sake in a London Japanese?

And has anyone been to Umu or Zuma?

Only been to Nobu once, and whilst the meal itself was excellent, the sushi was the low point. It was from the same school (no pun intended) as Atami (Monck St) or Roka (Charlotte St) - visually beguiling but under-delivering on quality of each element. And very small pieces. I think the best description I can think of is "frou-frou" !

Not tried Umu.

G.

p.s. Does anyone know, does the new place in the Oxo tower just do yakitori or does it do kushikatsu as well ? Is there anywhere in London that does kushikatsu ?!

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Casilda Grigg gave Bincho Yakitori a pretty good review in last Saturday’s Telegraph. And it does kushiyaki.

The restaurant, which has sensational views of St Paul's and Blackfriars Bridge, doesn't follow the classic sushi formula. Instead it takes its inspiration from the more assertive flavours of yakitori and kushiyaki, a style of cooking based on chargrilling, rather than raw fish.
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  • 4 weeks later...
I am owed a small fortune by a friend and told him to pay it off in food. So, cost aside, should we go to Nobu? Or would we be better off attempting to eat every single piece of fish in (for example) Hiro or Sushi Say?

Also, where does one get good sake in a London Japanese?

And has anyone been to Umu or Zuma?

I prefer UBON over Nobu anyday - great view, far better service and the food tastes better...

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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  • 1 month later...
I've tried both Sushi Hiro and Kiraku recently.

I have been to both of these recently and both were very enjoyable. I would agree with harryb that Hiro is possibly a little better quality but choice at Kiraku is far wider.

Will be back again to both as these are some of the closest sushi places to home.

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Also, where does one get good sake in a London Japanese?

And has anyone been to Umu or Zuma?

I went to Umu in April (hm, that's ages ago, should go back, but there are so many other places to try...) and rather liked it. Some interesting stuff in the tasting menu, and a good selection of sake to go along with it. I wrote it up here. It's definitely not cheap, so might suit your needs.

Also recently liked Saki, opposite Smithfield Market, bit cheaper though.

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Following this thread's recommendation, I went to Sushi Hiro yesterday (it was the only one whose name I remembered!).

Very easy to find - about half an hour on the Picadilly Line to Ealing Common, and then it's right in front of the exit. I thought it was closed at first, as the doors and windows are made of smoked glass and you can't tell whether light is coming from behind because it's busy.

After half an hour of tube + 1.5 hours of train from Cambridge, we weren't just going to give up, gave the door a little push. The very polite and nice staff gave us a table for an hour (the restaurant was mostly reserved and it wasn't in front of the chef), and we ordered off the japanese with english translation menu. We went for the deluxe and standard nigiri platters, had an eel roll, and then the chef came back with crab legs, so we just had to have a crab roll :P

It was my first sushi experience (had gone to Teri-Aki in Cambridge, and attempted to make my own sushi but it just wasn't the same). The Wasabi was real wasabi, in fact my first experience of real wasabi, complete with "whoops I've just put far too much wasabi on that piece of fish and my nose has just gone on fire". And without that horrible smell the green stuff in tubes smell like.

I found the stuff very nice, the person I was with didn't ("not tasty enough").

The best part was watching the chef make the sushi in incredibly quick and precise movements.

The stuff cost us about £25 in total, so good value for London.

Photos:

dsc00233mn5.jpg

(deluxe platter had eel and scallop)

dsc00236fp3.jpg

Eel rolls (by the time I got to my phone, that's what was left)

dsc00237tn3.jpg

Crab rolls

Well, I liked it. Not really able to give more of a review - I'm no sushi expert. Hope you liked the pictures...

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  • 1 month later...

I went to Hiro yesterday, and having spent the day wandering around London fuelled only by a couple of sandwiches seized the opportunity to pig out. I ate a fairly large selection of sushi and sashimi and washed it down with three cups of green tea and a glass of dry sake, and very nice it was too. The sashimi especially was delicious, most notably the toro (I think it was o-toro - pale pink and wonderfully marbled, the fatty tuna served as nigiri was chu-toro; pink with alternating thick bands of meat and fat) and scallop. Definitely the best sushi I've had in England.

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I am a bit of a Uni (sea-urchin) fanatic. A work colleague of mine recommended Cafe Japan in Golders Green stating that it has the best Uni she's ever tasted. She is from Hong Kong and has also eaten Uni in Japan. I, of course, said that it was impossible - how could the Uni in some local sushi place in London be better than Japan? Must simply be nonsense! I argued with her saying that i've had fantastic Uni in a Sushi Bar at Tsuikiji market as well as wonderful Uni in Kyoto and Fukuoka. Even in HK and New York, you surely can't get better Uni in London? She was adamant...

Okay so i had to check it out. I have to say that she is absolutely right, i can't remember having better tasting Uni anywhere!! I was gob-smacked, i can't wait to go back and try it again. Here is a pic along with some Otoro:

gallery_52657_4505_142758.jpg

My wife and i went for lunch on a Saturday and had these, salmon avocado roll, soft-shell crab roll, prawn tempura bento box and Salmon & Ikura Chirashi. Overall the sushi and sashimi was excellent and as good as any we've had anywhere in the world. Very reasonably priced too.

My wife was very disappointed with her tempura though - it was a little greasy and flacid. Where are the good tempura places in London?

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  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to echo the general view that Sushi Hiro (blog review) is where its at in London. I haven't got the budget for the high end stuff, and haven't been to New York or Japan so bear that in mind, but I do like sushi and have eaten at most of the mid-range places in London and elsewhere in the UK. Ican say that Sushi-Hiro is by some distance the best Sushi I have had.

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I still think that Kikuchi is better - Hero is great and thanksfully close to where I live but Kikuchi has greater variety of both sushi and other dishes and is, IMHO better across the board

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

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