When we were moving from Australia to the UK, people practically pried themselves free of the woodwork just to do their bit for society and warn us about the lack of good food, and especially good sushi in London. To those people, I say, where the f&*% have you been eating? Because the last 17 months on this side of the globe has taught me that not only does London have good food, there is plenty of it. Even sushi.
I used to have sushi (and note that when I say sushi I actually mean sashimi because growing up in a Chinese household, I’ve had so much rice that anything to do with free rice – except this free rice game – sends me into an involuntary seizure. I don’t even own a rice cooker these days) so frequently that one week into London I was begging my friend to pleeeeease, where can I get sushi? Yes it’s life and death! And so she pointed me in the direction of Hi Sushi, on Frith Street in Soho.
Hi Sushi’s food is average to be perfectly honest (and the chefs are Chinese, not Japanese, tricky), but their trump card is the all you can eat sushi buffet (and not the five-hour-old salmonella harbouring* type of buffet but more like a keep-ordering-if-you-want-for-not-a-nickle-more type of buffet) for circa £15. And with surprisingly fresh salmon sashimi on the menu, all I can say is Bring. It. On.
On the other end of the spectrum (more like the other end of the galaxy) is Harrod’s sushi bar. My oh my, if only I could eat there every day! The freshest, tastiest, melt-in-your-mouth sashimi to have ever landed on my up-until-now utterly deprived tastebuds. But at £65 for two (not including drinks), my tastebuds will just have to hop off their galaxial pedestal and fraternise with earth-bound sushi that their owner can actually afford.
A more ideal and definitely earth-bound sushi bar is Feng Sushi, a divine little chain of sushi restaurants with a great sustainability program to boot (because guys, as much as you want to ignore it, you know that green is the new black). We had lunch there yesterday, ordering the Japanese Bento Box (including nigiri, sashimi, tempura and duck rolls), grilled scallops in udon with tempura shitake & vegetables and a tuna tartar which was divine in itself but left me obsessing over the pickled cucumber (I never realised I could get that obsessed over cucumber!). At a little over £30 (including drinks), Feng Sushi is a newish discovery for me and already has my undivided loyalty (oh all right, except for when I feel like whoring myself out to Hi Sushi).
* Speaking of five-hour-old salmonella harbouring sushi, London is littered with fastfood sushi joints such as Itsu, Wasabi and Yen Sushi. When I’m desperate, Itsu‘s Salmon and Tuna Junior Pack (five pieces of nigiri) satiates, or even better, Wasabi‘s Chicken Katsu Salad. Yen Sushi doesn’t rock my socks – a recent venture there left me so thirsty I was sucking on the insides of my mouth for moisture. A sign of a little too much MSG perhaps?
13 Stoney Street
London SE1 9AD
0207 407 8744