So. This is Sushi Ga Ga, the somewhat controversial new opening in Chinatown; a breezy little Japanese restaurant run by not-Japanese people and well, serving (with a glance at the odd blog and review published thus far) what can only be quantified as reasonably questionable food.

Having been invited for dinner by Sushi Ga Ga last week, my dinner date came hot on the heels of a much less positive review and somewhere along the line of deliberating whether I should go at all, I totally forgot that I was deliberating about whether I should go and before I knew it it was 7pm and d’oh, time to go for dinner.

I arrived to a queue at Sushi Ga Ga (predictably, everyone loves the new shiny toy) and when I advised I had a reservation, the manager promptly introduced herself and ushered me ahead of the queue and into the restaurant. Oooh, we do thrive on what little blog-fame we can get.

A glance at the menu showed that they had the standard fare of what you’d expect from most Japanese restaurants ~ small dishes, sushi, sashimi, hand rolls, hot dishes and donburis.

We started with the “dream team” platter, a selection of nigiri sushi and fresh sashimi and what I loved was that they didn’t have mackerel because mackerel? Eeeewww. The rest of the platter was perfectly fine – no gushing and no complaints.

Next up were the wasabi prawns which, served on poppy-tall stand-up skewers, are exactly what lollipops would look like in my heaven. Big, fat king prawns coated and fried in a light batter, topped with a delightfully balanced wasabi mayonnaise and crushed pistachio nuts.

Really, what’s not to like?

Following the skewerificness of the wasabi prawns, we had the crispy duck salad which a) came with a whole lot more duck meat than I expected, and b) had mango and greens and all the usual suspects but c) just tasted odd to me, and given that I have no formal training in eating or writing, “odd” is the best description you’re going to get, sorry.

At this point, my opinion of Sushi Ga Ga was still perching ever so precariously on a knife-edged fence and anything reminiscent of a breeze in a windowless room would have tipped me either way. I sat and drank my tea and waited patiently for that breeze.

And the breeze came. It came in the form of two final hot dishes ~ salmon teriyake (I so badly wanted to order the miso black cod but had read damning reviews on the dish) and oyako don (chicken and egg on rice).

The salmon was perfectly cooked, the skin charred and black and crispy the way I like. In an interesting and possibly risky manoeuvre, they served the salmon with poached pear. Weird? Yes. Tasty? Hell YES.

The oyako don was also a winner, though Panu found it a little sweet. Generous serves of chicken and egg layered atop a bowl of steaming rice… there ain’t nothing worse than not having enough topping for your rice but we didn’t even come close here. Win!

So all in all I enjoyed my Sushi Ga Ga dinner with a few hits and a few less misses. Let’s be honest here though, this ain’t no Sushi of Shiori, but with a name like Ga Ga, did we really expect it to be?

Sushi Ga Ga
16 Lisle Street
Chinatown, W1D 6
0207 287 6606

Sushi Ga Ga on Urbanspoon

12 Thoughts on “Sushi Ga Ga: just give me one more wasabi prawn…

  1. Another great review from our favourite Catty. It looks like the sushi wave is really hitting London. I haven’t tried any of the two new restaurants but I hope to get to Sushi of Shiori soon

  2. Far less damning than Lizzie’s review to say the least. Hopefully it means they’re cleaning up their act.

  3. Hey Catty, I had decent food there too, already thought I must have been dreaming about the food there after all the negative comments I got for my review… Thanks for restoring my belief in my taste buds 🙂 Ute

  4. We must’ve been especially unlucky in that case, as my experience couldn’t have been further opposite than yours.

  5. Mathilde: Thanks lovely! Sushi of Shiori isn’t new, Sushi Ga Ga is new.. but you should try Shiori for real high quality stuff!

    Wild Boar: Yes, we got both extreme ends of the spectrum when it came to service and food!

    HungryinLondon: I think it’s OK – it’s not awesome but it’s not awful 🙂

    Lizzie: I think you guys had like the worst case scenario and we had the best!

  6. Interesting how they have something so ‘domestic’ and traditional as oyako don and then other dishes that are clearly a bit of fusion like the salmon with a pear…Sounds good!

  7. I reckon they upped their game after reading Lizzie’s review.

    I don’t think it matters non-Japanese run Japanese restaurants as long as the guys in the kitchen are properly trained and the fish they use is of tip-top quality.

  8. Maria: Yeah it worked well though, I don’t mind a bit of traditional mixed with some funky dishes! 😀

    Mr Noodles: I reckon they did too because that review was damning!! And yes, agree with you doesn’t matter where the chefs are from.

  9. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sushi Ga Ga: just give me one more wasabi prawn… « thecattylife – up close and personal to all things… edible --

  10. Just had a meal there a couple of days back. Expected the worst after reading damning reviews but it turned out better than expected. Perhaps it’s a matter of expectations I suppose.

    Its tuna tataki is an interesting one. With the tangy ponzu sauce wrapped in soft bread, this is a dish to reckon with. Ah, love the wasabi prawns too!

  11. I haven’t been to Sushi Ga Ga. Always a little suspicious of Japanese places in Chinatown but I may give it a shot.

  12. London Chow: Yeah I think the initial spurts of horrid reviews may have caused them to quickly clean up their act. I was generally quite happy with my meal and service! The prawns were A-MA-ZING and will keep the tuna tataki in mind for next time. Wrapped in bread? Sounds odd but interesting!

    Jenny: Don’t expect awesome, but it’s not bad either 🙂

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