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