Tag Archives: Sushi

Kurobuta Pop-Up Chelsea

11 Feb

The buzz has finally come over to the west side. Well I never! It’s always ‘Hoxton this’ and ‘Shoreditch that’ and whilst I love those places and all they have to offer, it’s nice to have something that doesn’t take me an hour and a half to get to.

Hearing quite a bit about the Kurobuta pop-up that is currently residing on The King’s Road, soon to be a permanent feature in Marble Arch, I decided to book myself in. It was far more casual on the inside than I had anticipated; temporary looking wooden tables and flyers pinned to the walls, it had a beach-side shack vibe to it. After a chat with the nice, but slightly over familiar waitress, about the menu, which involved her pulling up a chair and sitting next to us to tell us about it, we decided to pick a few plates to share.

First up BBQ Pork Belly in Steamed Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy. You get two buns and it’s at a pricey £13. I was really intrigued about this as I’ve sampled the delights at Momofuku in New York and more recently at Flesh & Buns in London. This style of bun has never been my favourite consistency, but when the meat is cooked to perfection and marinated really well, it makes it into a comfort food of sorts. This didn’t hit the spot for me. I found the meat to be a little too fatty than normal and it was flavourless. I’ve noticed from photos that our dish doesn’t look nearly as marinated as other people’s, it looks very pale, maybe ours missed the dip in the marinade pool? I really liked the chilli and pickled cucumber as that added a burst of spice and texture to the dish. The peanut soy dip was too concentrated and severe, it needed to be a little bit diluted for it to be appreciated.

pork bunsNext was Salmon Gravadlax and Avocado Tartare with Dill Mayo, Rice Crunchies and Fresh Yuzu Zest. This was a small dish, but worth every penny of the £11 it’s priced at. The creamy sauce drenched the finely chopped and full of flavour salmon and it was accompanied by diced avocado, sesame and a nice sharp tang of yuzu. The rice crunchies added a good solid base to the dish and there’s a strong taste of dill, but fortunately for me, I love dill. It was presented beautifully and tasted fantastic. I would order this over and over again. By far the best dish I tried.

salmon tartareAs more of an appetiser, but everything comes out when it’s ready, we chose the Sweet Potato and Soba-Ko Fries with Sauces. The fries were seasoned impeccably, they were chewy and crispy and had a strong, ripe flavour to them. The dish was accompanied by two dips; a green one that I wasn’t a huge fan of and an orange one that was delicious, it was thick and creamy and had an addition of lemon juice that gave it a burst of something extra. This was a simple, grazing dish, I just wish it had come out at the start.

sweet potato friesHaving a hankering for some sushi we opted for Spicy Tuna Maki Rolled in Tempura Crunchies. This one is cut into 6 pieces and is a relatively modest £8.50. The tuna itself was delectable. It was clearly of the best quality and tasted as such. The rice was soft and a touch warm, which I love, I feel it denotes a freshness and high calibre. However, the tempura crunchies ruined it for me. They didn’t have a crunchy consistency in the slightest, more the texture of cake crumbs and the taste was almost sweet, it didn’t contribute anything to the dish, in fact, if anything it just took away from it. This was a hit and miss dish for me.

tuna makiThe final dish, the second best, at £9.50: Tuna Sashimi Pizza with Trufle Ponzu, Red Onions and Green Chillies. A delightful, crispy tortilla base topped with very thin and beautifully flavoured slices of tuna sashimi. A dash of a light, cream sauce drizzled over it and a tonne of colourful tobiko. It was wonderful. I realise I sound like a spoiled brat when I say this, but the tuna pizza at Morimoto in Meatpacking is out of this world. I mean, like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. The most incredible, mouth-watering, innovative and delicious dish and whilst this one was pretty good, it just wasn’t ‘Morimoto good.’

pizzaAfter a good experience here, a couple of lacklustre dishes, but overall really nice, the waitress went and ruined it. She stepped way over the mark and the over familiarity of before was now just a distant memory; she just kicked us out of bed. Let me proceed in telling you the tale:

  • The bill arrived after being told it was coming, not after having requested it, even though we had been there for just under an hour and my reservation told me I was entitled to the seats for an hour and a half.
  • There is no subtotal and ‘service charge’ is bunged in there too. I’d like to point out the lack of the word ‘optional’ here. The service was at 12.5% and was £5.52. The total bill came to £51.52. I always pay service when I feel it is earned, however given that we had been there less than an hour and I wasn’t particularly taken with this waitress’ approach to serving us, I did hesitate slightly. However, I intended to pay it.
  • I popped £1.50 in change on the tray and then we decided to split the rest over two cards (£25 on each).
  • When she came over with the card machine I said, ‘Can we do £25 on each card and the rest is in change?’ This took her a moment to process. She replied ‘So £25 on each and did you say the rest was in cash, where is the rest?’ I replied that the rest was on the tray. At this stage I just wanted her to get on with it, I didn’t even have to put that £1.50 down, it was part of the service and think she had been given more than enough.
  • She then had the nerve to say ‘And the 2p? Where’s the 2p? Did you not have the 2p as you haven’t paid the full amount?’ Well that was a bit of a shock to the system. and she was pretty rude for asking. I replied that I did not have 2p to hand and it can come out of the service. IT’S TWO FRICKING PENCE. I left this one to Aky as I was so riled up by her audacity so he went to speak to the manager.
  • After a bit of a discussion the manager handed him back the £5.50 tip. Too bloody right. It’s just a shame there was a bit of a sour end to an otherwise good meal.

I felt that it was a delicious meal overall, some dishes I’d love to have again, but because of other ‘misses’ I wasn’t blown away and I think I expected a bit more from Nobu alumni.

Rate 3.7

Kurobuta Pop-Up

251 Kings Road, London, SW3 5EL

And coming soon to: 17-20 Kendal Street, London, W2 2AW

http://www.kurobuta-london.com/

Follow them on Twitter @KurobutaLondon
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Tobiko

22 Aug

I’m a sushi lover, a connoisseur of all things raw fish. I love the art behind the food, the attention to detail that doesn’t come with many other cuisines and the beauty of the presentation. It is the food that makes your eyes open wide and truly appreciate the chef’s work.

Tobiko is an absolute gem. A take-away sushi place in between Covent Garden and Leicester Square. It’s near all the out dated Spaghetti Houses and Pasta Browns that adorn the central London streets and it stands out as a beacon of hope for fish lovers!

There are a handful of tables outside, under the canopy giving it such a friendly feel. Pop inside and the chef never fails to give me a beaming smile and greeting, before getting back to preparing the sushi. You can pick and choose to make up your own box, or choose from one of the ready-made selections. I always go for the Salmon Box, priced at £6.50 (4 salmon nigiri, 2 salmon and avocado rolls and 4 salmon rolls). Occasionally I’ll opt for some Miso or Edamame too, which are also great. but my heart lies with the Salmon Box. Spend £8 or over and they give you £1 off your next visit!

The fish is SO fresh and the taste of it just melts in your mouth, the avocado is always soft and ripe and I can honestly say it is the best fish used in sushi in London that I’ve had. Unbelievably delicious. It is so finely prepared, the best cuts of the fish used, and honestly, there’s nowhere better. DEELISH!

Rate: 5

Tobiko

8 Garrick Street, Covent Garden  London, City of London, Greater London WC2E 9BH

020 7836 7291

http://www.tobiko.co.uk/
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*SPECIAL* – Amber Sushi – NYC

19 Jun

This is a very, very special place. It’s creative, it’s quick and it’s absolutely deelish. I would have this everyday of the week if I could!

I have been here a million times and it is never ever less than perfect. It’s not the kind of cheap where you think ‘Should I really risk eating mega cheap raw fish?’ But, equally it isn’t expensive either. They often do deals like $1 Tiger beers on a Monday and their 2 and 3 roll specials for delivery are great for lunch times.

I always get the Salmon & Avocado Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, but aside from them, my FAVOURITE is The Golden Dragon Roll (Spicy crunchy salmon & avocado roll topped with fresh mango slices and red caviar). This has a delicate sweetness to it, they always use immensely ripe avocados and the presentation looks like a work of art.

The service is great and the restaurants are very cool, definitely go here!

Have a peruse of the photos so you can get a feel for this little gem.

Rate 5

Amber

432 6th Ave  New York, NY 10011, (212) 477-5880

http://ambervillage.net/
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&

381 3rd Ave New York, NY 10016, (212) 686-6388

http://www.ambergramercy.com/
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*SPECIAL* – SUSHIGOI – SYDNEY

31 May

Aky and I were in Centennial Park and spotted a couple in front of us eating what looked like the most creative, delicious and unbelievably big portion of fantabulous ‘sush sush’ (sing along if you know the words) I’d seen! I had to ask them where they’d got it. They told us it was Sushi Goi in Coogee. We went the very next day!

We chose to get a take-away and how they do this is they give you the empty box and you can stand by the conveyer belt and pile it in to the box, stack up the plates like you would when you eat in and pay for it at the end. They even gave us a 10% discount for taking away!

The choice was ENDLESS! Australians seem to put raw very finely sliced onion rings on top of their sushi, giving it a real spark of flavour. They also scorch the fish occasionally with a blow torch or just a bit of a roll on a barbecue and the smoky taste is just unbelievable. This is not classic, plain sushi, it is wonderful, colourful, creative and so delicious you just won’t want it to end.

The ‘Spicy Tuna Crunchy’ was so good! The fried spicy garlic that it is topped with just blends in with the flavour and gives the rice a new, bold accompaniment. The ‘Salmon & Onion’ roll is also a definite must. The fish itself is very fresh and whilst you can get the plainer rolls, this is the place to be a bit daring.

Their clever techniques and fresh approach make dining in or out of here a real thrill. A true hats off to the chef. London needs to take a leaf out of the Aussie’s book on this one.

Rate: 5

Match the sushi in our boxes to the menu above…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sushi Goi

230 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee Beach NSW 2034

0416795888
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Abokado

10 May

One of my favourite lunch places to go to at the moment is Abokado…I’m all for eating healthy snacks and as you know I love me some sushi!

Abokado do a delicious treat called a Schwrap. It’s a steal at around £1.50 and perfect if you get a couple of them for a light lunch or just one on the go.

My favourites are the Sweet Chilli Salmon & Fresh Dill or the California Salad. If you pass one, be sure to try it!

 

Rate: 4

California Salad Schwrap

Abokado

Various Locations

http://www.abokado.com/

 

Hi Sushi Izakaya Covent Garden (NOW CLOSED)

7 May

A brief visit was had to this branch of Hi Sushi and I have to let you know that it was definitely better than its counterpart in Soho. For one you don’t have to strain to get out of the holes in the ground they deem seats!

We chose against the all you can eat option as honestly I don’t know many people who could eat more than one plate full and the rolls that are on offer with ‘all you can eat’ are the basic ones…this restaurant has some really creative sushi options and in this case, less is more! Don’t go for the all you can eat (unless maybe you’re on some kind of dare!) raw fish isn’t something you should be eating by the bucket load…trust me.

I had the most delicious cocktail…unfortunately I drank this so quickly I don’t have a photo to show you! It was gin based, with fresh lime juice that was so sweet and elderflower juice, it was a really natural green colour and was the best cocktail I’ve had in a long time. You could shut your eyes and pretend you were in the depths of Thailand.

I had a Salmon California Maki Roll, but the real treat was the Hip Hop Roll (crab meat, avocado, wrapped with Tataki Salmon & fried garlic on top) the salmon was ever so slightly blow torched and so it had a delicious smoky taste and combined with the garlic too, it was deelish!

Rate: 4 (.2)

Hip Hop Roll

Hi Sushi Izakaya

27 Catherine Street Covent Garden WC2

0207 836 9398

http://www.restaurantprivilege.com/hi-sushi/home.html
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sticks’n’sushi

4 May

One thing to know about me is that I like to make up songs to go with food. Sushi has a very special place in my tummy and so it definitely has it’s own song. It’s only one line…and one day you might be lucky enough to hear it’s tune…it goes ‘Let’s get some sush sush’. KEEP READING if I haven’t lost you with my weirdness!

sticks’n’sushi is the latest export from Copenhagen and if their other exports were anything to go by then I knew I was in for a treat; The Little Mermaid, Pastries (Danish Ones, but there it would just be pastries!) and bacon!

We went on a Sunday afternoon and the atmosphere was very chilled and happy with background funky house music playing. Platters came pouring out and the look between Aky and me was ‘we’re onto something here!’ The food was beautifully presented and tasted great. The Hells Kitchen Roll and the Ebi Bites were the most deelish and I know we will definitely be going back!

Rate: 4

Hells Kitchen Roll, Rainbow Roll & Ebi Bites

Close up: Rainbow Roll & Hells Kitchen Roll

Yakitori Sticks: Beef with Sticks Sauce, Miso Marinated White Fish, Tebasaki Chicken

Crème brûlée

Sticks’n’Sushi

58 Wimbledon Hill Road, London SW19 7PA

Phone 020 3141 8800

http://www.sticksnsushi.com/
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