Sushi lunch at Chisou, Mayfair

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When my friend Carina was in town I got the task to find a good sushi restaurant, that was open for lunch on Sundays, served good vegetarian food (not veggie sushi) and located in central London. Not super easy, especially when one in the group is Japanese, but my apparently my research skills are up to scratch because we ended up at Chisou Mayfair and we were all very pleased with our lunch.

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Elena chose a sashimi lunch special served with a salad, rice and fruit for afters and Hetal, who’s vegetarian, had a delicious teriyaki tofu with rice.

Carina and I both love sushi and every time she comes to London to visit we try a new place. We decided to start with three maki rolls and loved them all. The salmon avocado was pretty standard but very good and the shrimp tempura delicious but the spicy tuna toll was a-ma-zing. The tuna was such good quality it just melted in the mouth.

Since the sushi was so good we decided on ordering an extra roll and had the spider roll with soft shell crab – also amazing. 

The interior at Chisou is not typical Mayfair but neither are the prices and the short walk from Regent Street together with the excellent food makes this a perfect lunch place when out and about in central London.

Chisou Mayfair, 4 Princes Street, London W1B 2LE

Sushi lunch at Bota Sera, Split, Croatia

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My dear friend and travel companion Gaby loves researching and it was thanks to her efforts we found this sushi restaurant in Split. It appears sushi is more fine dining than take away here and it was certainly the first time I ate sushi on a linen tablecloth. Very pleasant! We also had an amuse bouche (lovely tuna paté with crostini) while waiting for our sushi to be prepared.

The restaurant we went to is called Bota Sera, overlooking one of Split’s many (pebbly) beaches.

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We chose four different type or rolls that we shared and they were all very nice. From left to right; salmon skin roll, tiger roll, philadelphia roll and rainbow roll.

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We also tried their vegetarian spring roll which was more like a huge croqueta than a typical spring roll. It was very nice though, and I loved the honey dip with fresh red chilli that it was served with.

There are quite a lot of different food influences in Croatia, especially Italian, but it was nice to find sushi as well as I always crave it in hot weather.

Bota Sera, BAČVICE BB, 21 000 SPLIT

Atari-ya sushi bar, Swiss Cottage

One evening when I found myself in Swiss Cottage in between flat viewings I stumbled upon a sushi bar that seemed promising.

You see, in London it is quite difficult to find good sushi, which I have trouble understandning. I mean, there is plenty of sushi to go around, but some chains are absolutely awful and it is difficult to find the good places amongst all the average ones.

So this sushi bar, named Atari-ya, looked promising because the menu seemed to offer authentic dishes made to order.

Once seated at the bar counter I realised that this must the the (small) chain of sushi restaurants my friend Laura suggested we would go to.

After having ordered way too much sushi, I received an amuse bouche in the shape of a little bowl filled with mooli (cooked daikon). Shortly after the most amazing miso soup arrived with fluffy bits of tofu and far from the prepacked stuff some chain restaurants use.

Then my sushi arrived. My favourite was the salmon and avocado roll which was just perfect. Next was the flavourful salmon skin roll which I also enjoyed. The only thing to disappoint slightly was the shrimp tempura roll. In general that is my favourite roll because of the crunchiness of the tempura. These freshly deep-fried prawns were a bit too light in the batter to be crispy. They were also paired with asparagus, which to be honest wasn’t a combination I liked because the asparagus took over. In all other contexts, though, I love asparagus, but it is quite a strong flavour and the prawn could not compete.

Apart from the food being delicious and freshly prepared, the staff was equally good. I had two waiters fussying around me yet still leaving me to enjoy my meal.

Atari-ya sushi bar
75 Fairfax Road
London NW6 4EE
Tel: 020 7328 5338

Tsunami, West End

I have been going on and on and on and on about Tsunami close to where I live, in Clapham, but there is actual a Tsunami restaurant in central London as well, on Charlotte Street. I ventured here on Monday with my friends Laura and Jess after Laura had seen a great 50% off food offer at Top Table.

We started with a lovely bottle of white (from Languedoc) and it was so nice sitting there chatting and sipping wine we ended up with another.

But we had some (I mean a lot) of food as well. I wanted the lovely deepfried prawns with their gorgeous dipping sauce and Laura chose the mixed sashimi salad which contained salad leaves, lovely melt in the mouth seared salmon and tuna with wasabi dressing.

All three of us then had sushi for mains, but a few different kinds. Both Laura and Jess tried the Tsunami special roll (the large ones on the pictures) but I went for my usual order of ebi fry rolls and spicy tuna rolls (top picture).

Laura and Jess also had dessert, but I was too full to join in. However I forgot to take pictures of the two fabulous desserts. (I blame the wine.)

Both Laura’s icecream and Jess’s chocolate fondant arrived with plenty of exotic fruits and looked spectacular.

With the discount our bill came to around £90 for the three of us, including 2 bottles of wine, which was very reasonable. Thanks for that, Top Table.

Tsunami
93 Charlotte Street  
London W1T 4PY

Tsunami, once again

On Friday, Emma and Claes arrived in the afternoon so they went for a walk while I finished work and afterwards we went home to mine to leave the luggage and have a pre-dinner drink (recipe to follow) before going to Tsunami for dinner.

I know I have written about this place before, but I am still impressed, and that’s why I want to share this meal with you.

We were rather (understatement) hungry when we arrived, so we ordered a starter each to share. The first starter to arrive was my choice of yellow fin tartare with a quail egg yolk on top. I have had this before and it was just as nice this time around. The presentation is wonderful as is the flavours of roe and wasabi.

Next up was Claes’ choice, and also the best starter for the evening; deepfried prawns with the most luscious sauce! Safe to say we finished that sauce off with our little spoons.

Emma’s choice was a warm starter – perfect before the sushi – and she went for the peri peri yaki tori. The chicken scewers were very moist and the soy based dipping sauce added some heat. Lovely!

When it was time for the sushi, Emma and Claes had some pretty high expectations, thanks to me raving about it, but the sushi did not disappoint. Quite the opposite – the two talked of nothing else the whole weekend. 🙂 We started off with ten pieces each and had tuna rolls, snow crab rolls, spicy tuna rolls, tuna and avocado rolls and ebi fry rolls.

We then ordered another few pieces each of the two we all liked the most (the ones I always eat here as well); the spicy tuna rolls and the ebi fry rolls.

We also had two bottles of a crisp Italian chardonnay, which left the bill at a very reasonable ~£120, service charge included, for the three of us.

I have been to Tsunami quite a few times now, and when they keep deliver like this, I’ll be back again and again. To me this is the perfect neighbourhood gem; great food, nice presentation, (very) reasonable prices and relaxed staff.

Tsunami
5-7 Voltaire Road
Clapham
London SW4 6DQ

Tsunami, revistited

You new Tsunami, the Asian restaurant I keep going on and on about? It is still going strong.

A little more than a week ago I meet up with my friend Sinead for a meal here. We started off with water and a beautiful bottle of Sancerre and some starters to share; snow crab dumplings and chicken gyozas. Both came with a soy dipping sauce and both were fabulous in its own way.

The dim sum style dumplings were sticky and moist just like they should be and the gyozas just melted in your mouth. They were far better than the ones I order from Wagamama from time to time.

For her maincouse, Sinead had chicken, which she always does. It came with a teryaki sauce and rice and looked nice and juicy.

I was very unadventurous and chose the same thing as the times I have been here before – sushi! I just can’t get enough of it and it is the best I have ever had. Just like before I had the spicy tuna rolls and the ebi fry rolls and I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be in heaven.

Instead of pudding we had a cocktail each, that is definitely enough to satisfy the urge for sweetness you sometimes get after a meal.

The service wasn’t as great as before, our waitress started off the evening in a bad mood, but was nicer towards the end. All other staff were friendly and professional though, so still a place I recommend for service as well as food.

Tsunami
5-7 Voltaire Road
Clapham
London SW4 6DQ

Tsunami, Clapham

I have to post twice today, because I can not keep this to myself any longer: yesterday I had the best sushi in my life!

My friend Carina is staying with me while working in London this week, and last night we had a fab girl’s night out. First shopping in Covent Garden after work, then sushi and a glass of wine for supper.

And that is all thanks to my friend Gaby who I emailed yesterday asking for sushi recommendations, because I know she is great at that. After all, this is the girl who introduced me to Trinity. And I think you all know how I feel about Trinity. Pure foodie love. 😉

And now I have found another place to love – Tsunami. Gaby just told me that the chef is ex Nobu, so no wonder it was so good!

We arrived around 8pm and the place was nearly full, so I was glad I had booked before hand. The restaurant feels nice and cosy with an Asian touch, a perfect date venue by the way, and it was dimly lit and felt intimite.

Our lovely waiter for the evening was all charm and even sensed when we were about to pay, so we didn’t had to ask for the bill, he beat us to it by putting it on the table. Little things like that means a lot to me, and shows that the staff is on the ball and alert.

Worst iPhone photo ever, but I hope you get the idea.

It actually took a good while until we got the food we had ordered on the table, but it was of course freshly prepared and worth waiting for. We were blown away by the first bite. And half way into the meal we realised that we had to order more – that’s how good it was. So we did. A girls gotta eat, right?

Above you can (barely) see what we had, but I hope you can make out that it is nice sushi on the plate. The dim lighting and an iPhone camera was not the best combination… Anyway, for each maki roll we got six pieces so we started off ordering three maki rolls (salmon, spicy tuna and avocado and tempura shrimp) and two nigiri with scallops for me. The salmon rolls were really nice, and probably the best salmon rolls I have ever had, and yet they were not up for the competition from the other two rolls. The spicy tuna and avocado roll was excellent, served with a sauce on top and full in flavour, and even better (yes, it is possible!) was the tempura shrimp rolls. OMG, they were the best! They also had a sauce on top (a little similar to Rhode Island, but better) and absolutely lovely, Carina and I agreed. And the scallop nigiri was generous with the scallop and melted in your mouth. Lovely that one too.

Even though I am all nice adjectives, I am still struggling to explain just how nice it was, but I can say this at least: for every bite we were surprised by how good it was. By every bite. A nice experience I can tell you.  

It was very good value as well, for our massive portions (we had five rolls and two nigiri in the end), two glasses of wine, a bottle of water and service charge the bill landed on around £50 for two. Not bad at all.

If you’re dying to go (and you should be) but don’t want to venture to south-west London, you can visit their branch on Charlotte Street.